Last October, Mirantis, the pure-play OpenStack vendor announced a $100 million round. Just 10 months later, it’s back with an identical announcement. This time the investment is led by Intel Capital and includes a partnership with Intel to help accelerate OpenStack in the enterprise.
Goldman Sachs, August Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Ericsson, Sapphire Ventures and WestSummit Capital also participated. The funds include a mix of equity and spending with $75 million coming on the equity side, according to an SEC document filed last week.
OpenStack is the open source cloud operating system launched in July 2010 to provide an alternative to proprietary public cloud infrastructure vendors such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. It led to a flurry of startups, but in the last year many have been scooped up by larger companies with Cisco grabbing Metacloud in 2014, then going back for more with Piston in June. IBM bought BlueBox, EMC got Cloudscaling — and Nebula, a particularly promising one, simply closed its doors last spring.
Against this backdrop, Mirantis remains standing and it’s hoping that working closely with Intel, along with the huge infusion of money, will help it advance OpenStack in the enterprise. While it has made progress, several key problems remain related to scaling in large settings. The Intel partnership will include resources such as access to hardware labs and a variety of gear at a scale, which Mirantis couldn’t access on its own, Alex Freedland, Mirantis president and co-founder told TechCrunch.
Mirantis offers what it calls ‘a pure version’ of OpenStack, and Freeland believes that’s what separates his company from the big players in the market. “Mirantis is an open platform where everyone can come in and not be guarded by proprietary walls. This is the only way to drive down cost and drive up features,” he said.
Mirantis is not only competing against major technology companies like IBM, Cisco, HP and Oracle selling OpenStack, it’s also battling against more mature and better funded enterprise technologies from VMware and Microsoft. It hopes with this combination of funds and resources to get to the point where a large enterprise could deploy OpenStack across all of its infrastructure, Freeland explained. Today, OpenStack tends to be implemented in smaller projects.
He pointed out that it took nearly a decade for VMware and Red Hat to get to that level of maturity. OpenStack is only five years old.
As for Intel, it’s getting increasing requests from companies seeking help running their own cloud infrastructure. It hopes the investment in Mirantis will help expedite OpenStack development for customers running its hardware, Jason Waxman, VP and GM for cloud platforms at Intel explained.
Working together, the two companies hope to see significant improvement over the next 12 months, and expect to see some enhancements related to this collaboration as soon as this year, Freeland said.
If perhaps you were thinking that this is the first step toward Intel buying Mirantis, Waxman quickly put that idea to rest. “If we were interested in an acquisition, we would have cut to chase,” he said. Intel obviously thinks highly of Mirantis or it wouldn’t be making this investment, but Waxman made clear it has no interest in being a distributor of OpenStack.
It’s been a good period for Mirantis with a pair of $100 million rounds in less than a year. In 2014, it generated the largest OpenStack sale ever, a $30 million dollar deal with Ericsson (which is also contributing funding to today’s deal).
Today’s announcement brings its total raised across all rounds to $220 million.