Mirantis brought back its original CEO and Co-founder Adrian Ionel (pictured), to move the company beyond private cloud and help its customers adopt multi-cloud strategies. Alex Freeland, who is also a co-founder, will step down as CEO but remain a board member.

Ionel served as CEO from the company’s launch in 2011 until 2015, when he left to start up Dorsal, an open source software support firm. During his initial tenure at Mirantis he led the company’s investment in OpenStack, growing its customer base to more than 200 enterprises.Adrian Ionel

After he left, the company started shifting its focus, moving away from being a pure-play OpenStack company and turning toward Kubernetes container management. “Kubernetes is a new paradigm,” Boris Renski, Mirantis co-founder and CMO told SDxCentral last year. “It definitely has the wow and cool factor that supersedes the boring OpenStack, which was the cool thing two years ago.”

Moving to Multi-Cloud

More companies are adopting a multi-cloud environment. IDC says some 87 percent of current cloud users are developing a hybrid-cloud strategy and 94 percent plan to use multiple clouds — Mirantis wants to be the partner to help them do this, using open source software.

“Here’s what is happening,” Ionel said. “Mirantis is in the open source software business. We leverage open source software to help companies build these large digital infrastructures, otherwise called private clouds. And that’s great. However, we see most of our customers are adopting a multi-cloud strategy.”

But as they move from private clouds to hybrid and multiple public clouds, they are facing challenges, he said. “How to deploy and run applications in this new cloud paradigm?”

Kubernetes and other open source technologies can help. Ionel says they are the solution for deploying applications in any cloud and making them portable so companies have workload mobility.

“So you can run it on Amazon, or Azure, or Google, or Alibaba Cloud without changing anything,” Ionel said. “We give customers not just a way to build their own private infrastructure using open source, we give them a toolset that empowers them to run their applications in any way, on any cloud, in a native way. This is a gigantic market that is significantly larger than the OpenStack market, it’s kind of endless.”

Freeland left his post voluntarily and will remain an “active” boardmember, according to the company. In fact, he’s the one who asked Ionel to return. “He [Freeland] is actually the one who sold me the hardest, who really wanted me to rejoin,” Ionel said.

Autopilot for Cloud Apps

Last year Mirantis launched several Kubernetes initiatives, including updates to its platform to support Kubernetes on premises and in Amazon Web Services (AWS). It recently added Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform support. This is “step one” of Mirantis’ multi-cloud plan, Ionel said. “Step one is using the Kubernetes container framework to let people automatically deploy applications and run them on any cloud.”

Step two, called Autopilot, will launch later this year, he said. “It involves using machine learning and advanced analytics to automatically tune the behavior of the application to the workload,” Ionel explained. “You can deploy your code into our Autopilot and it will run it automatically on any cloud of your choosing, or a combination thereof. With no extra effort on your part, it will automatically optimize the cost, the security, the performance, and the resilience for your application.”

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