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Platform9 Launches First SaaS-Based OpenStack Private Cloud

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

Since its inception five years ago as an open source project between NASA and Rackspace, OpenStack has become one of the most popular infrastructure as a service (IaaS) choices for companies building private and hybrid clouds. And although the platform is able to bring a lot to the table, including a vibrant community of supporters and contributors, one main issue remains: OpenStack is difficult to deploy, configure, and manage.

Read More: OpenStack: Costs, Benefits & Risks

This is where Platform9 hopes to make its mark by reducing some of the operational complexity of OpenStack and opening up this powerful platform to more organizations. Today, the company launched the Platform9 Managed OpenStack offering, a software as a service (SaaS) that's able to leverage organizations' existing infrastructure to create private, on-premises clouds. This means enterprise customers can deploy and effectively manage their own OpenStack private clouds without any OpenStack expertise through Platform9's cloud service.

Platform9 Managed OpenStack supports both greenfield and brownfield environments, and thus existing virtualized environments, including servers, storage, networks, workloads and instances can be imported and configured. OpenStack updates are done seamlessly and non-disruptively by Platform9 and are totally transparent to customers. The platform offers a "single pane of glass" interface, which consolidates distributed infrastructure into a single view for simplified management. On top of that, Platform9's service continuously monitors the availability and operational health of the private clouds it manages.

"This is a production-ready enterprise-class product that is very easy to use," Sirish Raghuram, co-founder and CEO of Platform9 told Tom's IT Pro in an interview. "It is very sophisticated and battle-tested; we had customers run thousands of virtual machines on the platform every day."

With today's release, Platform9 is able to fully support KVM virtualization, although the company is currently beta testing VMware vSphere environments as well, with over 20 enterprise customers currently participating in the beta program. The company is also working on building support for Docker and other container technology, which will give customers the option of running virtual machines, containers, or both options together.

Additionally, Platform9 is 100 percent API compatible. "Sophisticated users can take advantage of the OpenStack APIs," said Raghuram. "This opens up scripting and automation capabilities for enterprise customers."

Raghuram also outlined some of the new features that have been added to the platform in the last six months, including full support for tenancy, which adds the ability to separate different groups and utilize policy-based access control. Host aggregates is another new feature; it allows customers to group infrastructure with labels (for example, by age of the machine, or type of storage configuration) and then create virtual clusters using these labels. "This pools resources together into a large cloud so that customers have a lot of sophisticated control on what users get access to what infrastructure at a logical level," Raghuram explained.

Platform9 setup is simple and can be completed in minutes; the company was able to demonstrate this during a live demo with Tom's IT Pro. It involves downloading and deploying the Platform9 agent on your on-prem servers, pairing your hosts, then configuring your image catalog through the Platform9 interface. Existing workloads and instances are discovered automatically through Platform9, all of which is visible to IT admins through the interface. More on how Platform9 works here: Platform9 SaaS-Based Cloud Management.

With the product release, Platform9 also announced pricing across three annual plans of service:

  • A Lite, free plan that allows customers to test the platform with less than 100 VMs and 6 CPUs.
  • A production-ready Business plan for a minimum of 20 CPUs and unlimited virtual machines for $49 per month per CPU.
  • A large-scale Enterprise plan with a higher tier of support (contact Platform9 for pricing details).

For more information on Platform9 Managed OpenStack offering, visit platform9.com.

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