Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Thursday, August 13, 2020
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Platform9 Rolls OpenStack Manager 

Platform9, the cloud startup that emerged form stealth mode last August, unveiled its "Managed OpenStack" platform this week, a software-as-a-service offering aimed at quickly turning existing cloud infrastructure like servers into private clouds.

The release follows six months of beta testing in which Platform9 said thousands of virtual machines were deployed on a daily basis. The goal is to allow enterprises to operate their private clouds at scale while leveraging open source projects like the KVM "lightweight hypervisor."

Along with support for KVM environments, Platform9 said its Managed OpenStack also is available in beta mode for VMware vSphere environments. It said 20 companies are participating in beta testing.

The company is also planning support for Docker containers, and is planning a beta test of the cloud application containers later this year.

Platform9, based in Sunnyvale, California, announced its first funding round last August that raised $4.5 million from investor Redpoint Ventures. The company recently joined the OpenStack Foundation as a corporate sponsor.

Managed OpenStack is being targeted at enterprises that have outgrown their public clouds and are searching for a cloud platform they can use to manage in-house infrastructure. One roadblock has been the difficulty of making private clouds operational using virtualized infrastructure.

Platform9 said its SaaS offering is designed to quickly convert existing servers into an Amazon Web Services-like private cloud. Platform9 also provides simplified management of Docker containers and guests running atop the KVM hypervisor from Red Hat, Canonical, and SUSE Linux and the ESXi hypervisor from VMware.

The management part of the SaaS platform is said the eliminate the need for OpenStack expertise in deploying a private cloud. The platform provides full compatibility with the OpenStack API and is said to be production ready from the get-go. It also allows for the importing of existing infrastructure, including servers, storage, networks and workload configurations, the company said.

Along with KVM support and OpenStack API compatibility designed to help developers automate the testing and release of applications using OpenStack libraries, Docker and ESXi support is in the works. It stands to reason that Xen and Hyper-V will eventually be supported as well.

Platform9 Managed OpenStack is generally available in three tiers: a "Lite" version is free but limited in scale; a "Business" tier is priced at $49 per CPU per month, and an annual subscription is required; lastly, the "Enterprise" tier includes advanced features and premium support. Pricing for the Enterprise tier was not released.

Platform9 was founded in 2013 by VMware engineers Raghuram, Madhura Maskasky, Roopak Parikh and Bich Le. Company advisors include Meraki Networks founder Hans Robertson along with former VMware executives Bogomil Balkansky and Caroline McCrory. Maskasky serves as Platform9’s product chief while Parikh heads up engineering and Le serves as chief architecture.

The company's name is a Harry Potter reference.

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