Platform9 has announced general availability of Platform9 Managed OpenStack for VMware vSphere environments which it will showcase at VMworld in booth #339 later this month. Platform9 Managed OpenStack is a SaaS solution that transforms an organization's existing servers into an AWS-like agile, self-service private cloud within minutes and has been in production globally for KVM environments since January 2015. Support for Docker is in development; a beta will be announced later this year.

VMware vSphere is the leading virtualization platform, estimated to run on more than six million physical servers in the enterprise. However, VMware customers looking to derive greater infrastructure agility — resource pooling, infrastructure automation and developer self-service — have had limited success. OpenStack, the world's leading private cloud platform, delivers all of these capabilities but has had limited support for VMware vSphere. In addition, many VMware enterprise customers lack deep OpenStack skills that are needed to operate OpenStack in production, making it difficult for them to realize the framework's true potential.

"Platform9 has broken down the installation and operational barriers that have challenged OpenStack adoption," said Paul Burns, principal analyst for cloud computing at Neovise. "Now — with Platform9 Managed OpenStack for VMware vSphere — private cloud adopters also get improved choice and control over virtualization platforms. This enables applications to be matched with the right virtualization platform and gives VMware shops extensive private cloud functionality."

Platform9 Managed OpenStack's unique SaaS delivery model not only makes it easy for IT to quickly deploy an OpenStack private cloud but also provides ongoing operational support by including monitoring, troubleshooting and updates for OpenStack. With today's announcement, Platform9 now fully supports VMware vSphere environments: a new VMware specific Virtual Appliance is now available to integrate the OpenStack controller services with vSphere resources. The Virtual Appliance works using vSphere APIs and is 100% interoperable with VMware vSphere, so operations can be performed either via the OpenStack control plane or via vSphere directly. The result is that for the first time, VMware customers have an easy to manage, fully interoperable solution to orchestrate their resources as an OpenStack-based private cloud.

"Platform9's mission is to make private clouds easy to deploy and manage for the enterprise. By fully supporting VMware vSphere, we are enabling every VMware customer to instantly derive greater value and infrastructure agility from existing virtualized infrastructure," said Sirish Raghuram, co-founder and CEO of Platform9. "Customers no longer need to choose between the world's leading private cloud platform (OpenStack) and the world's leading virtualization platform (VMware vSphere): Platform9 Managed OpenStack is 100% interoperable with VMware vSphere, allowing customers to integrate OpenStack and vSphere seamlessly. Developers can have self-service provisioning using OpenStack while at the same time, IT Operations manages the underlying infrastructure using vSphere."

This release follows a successful seven month beta for VMware vSphere customers where the service was tested by enterprises and service providers using VMware vSphere as their virtualization platform.

"Platform9 has been a very easy and non-disruptive path for us to enable self-service provisioning and API driven automation with our existing VMware resources," said Ray Lovett, Sr. Network Architect at the Richards Group, a branding and full service advertising agency. "Having been longtime users of VMware vSphere, we were looking for a solution that allowed us to leverage OpenStack, while being very easy to manage and fully compatible with VMware vSphere. Platform9 Managed OpenStack delivers on both fronts."

"Platform9 Managed OpenStack provides us with an easy to use self-service portal that we can extend to our customers. We can provide our users with self-service access to computing infrastructure with the ability to easily access Virtual Machine images, provision VMs and access VMs," said Chris Church, Manager of Cloud Services at Orion Technology Services, a full-service technology provider specializing in cloud hosting, IT security and managed IT service. "At the same time, we have the flexibility to maintain and manage their environment via OpenStack's built-in multi-tenancy. After evaluating other solutions, we found Platform9 much easier to use."


Key Benefits for VMware Customers

  • Self-Service Automation. Empowering developers is a key CIO priority in the enterprise. With multi-tenancy, quotas, leases and policy controls on resource configurations for workloads, Platform9 Managed OpenStack makes it easy for IT to implement self-service for developers and accelerate their workflows.
  • 100% Interoperability with VMware vSphere. Customers can perform any choice of operations via Platform9 Managed OpenStack or via VMware vSphere: therefore, all existing processes, vSphere-based API automation and 3rd party products are compatible and supported.
  • Orchestration using Open, Industry Standard APIs. OpenStack APIs are supported by a wide range of automation tools, development libraries, storage and network systems and application-level orchestration frameworks. By orchestrating their infrastructure using OpenStack APIs, organizations not only reduce reliance on proprietary ecosystems, but also accelerate API driven infrastructure automation and leverage existing open source integrations.
  • Single Pane Across Virtualization Platforms. Platform9 now supports both KVM and VMware vSphere virtualization and Docker support is expected in future. Customers can now decouple their private cloud platform from the virtualization platform, and retain the flexibility to deploy new platforms over time while maintaining a consistent workflow and management interface.
  • Compatibility with all vSphere Compatible Datastores and Networks. Customers can onboard Platform9 with any storage and network implementation that is compatible with VMware vSphere. The solution is fully compatible with both legacy VLAN-based networks as well as software-defined-networks.
  • Production Grade SLA for OpenStack. Platform9 takes care of monitoring, troubleshooting and upgrading the OpenStack framework, so customers can rely on a production grade SLA and focus on innovation enabled by the OpenStack cloud platform.


Platform9 Raises $10 Million in Funding From Menlo and Redpoint Ventures

Platform9 has announced that it has secured $10 million in Series B funding, bringing the funding total to $14.5 million. Menlo Ventures led the round, and previous investor Redpoint Ventures also participated. The company plans to use the money to accelerate its product roadmap for its growing customer base.

Menlo Ventures General Partner Mark Siegel joins Redpoint Ventures Partner Scott Raney on the board. Siegel said: "Platform9 is poised to satisfy rising demand for a simple OpenStack solution in the enterprise, and they have the perfect team to do it. We see OpenStack gaining momentum and believe it will take significant market share from proprietary technology stacks. Menlo is proud to support the company as they ramp up growth with impressive early traction."

Platform9 was founded by early VMware engineers Sirish Raghuram (CEO), Madhura Maskasky (VP Product), Roopak Parikh (VP Engineering) and Bich Le (Chief Architect) -- a team with decades of experience building virtualization and systems management products. They founded Platform9 because they observed that enterprises were struggling to operationalize private clouds. Platform9's disruptive SaaS-based OpenStack solution transforms an organization's existing servers into an AWS-like agile, self-service private cloud within minutes and makes it possible for enterprise customers to leverage the latest open source innovations.

Since launching 12 months ago, Platform9 has hit several milestones including:

  • Platform9 Managed OpenStack for KVM environments became generally available in January 2015 and is in production globally.
  • The company has seen significant revenue momentum in first two quarters of sales with quarter-over-quarter growth of 200%, multiple sitewide license agreements for 400+ servers in each quarter and customer deployments in 17 countries.
  • The company received seven major industry awards and accolades including being named the coolest virtualization startup of 2014 by CRN, one of the top 10 virtualization startups to watch in 2015 by TechTarget SearchServerVirtualization and an MIT CIO Symposium Innovation Showcase finalist.

"We've had a phenomenal year and our momentum is accelerating as organizations look to deliver an AWS-like cloud experience using their internal infrastructure. With Platform9 Managed OpenStack, organizations can now focus on accelerating innovation using internal private clouds instead of spending months or years implementing their private cloud," said Sirish Raghuram, co-founder and CEO of Platform9. "The Series B funding enables Platform9 to further accelerate our product roadmap for our growing customer base."


This article was originally posted “Platform9 Releases Managed OpenStack For vSphere” from Cloud Strategy Magazine.