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Just what the community needs: OpenStack in a box

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As promised, Mirantis, working with Redapt, a company that helps businesses build out their data centers, has come up with an appliance that it hopes will ease deployment of the OpenStack cloud.

OpenStack is a set of technologies that emanated from NASA and Rackspace(RAX) about five years ago. The project started out as an open-source hedge against VMware’s (VMW) dominance in company data centers and Amazon(AMZN) Web Services in the cloud.

Many vendors—including Rackspace, Hewlett-Packard(HPQ), Cisco,(VMW) IBM(IBM), and Red Hat(RHT) —offer different flavors of OpenStack. But that plethora of options hasn’t done much to ease the perception that OpenStack is hard to install and deploy.

Mirantis, which started out as a systems integrator before becoming an OpenStack provider like the other companies mentioned above, decided a drop-in appliance could help grease the skids.

“We are working with a number of systems integrators to pre-validate a configuration of OpenStack on a (server) rack so instead of screwing around, people can just install it,” said Boris Renski, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Mirantis.

Nebula, an OpenStack startup that folded in March, also offered an OpenStack appliance, but in that case it paired standard x86 servers with its own special top-of-the-rack switch to let OpenStack slide right into existing data centers.

Mirantis previewed its appliance plans in May. Redapt is its first appliance partner but there are more to come, Renski said.

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