Mirantis, a pure-play OpenStack cloud vendor and provider of OpenStack training, has launched a new, vendor-agnostic OpenStack certification targeted at systems administrators and cloud operators.
Mirantis Certification for OpenStack, announced Thursday, aims to certify infrastructure professionals on the deployment and operation of cloud environments built on the open-source OpenStack software. By having a certification process, it is expected that enterprises will be more confident that employees can create and run enterprise-grade cloud solutions with OpenStack.
(Corresponding with it’s goal of elimination of barriers to OpenStack adoption, Mirantis recently joined forces with IBM to improve a testing and benchmarking tool that measures OpenStack performance when running a variety of traditional enterprise workloads.)
One of the first individuals to attain Mirantis Certification for OpenStack is Umar Saeed, director of customer engineering at Virtual Network Infrastructure company PLUMgrid. “Having sound knowledge of OpenStack was very important for me,” said Saeed. “OpenStack adoption is becoming more popular, and people cannot ignore it.”
Prior to taking the certification exam, individuals may gain more confidence onsite at an optional three-day OpenStack Bootcamp course. Certification exams can be taken at any one of 700 worldwide Kryterion testing locations as well as remotely using Kryterion’s online proctoring methodology.
Saeed, who took the OpenStack Bootcamp, said it helped having an appropriate professional or technical background to get the most from the course, but many of the attendees came from specializations ranging from DevOps to networking to hardcore Linux. “The diversity made the class much more interesting,” he said. Also, he was impressed with the “phenomenal” instructor, class size (capped at 12 students), and hands-on approach.
An early provider of OpenStack training, Mirantis launched its OpenStack training program in April 2012, less than two years after OpenStack was initially announced.
Mirantis co-founder and EVP Boris Renski said, “The idea behind OpenStack is that it creates completely open standards-based vendor-agnostic fabric that connects all the infrastructure together.” By exposing a consistent set of APIs people can work with the infrastructure by knowing OpenStack and plug in various solutions from a variety of vendors.
The primary guiding principles behind the OpenStack project included allowing users to plug in different components to free users from vendor lock-in and “liberate the data center” according to Renski. He said that it was very important for Mirantis to stress in its teaching and certification that students learn how to build vendor-neutral solutions.
Indeed, certification requires applicants to be able to deploy and operate an OpenStack environment that spans various host operating systems, virtualization technologies, storage back-ends, and network topologies.
A vendor-neutral cloud allows an organization to choose a different variety of components and switch easily, Renski said. “This means that the vendors at the edge now compete on the merit and innovation, rather than on the fact that it’s rather inconvenient to switch out.”
Renski noted that Mirantis has likely trained the majority of those building and using OpenStack production clouds. Teaching these individuals the importance of vendor neutrality will likely have a trickle-down effect on the OpenStack ecosystem, keeping it open to competition and innovation.