Mirantis, an OpenStack and cloud systems integrator, sees opportunities to work with VARs, managed services providers (MSPs) and cloud services providers (CSPs). More than just a consulting shop, Mirantis has launched FUEL -- a set of configuration and deployment tools for OpenStack. CEO Adrian Ionel sees opportunities to promote FUEL through VARs, MSPs and CSPs. Here's how.

Simply put:

  • VARs can potentially resell FUEL to corporate IT customers. Those customers, in turn, can use FUEL to speed OpenStack deployments while also managing and optimizing ongoing OpenStack upgrades.
  • MSPs can use FUEL to remote monitoring and maintain OpenStack clouds for customers. 
  • CSPs can use FUEL to manage and maintain their own public cloud deployments.

The VAR Guy doesn't think Mirantis has launched a "formal" channel partner program just yet. But Ionel made it sound like that effort is part of the company's near-term strategy.

During a conversation with The VAR Guy at OpenStack Summit (see Talkin' Cloud for complete coverage), Ionel drew a clear line between Mirantis and other IT consulting companies that have come and gone over the years.

Rewind to the dot-com boom and bust, and Web integrators like marchFIRST, Sapient, Scient and Viant enjoyed big rallies then big implosions. Mirantis won't suffer the same fate, Ionel insisted, because his company is more than a consulting and integration shop.

A prime example: FUEL represents real intellectual property that shortens OpenStack deployment times and generates recurring revenues. OpenStack customers that purchase FUEL will continue to use the tool set for long-term cloud management, he predicted. 

So in a way Mirantis is disrupting itself. The company is already profitable and I think they have between 300 and 400 employees. Instead of milking the OpenStack market for long-term consulting engagements, Mirantis wants to speed customer deployments while building FUEL revenues. 

True believers include Dell and Intel, each of which have invested in Mirantis. Also this week, Mirantis announced a Hadoop big data strategy with Red Hat (NYSE:RHT) and HortonWorks.

Will channel partners take notice? The VAR Guy will be watching.