UCloud is no minor partner
While UCloud might not be a well known name to many IT companies it has built out a serious cloud business in China. Last year it received Series B funding of $50 million and in spring this year it raised another $100 million. Its executive board includes a number of former Tencent executives who have the understanding of what it takes to build a large business.
It is already ranked the number one independent public cloud provider in China specialising in hosting and cloud services. It has built a large customer base around eCommerce and gaming as well as delivering a growing number of SaaS applications. At present, the company has data centres in Hong Kong, China and the United States.
Delivering the OpenStack vision
Perhaps the most important thing about this announcement is the move by Mirantis from being a pure play OpenStack software provider to becoming a cloud partner. It already has a lot of large enterprise customers using its software for their private clouds. The question is: Can they leverage that and create a simply hybrid cloud offering for that large enterprise base?
This deal will also please the OpenStack Foundation. Back in May they were forced to reassert themselves and the OpenStack principles, telling large cloud providers to remove the additional software they had put into OpenStack. This was done because it the additional integrated software was becoming an inhibitor to the idea of a common cloud environment where customers could move freely between different implementations.
This is a significant move and one that will please the OpenStack Foundation after May’s watershed. It proves that it is possible to build an open cloud and to market and sell it. The success of UMCloud will be watched by other vendors and it will be interesting to see how quickly it can grow both its home and US customer base.