Friday, May 11, 2012

Cloud Software Stacks

The whole cloud software area is starting to take shape and looks like the future of the data centre. Data Centers will gradually evolve from physical machines to virtualized servers through to cloud architectures.
 Potentially Cloud software Stacks could become a one-stop software-bundle for the data centre, including hypervisers, virtualized operating systems and applications, management tools and APIs, monitoring, backup etc etc.
 So instead of sourcing different products from multiple vendors to build a data centre customers could "like microsoft office" get a complete data centre software bundle. No wonder vendors are keen to get into this product segment! But with so many products you have to try and pick a vendor that will survive.

Many cloud management products are still works in progress but common features are taking shape:
 - Support the major virtualization technologies (Xen, KVM, VMware)
 - Support or planning to support Public Cloud APIs (Amazon EC2/S3 vCloud)
 - Support for major linux distributions and some support Windows Servers.
 - Support SANs. (EMC etc)
 - Monitoring, metering & billing
 - Authentication (with support for LDAP and Active Directory).
 - Often have open source and enterprise editions.
 - Support for extending into a public cloud ("Cloudbursting")
 - One management tool for private and public clouds.
 - Migration of Machine Images between clouds.

It appears the Cloud Software Stacks are forming into three camps:

1. Amazon AWS Compatible clouds

Eucalyptus - Provides an Amazon AWS compatible cloud.
- Consists of Open Source and Enterprise Editions.
- The Open Source version targets Linux systems that use Xen (versions 3.*) and KVM for virtualization.
- The Enterprise version adds support for Windows servers, VMware virtualization technologies, SAN     Adapter, User and Group Management, Accounting and Quota Management.
- Currently it is being downloaded 10,000 times a month so it is popular.

Nimbula - Cloud Operating System is an automated cloud management system delivering Amazon EC2-like services behind the firewall.
- Commercial version only.
- Currently only supports Xen and KVM but VMware support is planned.
- Supports Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, BSD and AIX servers.
- Offers an API, a command line and a web control panel but does not appear to offer public cloud API support.
- Is able to deploy a virtual infrastructure on bare metal so good for large data centers.
- This is a new product by from the original developers of Amazon EC2 so very good pedigree.

Amazon - Virtual Private Cloud

2. VMWare vCloud Compatible clouds

VMware vCloud Director has the following features:
* Supports multi tenancy/organizational isolation
* Allows for the creation of central application catalogs and personalization of templates
* Enables creation and deployment of vApps from catalogs/templates
* Controls user resource usage through roles/rights, quotas and leases
* Enables programmatic control through the RESTful vCloud API
* Provides an additional level of abstraction from underlying hardware

Launched at VMworld 2010.

3. Others

OpenStack based on NASA Nebula and backed by others like Rackspace is a promising open source initiative and maybe the future for other Cloud stacks to coalesce around.

Abiquo - the provision of physical infrastructure is completely separated from the virtual application infrastructure by a “Resource Cloud”.
-Community and Enterprise Editions.
-Supports Xen, KVM or Virtual Box, VMware and Microsoft’s Hyper-V all in the community edition. (formerly VMOps) - Massively Scalable Infrastructure Management.
- Has Community, Enterprise Edition and Service Provider Editions .
- Works with Xen and KVM hypervisors as well as VMware vSphere or Citrix XenServer.
- Own API but plan to implement Amazon EC2/S3 and vCloud on top.

OpenQRM - Next generation, open-source Data-center management platform
- supports VMware, Xen, KVM and Linux-VServer vms.
- supports major linux distribution like Debian, Ubuntu, CentOS and openSuse.
- Nagios integration for monitoring.

OpenNebula - Open-Source toolkit for building private, public and hybrid clouds.
- Apache Open Source Licence. Enterprise Edition coming out.
- supports Xen, KVM and VMware virtualization platforms
- on-demand access to Amazon EC2 and ElasticHosts Cloud providers.
- Local Unix-like command line interface and Cloud interfaces, such as libvirt, EC2 Query API and OGF OCCI API
- Support for multiple users, image transferring and cloning, virtual network management and service contextualization.
- Currently no support for windows servers but is planned.

Elastra - provides cloud-based computing services

Enomaly - which makes software for private cloud management and also operates     the SpotCloud marketplace for buying and selling cloud capacity. 

NewScale - NewScale software can be ordered through Cisco and Cisco channel partners under new product names including Cisco Cloud Portal and Cisco Workplace Portal, as well as the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud.

Aserver - typically for service providers

CloudSwitch - Hybrid Cloud

OpSource - Virtual Private Cloud

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