Release: Morphlabs mCloud Controller 2.5

Morphlabs is a US startup offering a rather unique approach to cloud computing: its flagship product, mCloud Controller, is able to leverage hardware virtualization to realize an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud and, at the same time, deploy inside the virtual machines selected application frameworks, to realize a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud.

To orchestrate the IaaS+PaaS platform, called mCloud, Morphlabs adopted the open source automation and configuration management framework Puppet. The company extended Puppet support to Windows VMs, supporting the solution up to 5,000 VMs.

mCloud, available for on-premises (mCloud Controller) and hosted deployment (mCloud On Demand), has been formally launched earlier this year, with the release of mCloud Controller 2.5.

The new version introduces interesting features:

  • a scalable architecture, Enterprise Cloud Architecture (ECA), made of three tiers: redundancy at the mCloud Controller level, multiple Availability Zone Controllers, and multiple Resource Nodes
  • a heat map to immediately spot VMs that are performing poorly
  • a grid map to immediately spot VMs that have a health issue
  • a “white-label” approach to the GUi, which allows customers to fully customize and brand the appearance of the control panel (this feature clearly addresses service providers)
  • a drag&drop user interface to customize the requested VM in the service catalog
  • mass-configuration of infrastructure elements (like virtual networking)

Interestingly, the new mCloud Controller, now comes with Zend Server too, thanks to an OEM agreement with Zend. Zend Server is a web application server for PHP applications.

Looking at the approach and software components that Morphlabs is integrating, it’s possible to see how the VMware cloud platform may evolve over time.
In the last two years the virtualization vendor suggested a tighter integration between its virtual infrastructure technology and the plethora of solutions owned by its SpringSource subsidiary, now grouped under the name of vCloud Fabric.
VMware is expected to leverage its vCloud Director to blend together vSphere and vCloud Fabric: the result may look like something similar to what Morphlabs is doing right now.

Morphlabs also formally launched the hosted version of its platform: mCloud On Demand, built on top of Amazon EC2.