Microsoft unlocks the IaaS component of Windows Azure

After one year wait, almost two months ago Microsoft finally announced the upcoming availability of a new component of its public cloud computing platform Windows Azure.

So far Windows Azure only presented the characteristics of a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud computing platform, but at the end of October the company said that it would extend Azure with a new VM Role, introducing some capabilities that are typical of an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud.

Microsoft promised to deliver within the end of the year, and in fact the VM Role is available for all customers starting this week.
As confirmed during the announcement, there are some pretty significant limitations at the moment:

  • customers can only create virtual machines with Windows Server 2008 R2 as guest operating system
  • the VMs must be created, installed and configured inside an on-premises Hyper-V virtual infrastructure
  • there’s no way to control VMs hosted on Azure from an on-premises Hyper-V management console

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Eucalyptus Systems Partners with Red Hat

Eucalyptus Systems has announced a partnership with Red Hat. Red Hat will provide support for Eucalyptus in combination with Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Eucalyptus compatibility with the Apache Deltacloud API, which is a meta-API for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing platforms , an open source project supported by Red Hat

The Deltacloud API was covered for the first time by in May this year when Red Hat announced it was working on a commercial version of the DeltaCloud API in order to provide its own IaaS cloud management software. This partnership could indicate that Red Hat has now decided to use Eucalyptus for that, dropping plans to develop something themselves.

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Release: C12G Labs OpenNebula 2.0

After starting a beta program in July this year, C12G Labs now has released version 2.0.1 of OpenNebulaPro, an enterprise-ready edition of the OpenNubula Toolkit. Open Nebula provides a management console for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing platforms. OpenNebula supports both the VMware vCloud API and the DeltaCloud API.

Supported Linux distributions are RedHat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Ubuntu, Debian, OpenSuse and Suse Linux Enterprise, supported hypervisors are KVM, Xen and VMware ESX/ESXi/vCenter, and supported cloud providers for cloud bursting include Amazon EC2.

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Enomaly launches a marketplace for cloud computing services

Enomaly, which provides Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing software, has announced the beta of SpotCloud, a cloud computing clearinghouse & marketplace for cloud service providers. SpotCloud provides an easy way to sell unused cloud capacity. Cloud providers can use SpotCloud to clear out unused capacity and sell computing inventory that would otherwise go unsold, enabling increased utilization and revenue, without undermining their standard pricing.

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Release: Abiquo 1.7

Just after announcing a Series B funding in order to raise 10 Million dollars beginning this month, Abiquo has now announced version 1.7 of its cloud management software, which will be generally available within 45 days.

Abiquo offers an open source (LGPL v3) management portal for IaaS cloud computing platforms that supporst multiple hypervisors including VMware ESX/ESXi, Xen, Citrix XenServer, KVM, Virtual Box and Microsoft Hyper-V. The product is available as a Live-CD image, which includes a minimal Red Hat Linux OS. Also a version which includes VirtualBox is available for testing purposes. Besides that Abiquo also provides installers for Windows, Mac OSX and Linux Operating Systems. For KVM, VirtualBox or Xen a HyperVisor agent needs to be installed, for other hypervisors this isn’t necessary.

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Release: CloudSwitch Enterprise 2.0

CloudSwitch has announced version 2.0 of its CloudSwitch Enterprise software. This version is the follow-up of version 1.0 which was announced in July this year. CloudSwitch Enterprise is a management solution for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud platforms that converts, migrates and manages on-premises VMware and Xen virtual machines inside public clouds like Amazon EC2 and Terremark vCloud Express (by leveraging the VMware vCloud APIs).

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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.

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Release: Novell Cloud Manager 1.1

Last week Novell, now owned by Attachmate, has updated its management solution for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing platforms: Cloud Manager.

Launched in September, the product has been quickly updated to introduce interesting additional capabilities:

  • Virtualization hosts and virtual machines import
    The objects from the existing virtual infrastructure can be imported and manipulated in the Cloud Manager inventory. Xen, VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V supported.
  • Manual resources allocation
    Administrators can modify resources allocated for each workload deployed in the cloud without re-provisioning it.
  • Multi-currency
    Cloud Manager ships with a chargeback module that allows to assign costs to workloads, resources and services. This component now supports multiple currencies.

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Nimbula launches Director 1.0 public beta

Entered the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud computing market in June 2010, the US startup Nimbula immediately caught a lot of attention because of its leadership team. Founded by two of the fathers of EC2 and other veterans from Amazon and VMware, the company also features the founder and former CEO of VMware, Diane Greene, among its board advisors.

The mission is to turn virtual infrastructures into fully featured private clouds, bringing in the capabilities and scalability that made EC2 the leading IaaS public cloud. This mission helped the team to raise over $20M in two rounds of investment, led by Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and VMware.

Almost six months after a limited private beta with few selected customers, the company finally announced the first public beta of its flagship product, Director, which currently supports KVM and Xen only.

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Gartner states that there will be Cloud failures

During the Gartner Data Center Conference, Thomas Bittman who is Vice President and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner held a keynote on cloud computing, Data Center Knowledge reports.

During the keynote he mentioned that cloud computing will give rise to hundreds and even thousands of providers, resulting in a competitive environment in which some players will fail, perhaps even large providers.

This is especially important to reckon with for enterprise customers, who are about to chart a path to the cloud. Those customers should have a failover option in case of major downtime, or the cloud provider going out of business.

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