Building a Diverse Cloud Toolbelt

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Building a Diverse Cloud Toolbelt

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The Cloud landscape is changing rapidly and this is yet another reason why some companies are reluctant to use it for their IT initiatives.  Cloud.com's newly announced CloudStack offering takes an open and heterogeneous approach to the cloud so that companies can build a public or private cloud infrastructure (IaaS) without all of the complexity. DZone interviewed Peder Ulander, the CMO at Cloud.com, about their open source solution, which comes in three editions, including a free community edition.  We also discuss cloud interoperability the architecture of a CloudStack cloud, along with the tooling that can be used along with it.

DZone:  What kinds of companies will use CloudStack, and what will they use it for?

Peder Ulander:  There are three versions of the CloudStack software – Enterprise, Service Provider and Community Editions.  The Community Edition is the open source, leading edge technology that Cloud.com is working on.  It is, for the most part, the code in the wild; untested and unsupported outside of the open.cloud.com community itself.  This will be great for enterprises, service providers and developers to get early access to a cloud platform and let them build, test and proof out a cloud based on the Cloud.com technology.  The Enterprise and Service Provider Editions are the fully tested, tuned and supported versions of the CloudStack software.  This will be the bases for enterprises and service providers who are looking to roll out production grade cloud platforms to service their user base.

DZone:  In CloudStack, how do cloud architects isolate the cloud resources for implementing IaaS?

Peder:  Isolating the cloud resources for an IaaS service is easy with the Cloud.com CloudStack.  Designed from the core to be multi-tenant, CloudStack provides the underlying ability to isolate network, storage, and compute resources and apply them in a secure fashion to the individual tenants.  Additionally, with the workload placement and resource manager, architects can apply rules so that they are architecting and delivering for the most efficient use of the resources based on location, resource requirements, etc.  This means that users know not only that their resources are isolated only to their environment, but other users can’t impede on their performance or usage.

DZone:  Some developers have heard about Eucalyptus, an open source product that can turn datacenters into private or hybrid clouds.  For a better picture of CloudStack, could you tell us some of the similarities and differences between Eucalyptus and CloudStack?

Peder:  Eucalyptus is a open source cloud product designed to replicate Amazon Web Services environments within a private deployment.  This is great for, as Eucalyptus positions it, testing and staging applications that might one day be deployed within AWS public cloud.  CloudStack was built from the ground up as an environment that can be used as a production private, public or hybrid cloud.  Because it was designed for production use, it was designed with auditing, security, scale and performance as a core function of the system.  Looking beyond the technical basis, it also gives the user more choice and flexibility by not limiting them only to an Amazon service – meaning that users have the ability to not only deploy robust private clouds, but also have choice among leading global technology providers for hosting their private/hybrid cloud deployments.

DZone:  How does CloudStack handle cloud security, especially in the public cloud?

Peder:  CloudStack enables cloud service provides and enterprises to launch a secure IaaS cloud. Designed from the ground up, CloudStack provides a highly secure multi-tenant computing environment that not only protects workloads from attacks originated from the public Internet, but also protects workloads from rogue or malicious users that reside in the same cloud. CloudStack’s user interface access feature prevents man-in-the-middle attacks by encrypting all communication between the client browser and management server. In addition, CloudStack leverages hardware VLAN capabilities built into the switches to implement guest network isolation as well as isolation between private and public networks in order help ensure security.

DZone:  How do customers get cloud interoperability through Cloud.com?  Going forward, what does the cloud industry need to do to promote interoperability?
Peder:  Cloud.com is committed to providing interoperability between cloud platforms, taking an open, transparent approach to application development and integration. Cloud.com CloudStack implements industry-standard APIs on top of a low-level Cloud.com API. The Cloud.com API implements innovative features and functionalities not available in competing solutions. Even though the Cloud.com API is documented, maintained, and supported, Cloud.com does not assert our API as the only option for our customers. Work is underway to create API adapters that implement Amazon EC2/S3 API and the vCloud API on top of the Cloud.com API. We are closely monitoring various standards bodies (such as DMTF) and will be well positioned to implement future cloud API standards once they are available.

DZone:  In what ways can a cloud infrastructure help increase agility in a software production cycle?  What advantages would CloudStack bring to a development team?

Peder:  A cloud infrastructure gives developers increased agility by providing a flexible and easily scalable environment for the software production cycle. CloudStack brings the benefits of open source while also delivering the benefits of cloud computing. CloudStack is a simple to install, fully integrated binary that enables developers to quickly and easily build, manage and deploy IaaS clouds. By providing support for Xen and KVM hypervisors and its ability to be deployed with Ubuntu and Fedora distributions, CloudStack enables anyone to download and easily deploy a standards-based cloud infrastructure with automated elasticity, multi-tenancy and simple administration – for free.

DZone:  Right now, most development teams who are using the cloud are just using it for less risky things like testing.  What's it going to take to convince developers that they should develop software in the cloud and build cloud applications?

Peder:  The cloud offers a number of benefits that developers find useful including increased flexibility, limitless scalability, higher efficiency, and faster and easier development of software in the cloud and for the cloud.

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