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OpSource floats VMware cloud

Like Amazon EC2, only better

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OpSource has chosen Dell as its server provider, and NTT, which kicked in some of the dough in OpSource's fifth round of funding in February, is hosting the boxes in a data center in northern Virginia.

The other benefit of the OpSource Cloud is that customers who have deployed ESX Server VMs in their data center can now offload processing through the VPN to exactly the same VMs running on the cloud. It is not clear if you can use live migration across the VPN to actually move running workloads.

The private beta program for the OpSource Cloud started in the first week of July, and a wider beta starts today. The plan is to launch the service for production applications on October 2.

Pricing for the OpSource Cloud is similar to, but a little different from, the Amazon VPC. You have to pay 20 cents per hour to get a virtual private cloud, which includes load balancing, dedicated VLANs and firewalls, role-based permissions, and tech support - which is not included in those Amazon EC2 base prices, by the way.

Then, you have to pay for the CPU and memory capacity the VMs you set up use. OpSource is charging four cents per CPU per hour for processing and 2.5 cents per GB per hour for main memory. Storage is for the moment bundled in and delivered through a storage area network and it costs a tiny 3/100ths of a cent per GB per hour.

OpSource will deliver a cloud storage service in November similar to Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) and Elastic Block Storage (EBS) storage utilities.

The tuning on its cloud means OpSource can guarantee sub-millisecond response time between the systems connected on its networks behind the cloud, the company said. This means customers can deploy real n-tier applications, including database, application, and Web servers, all on the cloud.

OpSource is a Cisco Systems partner and uses its Catalyst 6500 switches for its network backbone. Ryan said, though, the company found Cisco's Unified Communications switches had "some rough edges yet" and that even with the supposed benefits of mixing blade and rack servers with converged storage and network switches, OpSource did not believe the products were ready for prime time yet.

Good laugh

OpSource was founded in 2002 as a SaaS hosting provider and has raised $62m to date in five rounds of venture funding, which were lead by ComVentures, Key Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Crosslink Capital, and NTT, respectively. The latter will be helping OpSource expand its offerings into Europe through its hosting facilities located on the other side of the pond.

The company prides itself that it can withstand a SAS 70 Type II audit of the controls on its SaaS offerings, and has applied the same security and controls to its ESX Server cloud.

Ryan gets a good laugh at EC2 in that companies have shared user names and passwords for their EC2, S3, and EBS services - which is a bad idea in and of itself. More importantly, though, the AWS account can allow users to roam the Amazon site and maybe decide to pick up a plasma-screen TV or whatever from the retail arm of Amazon. It's all the same log-on.

This is not the kind of security and control that makes enterprise customers comfortable. ®

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