Feeds

Open sourcers fortify Ubuntu's Koala food

Scalr adds vitamins to Eucalyptus

Business security measures using SSL

With Eucalyptus - the open source platform that put the Koala in Ubuntu's Karmic Koala - you can mimic Amazon's so-called infrastructure cloud inside your very own data center. At least up to a point.

At the moment, Eucalyptus duplicates the APIs for Amazon's three primary Web Services: Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Simple Storage Service (S3), and Elastic Block Store (EBS). But it's yet to provide things like elastic load balancing or an Amazon-esque browser front-end - something that lets users tap your so-called private cloud through a reasonably intuitive GUI.

There's a web interface for those dealing with the hardware infrastructure that underpins of your private cloud, but not for the admin charged with using it. You access those Eucalyptus APIs through the command line.

There are, however, third-party platforms that can front Eucalyptus with a GUI admin console - a browser-based tool for designing, implementing, and monitoring your virtual infrastructure. RightScale - founded by Thorsten von Eicken, a former academic research colleague of Amazon chief technology officer Werner Vogels - is the most prominent example. And if you're dead set on open-source, there's Scalr - a tool developed and commercialized by a startup based in the heart of Silicon Valley.

Scalr began as a management console for Amazon Web Services, and since the Eucalyptus APIs are compatible with Amazon's, it hooks into Ubuntu's Koala food as well. The same goes for RightScale - though von Eicken's platform can front other cloud services as well, including GoGrid and Rackspace's Cloud Servers.

In addition to offering a GUI where you can spin up server instances from either EC2 or Eucalyptus, Scalr is meant to facilitate a virtual infrastructure that's more redundant and, yes, scalable. It does elastic load balancing, automatically distributing incoming traffic across multiple server instances - something that Amazon offers but not Eucalyptus.

According to Scalr chief executive Sebastian Stadil, the tool is also designed to auto-configure and scale your database for backups and replication. And soon, he says, it will be able to push traffic onto EC2 if you exceed capacity on Eucalyptus.

Stadil - founder of the Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Group - goes on to say that Scalr provides applications on Eucalyptus with an added level of redundancy, claiming its responds better when instances go down. If a service that Scalr monitors is unresponsive, it it cuts all traffic to the instance and replaces it.

The platform also handles auto scaling, adding more servers to a cluster and distributing load among them, according to RAM or CPU usage, bandwidth, and more. It provides graphical tools for monitoring server usage. And its load balancer can provider users with "sticky" servers, giving the same person the same server every time they log in.

Scalr is available in as web service at Scalr.net or you can install the platform on your own servers. Both options use the same open source code.

The service - intended for small and medium-sized businesses - is free for websites in development, then it's $99 a month for an unlimited number of instances. For the local enterprise version, Red Hat-like support contracts are available.

Like Amazon Web Services, Eucalyptus provides on-demand access to scalable compute and storage resources. But whereas EC2, S3, and EBS run in Amazon's distant data centers, serving the world at large, Eucalyptus is meant for internal use. It runs in your data center and provides resources to employees or constituents.

NASA's Ames research center is using Eucalyptus to build its Nebula infrastructure cloud, which will apparently be used to house applications for various federal agencies.

The latest release of Ubuntu comes bundled with Eucalyptus. And that's why it's known - in Shuttleworthian fashion - as Karmic Koala. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Mathematica hits the Web
Wolfram embraces the cloud, promies private cloud cut of its number-cruncher
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
Mozilla shutters Labs, tells nobody it's been dead for five months
Staffer's blog reveals all as projects languish on GitHub
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 Healthkit gets a bug SO Apple KILLS it. That's real healthcare!
Not fit for purpose on day of launch, says Cupertino
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.