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Cloud.com revs open source data center makeover kit

Three hypervisors, one floating infrastructure

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Cloud.com has released a new version of its CloudStack platform, a means of transforming your existing data center setup into an Amazon EC2–like "infrastructure cloud".

This week, the Silicon Valley outfit introduced CloudStack 2.2, which lets you manage virtual machines based on VMware vSphere, Xen, and KVM hypervisors from the same interface. The platform has long supported all three hypervisors, but with previous incarnations you were essentially forced to run disparate hypervisors in separate services.

"Most enterprises will be running two virtualization platforms or more," Cloud.com chief marketing officier Peder Ulander tells The Register. "In our latest iteration, you not only have your choice of hypervisor, you can now run all three supported hypervisors in the same cloud."

You cannot, however, run the same workloads on disparate hypervisors.

Version 2.2 also supports VLANs (Virtual LANs), Direct Attach IP addresses, and software-based network management, giving admins more ways to plug into physical as well as virtual networks. And it includes a new tool called CloudBridge, which maps Cloud.com's API to the Amazon EC2 API, letting you move applications between the two platforms.

CloudBridge integrates with the RightScale cloud-management service, a third-party offering for managing resources across Amazon and other similar cloud services. Ulander also says that the company plans to dovetail with OpenStack, the Rackspace-backed open source platform for building infrastructure.

Cloud.com is a contributor to the OpenStack project, and its own platform is open source. But the open source incarnation of Cloud Stack 2.2 does lack certain components, including a plug-in for connecting the platform to a billing system. So if you're going to make money off your cloud, Cloud.com wants some money too. Ulander also says that other pieces of the enterprise version are closed because they involve hooks into proprietary extensions and APIs from third parties such as NetApp and Cisco.

You can find more on Cloud 2.2 here.

In a nutshell: Cloud.com puts an agent onto physical machines running VM hypervisors and pools their resources into a service. From this service, end users can then provision machines on the fly, whenever they need them. The platform can be used to build so-called public clouds à la Amazon EC2, which can be used by anyone, or private clouds, which are only used within a particular company. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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