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Metacloud's OpenStack tempts the hy-curious in Internap tie-up

Carbon|OS touted on virtual private hybrid cloud servers

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OpenStack tweaker Metacloud has caught the scent of the often-talked-of-but-rarely-captured "hybrid cloud" market – and floated after it in pursuit.

The company announced on Tuesday that, following demands from some of its customers, it was cautiously wafting its fiddled-with OpenStack technology onto servers installed in five Internap data centers around the world.

The new Metacloud Hosted Private Cloud (its acronym, MHPC, is reminiscent of punk bands or soccer wrecking crews) loads the company's Carbon|OS software onto said off-site servers – and charges customers $9,000 a month for access to this virtual private cloud.

This service will operate alongside, and is entirely compatible with, Metacloud's existing product that gives firms a locally installable cloud software package, which is remotely managed and updated by Metacloud staff.

Carbon|OS is OpenStack layered with various enhancements to deal with some of the networking and storage problems that bedevil the open-source cloud manager. Metacloud estimates its technology is "about two years" ahead of the main OpenStack distribution in terms of technical competency, chief executive Sean Lynch told El Reg.

Some of its key points of technical differentiation include integration with the Ceph object storage platform, and a high-availability configuration made possible by an enhanced orchestration layer. The software is "hardware-agnostic," the company said.

What sets Metacloud apart from other OpenStack distributions is that it is available as a pure software option in either hosted, on-premises, or a mix of both configurations.

This is different to the hardware-based approach of Nimbula, the stock OpenStack approach of Mirantis or fully hosted distributions available from companies like Bluebox.

For example, if you were running Carbon|OS locally, you would be able to migrate resources in and out of Internap data centers as well without the software environment changing – a handy feature for enterprises that need to rapidly expand capacity.

Metacloud's service costs $9,000 a month, which includes access to 96 dedicated physical cores, 18TB of block HDD storage, 1TB of RAM, up to 35TB of network data transfer, and 24/7 support.

The company is launching its software now in response to pent-up demand that seems to indicate that hybrid OpenStack clouds may be condensing out of marketing fog into tangible, drippy reality.

"I think there has been a monumental shift in the market," Lynch said. "We have closed as many deals in the past three months as we have in the past year combined." ®

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