Cloudscaling, cloudTP Partner On Scalable, Open Source-Based Cloud Platform

Cloud technology vendors cloudTP and Cloudscaling are teaming up to offer customers a one-stop shop for building globally scalable clouds that leverage the open source OpenStack project.

February 23, 2012

5 Min Read
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Building a scalable cloud is a major challenge for IT departments, especially since most IT departments lack the technology, knowledge and resources to effectively create a cloud presence. Yet, the demand still remains, and budgets are not increasing quickly enough to meet it. That situation has forced many an enterprise to seek cloud relief elsewhere--namely, out in the cloud itself in the form of hosts and service providers.

Nevertheless, hosted solutions and hosting sites may not offer all the capabilities an enterprise needs, and significant integration knowledge is needed to build a platform for cloud services. The challenges are significant enough to create new offerings and solutions. Case in point is the partnership between technology vendors Cloudscaling and cloudTP, which strives to solve the problems associated with building scalable global clouds. The companies are working together to create a platform that does all of the heavy lifting for those seeking to build global clouds.

The partnership brings together two critical elements for building a scalable, global cloud solution: expertise and platform. cloudTP, a systems integration firm, provides the know-how, while Cloudscaling provides the cloud infrastructure. It is a combination that can help IT pros accelerate global cloud deployments, without having to worry about the under-the-hood details and capital expenses to create a scalable cloud internally, the companies say.

What cloudTP and Cloudscaling are doing is not really anything new. After all, many cloud service vendors have partnered in the past to create infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings, which are growing exponentially. According to Gartner, the IaaS market--which includes applications pertaining to processing, networks, online backup, storage and other components--will likely reach $3.7 billion by the end of this year. That number is expected to jump significantly in the next three years, hitting $10.5 billion by 2014.

"We are still at the beginning of the adoption cycle for cloud compute IaaS," says Gartner research VP Lydia Leong. "This is a rapidly evolving market that represents the transformation of IT infrastructure over 10 to 20 years; however, the next five years represent a significant revenue opportunity." Gartner's IaaS predictions are significantly higher than those from a recent In-Stat report, which estimated IaaS spending will reach only $4 billion by 2014.

It is possible that those discrepancies in market size estimates are due to observational data, such as how big vendors including Amazon and RackSpace are approaching the IaaS market, or some other yet-to-be-determined factor. However, Cloudscaling is approaching the IaaS market very differently than the established giants, it says. It is leveraging open source and open standards to create an IaaS that is both unique and highly modifiable, thanks to the open source ideology being used.

The company aims to build a more accessible IaaS solution with its Open Cloud System (OCS), which eschews proprietary technologies for the realm of open source-based components, built upon the OpenStack project. The benefits of an open IaaS offering are many, including eliminating vendor lock-in, proprietary protocols, closed hardware platforms and excessive enterprise licensing fees.

For a cloud to be truly open, hosts need to make sure that they use open hardware, open networking, open APIs and open source software, which is exactly what Cloudscaling is doing. cloudTP completes the picture by helping enterprises develop cloud-ready applications that are designed to take advantage of the economics and agility achievable by using open cloud infrastructure.However, building those applications are not without challenges. Open cloud applications differ fundamentally from traditional applications in that they are more elastic in nature and support higher peak loads. Nevertheless, the additional developmental complexity offers a distinct advantage for those moving to the cloud – cloud-ready applications manage failure in software as opposed to hardware, which in turn can eliminate enterprise application dependencies on expensive and proprietary infrastructure solutions. This means IT departments will no longer have to invest in expensive application failover solutions. That is where cloudTP comes into the picture, offering services to help transform applications into the cloud, move physical infrastructure over to Cloudscaling's IaaS offering and taking on the management of the cloud services, including backup, resiliency and so forth, if that is what the customer seeks.

On the other hand, enterprise IT admins may want to go another route and work directly with Cloudscaling OCS and eliminate the middle man. That scenario is also feasible, as long as the enterprise's IT resources have the knowledge and capability to redevelop applications and move those applications into the cloud.

Of course, as with any move towards the cloud, security plays a big role and due diligence is in order. Many organizations frequently make the assumption that the provider's security will be an improvement over the security of their own on-premise systems. Most will find verifying that claim proves to be difficult at best.

For those considering such a challenge, it is important to understand how Cloudscaling OCS is constructed. It has three core components: Open Cloud OS, hardware blueprints and CloudBlocks. The OS extends core OpenStack software with production capabilities and features including management, scalability, security and performance. Hardware blueprints detail turn-key, scale-engineered hardware configurations to meet specific price/performance and availability targets. CloudBlocks is the company's unified architecture integrating Open Cloud OS software with hardware reference blueprints to define modular cloud building blocks.

The partnership of cloudTP and Cloudscaling is offering what it calls a simplified path to moving to a global, scalable, open cloud that offers lower operational costs, without sacrificing any performance or scalability benefits, than something like Amazon Web Services (AWS). What's more, the open nature of OCS brings additional benefits and improved scalability into the picture. The only real question for enterprise admins is whether or not to go it alone or turn to others for expert help.

Learn more about Fundamentals: Cloud vs. In-House IT: Spend Smart in 2012 by subscribing to Network Computing Pro Reports (free, registration required).

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