Cloud.com is a small start-up with $17.6 million in funding that is aiming to provide the management layer for cloud service providers in the short-term, and for private clouds in the long-term. They also start with a great name, and a great asset for any exit strategy!
Cloud.com provides a framework with open-source piece parts (with collaboration with the Open-stack initiative from Rackspace). The current basis for this is Linux and the Zen hypervisor. Their key contribution is an integration API. This will allow flexibility in taking an existing infrastructure and providing a bespoke management layer.
Cloud.com is targeting service providers initially. Rumor has it that a nubile advertiser at the Super Bowl will be an early adopter.
An open source alternative is an attractive proposition and an alternative or complementary strategy to VMware (with Redwood) or Hyper-V for private clouds. In general, service providers are taking up Cloud technologies about 18 months in advance of organizational IT departments.
Action Item: Senior IT management should be focusing on preparing for adopting these types of management frameworks by ensuring the foundations for the private cloud are in place. These include:
- Implementation of a good virtualization strategy
- Ensuring that users trust in-house multi-tenancy solutions
- Ensuring that IT can trust its users to self-service
- Putting in place charge-back or show-back mechanism (to prevent virtual machine sprawl, and demonstrate cost-effectiveness against service providers where appropriate)
That is a busy 18 months!