Dan's Take

A 'Self-Driving Private Cloud'

ZeroStack makes a bold claim.

ZeroStack has developed machine learning technology, Z-COS, that can facilitate the monitoring and management of hybrid cloud computing environments. The company is calling this "a self-driving private cloud."

ZeroStack has developed an OpenStack-based cloud environment designed to support private cloud environments for installation in enterprise datacenters. In the company's words: "ZeroStack's cloud operating system (Z-COS) converts a cluster of servers into a private cloud. Then, it works in tandem with ZeroStack's Z-Brain cloud portal that delivers self-service consumption, monitoring, and a learning engine for performance and efficiency insight."

ZeroStack's Z-COS integrates machine learning that works in tandem with the company's Z-Brain monitoring and management technology. Z-COS is an integrated stack and includes software-defined storage (SDS), software-defined networking (SDN), a full-functioned hypervisor, and a distributed, self-healing control plane. The goal of this environment is making the on-premises cloud self-managing, and reducing the time enterprises take to integrate their current industry-standard x86-based workloads into cloud computing workloads. It has two primary parts:

ZeroStack's Z-Brain is designed to reduce operational tasks by storing and analyzing operational telemetry using Big Data analytical tools. The company says that this "takes the guesswork out of capacity planning, upgrades, ongoing management and troubleshooting." This is a cloud-based service.

Z-App Store
ZeroStack is offering an app store for downloading, installing and provisioning important tools and applications. Here are a few of the tools found in the store:

  • Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment tools such as Jenkins
  • Big Data tools such as Hadoop and Spark
  • SQL and No-SQL databases
  • Monitoring and analysis tools such as ELK
  • Application servers such as Apache and NGINX
Dan's Take: Building On A Time-Tested Computing Environment
When speaking with enterprise executives, I often hear comments that add up to the fact that their IT organization doesn't have time to conduct computer science experiments. They need tools that are tested, supported and easy to integrate into their very complex computing environments. They often view cloud services as falling into the complex and computer science project categories.

ZeroStack clearly has been talking with some of these executives, taken what it learned in designing Z-COS and Z-Brain, and used the same learning to pull together easy-to-install tools  to create its app store. The company has also worked to integrate its OpenStack-based computing environment with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

This company isn't the only one thinking along those lines. In another recent article, I commented on another company's attempt to address the same challenges.

ZeroStack, however, has taken this a step further with the integration of machine learning and predictive analysis that is part of its Z-Brain technology. This technology should help enterprises monitor and manage complex hybrid computing environments.

Is ZeroStack's products the best choice for your company? That's not clear. What is clear is that if building a hybrid cloud that integrates with AWS is important to your company, ZeroStack's a company you should know about.

About the Author

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. He has been a business unit manager at a hardware company and head of corporate marketing and strategy at a software company.


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