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Cloud Stacking

Finding specific products for the cloud is difficult. But I'm an infrastructure guy, so anything that I can really understand as a piece of the cloud appeals to me. I do not like only having arrows on a whiteboard, so anything that comes out as an identifiable part of a cloud has me interested.

FastScale has been an on-premise cloud component before clouds became cool. Their Virtual Manager product was released to enable a fully-automated deployment mechanism with a big twist -- a centralized repository. The repository is effectively an end-to-end de-duplication solution.

This week, FastScale has taken this repository functionality to the clouds with the Stack Manager beta product. This is where it gets interesting, as Stack Manager allows you to build workloads that are transportable to one of two destinations.

The first is something like the Amazon Elastic Compute (EC2) cloud, a traditional off-premise cloud provider (if there is such a thing). The other option is to build a standards-based open virtualization format (OVF) workload. The natural choice with an OVF workload is to roll it into an existing virtual environment, such as VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) for a traditional on-premise cloud (it still feels weird referring to clouds in the traditional sense).

The current Stack Manager beta has support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) versions 4 and 5. A simple implementation would be to condense a large number of RHEL systems running Web servers, databases and other applications that would into transportable objects and move them to the EC2 cloud or an OVF format. The real value of FastScale is the repository, making it consume less storage and compute resources in the cloud. From the operating system support side, other FastScale products started with RHEL only and added Windows support at a later date.

Are you ready for clouds? I like where this is going, and this is one of the first products to take a traditional datacenter workload and make it portable to a cloud provider. Where are you in the clouds, and does this get you thinking? Send me a note or drop a comment below.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 04/09/2009 at 12:47 PM


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