Cloud Management Software

Introduction

 

Cloud computing is a type of computing based on sharing computing resources rather than employing local servers or personal devices to handle applications. Corporate data centers, in particular, like Cloud computing as it enables IT to operate like the Internet.

Cloud computing advantages include:

  • Lower cost of capital investments
  • Much faster solution implementation
  • Energy cost savings.

However, safely and securely managing clouds is an issue that has yet to be fully addressed and will be a major challenge for the government. The next cloud challenge: how will agencies monitor performance, administer access and track issues in a consistent manner that produces cloud benefits, while enabling management tools that do not restrict or dampen innovation.

Open source technology seems especially suited for the cloud computing world, as the software is essentially free and is not encumbered by the software license models of proprietary software.

There are three types of cloud management software: Software as a Service (SAAS), Platform as a Service (PAAS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS). SaaS is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network, typically the Internet. PaaS is a paradigm for delivering operating systems and associated services over the Internet without downloads or installation. IaaS involves outsourcing equipment such as storage, hardware, servers and networking components that is used to support operations. To deliver all these services, it takes the right combination of people and cloud management software.

Some of the Cloud management software providers are mentioned below:

Sl. No. Provider Cloud Management Software
1 Open Nebula OpenNebula 2.0.1
2 Eucalyptus Eucalyptus 2.0.2
3 Nimbus Nimbus 2.7
4 Cloud.com CloudStack 2.2
5 Apache Deltacloud Core 0.1.2
6 Enomaly Elastic Computing Platform™ (ECP) Solutions
7 Open stack OpenStack Compute – Bexar
8 Right Scale RightScale Cloud Management Platform
9 VMware vSphere 4
10 Cloudera Apache Hadoop
11 Joyent Smart Data Center Cloud Software
12 KVM Linux KVM hypervisor
13 Scalr Scalr

 

Open Nebula 2.0.1

 

Benefits:

  • Provides benefits of virtualization platforms to a pool of resources, decoupling the server not only from the physical infrastructure but also from the physical location
  • Contains OpenNebula Controller to manage all nodes in the cloud
  • Provides customizable option as per the requirement
  • Suits smaller and private companies
  • Provides a greater level of centralization and customizability (especially for end-users)

Pros:

  • Exposes more of the underlying features of libvirt (an open source API and management tool for managing platform virtualization) to cloud users and administrators
  • Provides customization suitable for researchers of computer science who wish to experiment with combining cloud systems with other technologies, such as SGE or Condor
  • Enables switching nearly every component, including the underlying file system, the DHCP, the front-end
  • Offers the best solution for communication with and controlling the VM layer of a cloud environment
  • Deals with almost any data center combination of hardware and software
  • Works in a range of environments
  • Deploys and manages VMs individually or in groups on private resources or external public clouds
  • Can work with VMware virtualization solutions apart from Xen and KVM
  • Offers support for multiple types of users, allowing administrators to provide users control over their own environments while ensuring that users do not disrupt the operations of the cloud as a whole

Cons:

  • Prone to hacking
  • Lacks the capability to integrate into an existing authentication and authorization system, including Kerberos or LDAP required to maintain a separate set of user accounts and passwords to allow users to manage their own VMs

Eucalyptus 2.0.2

 


Benefits:

  • Enables customers to create an on-site cloud infrastructure quickly and easily
  • Emulates Amazon AWS on top of current infrastructure
  • Keeps critical data behind the firewall and places non-sensitive data in public clouds
  • Enables the creation of Private Clouds that can interface with Amazon Web Services API, which is viewed as the de-facto standard
  • Supports for multiple hypervisor technologies within the same cloud

Pros:

  • Easily deployed on all types of legacy hardware and software so users can keep critical data behind the firewall
  • Does not require any additional capital expense, as it uses businesses’ existing infrastructures
  • Customers can take advantage of the development strength of a worldwide user community
  • Easy management of the underlying virtualized computation and storage, i.e. VM management, access control policies, accounting and monitoring
  • Very enterprise oriented cloud management comparable to Amazon EC2
  • Web-services API compatible with the EC2 API allows easy migration between a private (Eucalyptus) and a public (EC2) cloud
  • Simple, flexible and modular architecture with a hierarchical design reflecting common resource environments found in many academic settings
  • Enabling organizations to build their own clouds that match the interface of Amazon EC2

Cons:

  • Fragmentation: Users required to buy a commercial license in order to gain access to the full-feature set
  • Lack of single sign-on support for its web interface and the heavyweight Java implementation
  • Eucalyptus VM placement algorithms are less powerful than OpenNebula’s, as it does not allow for any sort of expression of VM requirements or priority

Nimbus 2.7

 

Benefits:

  • Contains both backfill and spot pricing implementation — different configurations of roughly the same thing, and is the only EC2-compatible open source IaaS implementation with support for spot pricing
  • Allows providers to leverage their cloud cycles better
  • Provides flexible tool for investigating and fine-tuning relationships between various aspects of resource utilization, energy savings, cost, and pricing
  • Uses Globus tools (Globus credentials)

Pros:

  • Suited for small and mid-sized enterprises
  • Provides support for KVM hypervisors
  • Customizable
  • Flexibile for working with various types of virtual networks

Cons:

  • Customizable for administrators – not the user

 

RightScale Cloud Management Platform

 


Benefits:

  • Cloud-Ready Server Templates
  • Eases managing deployments, which are groups of servers that work together, thus saving valuable systems administration time and reducing costly errors
  • Dynamically scalable website that accommodates unpredictable traffic peaks, such as big news event or viral word of mouth

Pros:

  • Increased IT staff productivity and time saving
  • No user intervention (custom configuration, additions of manual servers, etc.) required
  • Quick and easy scaling in either direction via RightScale auto scaling
  • Computer-intensive applications in industries such as pharmaceuticals, financial services, media, microchip or aerospace design, animation, oil and gas exploration, etc
  • Enables utilization on-demand of virtually unlimited cloud resources, with no need to maintain a private data center

 

CloudStack 2.2

 

Benefits:

  • Accelerates deployment, management and configuration of highly-scalable public and private infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds
  • Independent hypervisor
  • Advanced networking configuration
  • Borderless scalability
  • Streamlined administration
  • Hybrid cloud-ready
  • Improves overall stability and usability
  • Builds cloud services quickly, easily within their existing infrastructure to offer on-demand
  • High availability configurations provide automatic fall-over for virtual machines
  • Easy-to-Use AJAX-enabled web interface
  • Accelerates time-to-market with a highly scalable, highly reliable cloud platform that could be optimized and tuned to meet customers’ performance and security requirements.

Pros

  • Provides proven cloud management platform that enables users to get to market quickly with a feature-rich solution
  • Backed by leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms
  • Supports VMware VirtualCenter CloudStack vSphere ™ 4.1 and VMware Server™, enabling enterprises and service providers using VMware virtualization technology to expand its capabilities in the cloud, without requiring changes to existing infrastructure or virtualization management tools
  • Provides an open environment that interoperates with a user’s existing cloud initiatives, bringing interoperability and extensions to users’ existing cloud deployments
  • Enables enterprises and service providers who have already standardized on VMware virtualization technologies to extend their capabilities into the cloud without requiring changes to their existing infrastructure or virtualization management tools

Deltacloud Core 0.1.2

 


Benefits:

  • Support for all major cloud service providers
  • Backward compatibility across versions, providing long-term stability for scripts, tools and application
  • Ability to view image status and stats across clouds, all in one place
  • Capacity to view migration of instances from one cloud to another
  • Can manage images locally and their provision on any cloud
  • Provides aggregated access to multiple cloud computing platforms via single web service
  • Supports seven major cloud computing platforms including Rackspace and Amazon EC2

Cons

  • Expensive (upgrades, power, administration)
  • Less reliable (redundancy, failover)
  • Risky
  • Inflexible

     

     

Joyent’s Smart Data Center Cloud Software

 


Benefits:

  • Provides developers with the simplicity and freedom of platform-as-a ervice (PaaS) without sacrificing performance
  • Operates elastic public clouds, private clouds, and hybrid clouds in data centers, without compromising QoS or SLAs
  • Taps consistently into under-utilized resources (e.g. CPU, memory, network) to provide best-in-class application performance
  • Scalable and flexible in nature

Pros

  • Consistently three times to 14 times faster than competitors on cloud benchmarks, like Amazon Web Services
  • Provides dynamic vertical scaling in handling unexpected or planned traffic spikes and horizontal build-out to support application growth over time
  • Delivers persistent, enterprise-class IaaS and PaaS with integrated security

     

     

Enomaly’s Elastic Computing Platform™ (ECP) Solutions

 


Benefits:

  • Provides a programmable virtual cloud infrastructure for small, medium and large businesses
  • Automates design, deployment and management of virtual applications in the cloud
  • Significantly reduces administrative and systems workload
  • Browser-based dashboard enables IT personnel to simply and efficiently plan deployments, automate VM scaling and load-balancing
  • Helps analyze, configure and optimize cloud capacity in an easy to use utility
  • Operates alongside the current virtual data center, providing additional value and cost savings
  • Helps service providers recover lost revenue opportunities as well as easily create new,profitable cloud business services
  • Elastic Computing Platform (ECP) Version 3 delivers simplicity
  • Unified Cloud Infrastructure (as a service)
  • Scalable Globally
  • Integrates with Existing Infrastructure

Pros:

  • ECP High Assurance Edition (ECP HAE)3.2 provides high level of security, maintaining confidentiality and integrity of data
  • Remote Attestation ensures protection and verification of the identity of the hypervisor environment
  • Ensures maintenance of isolation between a customer’s different VMs
  • Premium service offerings available to broader markets, including security-sensitive enterprise environments such as banks and government agencies

OpenStack Compute – Bexar

Benefit:

  • Allows users to pre-install and create their own application environments and instantly spin up the same copy as they scale out
  • Supports IPv6, Hyper-V, iSCSI with XenAPI, XenServer snapshots and raw disk images
  • Supports Glance, an image discovery and delivery service enabling portability of workloads between OpenStack clouds Features site with PDF and HTML manuals to guide users through installation and deployment

Pros and Cons:

Pros

  • A standard cloud system for both suppliers and users
  • Easy to use
  • Provides cross-hypervisor support
  • Enables users to pre-install and create application environments, spinning up more copies when they’re needed
  • Allows for portability of workloads between OpenStack clouds

Cons:

  • Cannot scale infinitely based on customer needs
  • Cannot offer the geographical redundancy which many expect from cloud computing

VMware, vSphere 4

 

Benefits:

  • Supports up to 3,000 virtual machines per cluster and 1,000 hosts per vCenter server, both roughly three times the limits in vSphere 4.0
  • Simplifies VM management
  • Boasts vMotion speed improvements, enhancements to Distributed Resource Scheduler’s VM affinity rules, and updates to the Enhanced VMotion Compatibility processor support that now encompasses more CPUs

Pros:

  • Ensures no choking of critical virtual machines during high-traffic periods or unexpected traffic surges
  • New memory management, storage and network control features VMware enables resource pool creation, improving scale while reducing performance drags
  • Greater scale allowsmanagement of twice as many resource pools as before
  • New memory compression technology better optimizes the contents of memory, so less memory has to be swapped out to disk
  • Enhanced virtual machine migration feature, vMotion, enables migrations that are now five times faster than previous versions; Each server can handle up to eight concurrent vMotion events at once.

Cons:

  • Problem in environments migrating between different versions or that have multiple versions running in production

 

Cloudera’s Distribution for Apache Hadoop

 

Benefits:

  • Scalable: Reliably stores and processes petabytes
  • Economical: Distributes data and processing across clusters (thousands of nodes) of commonly available computers
  • Efficient: By distributing the data, Hadoop can rapidly process it in parallel on the nodes where the data is located
  • Reliable: Automatically maintains multiple copies of data and redeployes computing tasks based on failures
  • Implements MapReduce, using the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)
  • Issues frequent releases (quarterly) that include bug fixes and back ported features (append for HBase, Kerberos security from Y!, etc.)
  • Related projects (Hive, Pig, Oozie, HBase, Flume, Sqoop, etc.) work as a cohesive system
  • Simplified installation via Yum / Apt repositories
  • Tighter integration with the OS (init scripts for daemons, installation of things in common paths, logs in their proper location)
  • Support available via SLAs

Pros:

  • An open-source software for reliable, scalable, distributed computing
  • Can be deployed on normal Linux OS on physical machines, as well as VMs hosted by any vendor
  • Enables manipulation of vast amount of data
  • Supported by Google, Yahoo!, and IBM
  • Support for three deployment modes: Standalone, Pseudo-distributed, Fully-distributed

Cons:

  • No a full-functional cloud management tool, only limited to Hadoop

KVM, Linux KVM hypervisor

 

Benefits:

  • Easy for Linux developers to use
  • Much simpler and more elegant than Xen
  • Kernel running on virtual servers allows customization
  • Software highly portable, allowing easy migration of VMs to physical servers and vice versa

Pros:

  • Easy to create a dynamic hybrid environment
  • An open-source hypervisor of choice for the long term
  • Significantly simplifies the engineering, testing and packaging of a Linux Vendor’s distro – a package of the GNU/Linux operating system

Scalr

 

Benefits:

  • Fully redundant, self-curing and self-scaling hosting environment utilizing Amazon’s EC2
  • Promise of automatic high-availability and scaling for developers by health and load monitoring
  • Enables customization of each image, bundles the image and then uses that for future nodes inserted into the farm
  • In combination with the static EC2 IP addresses, makes elastic computing easier to implement

Pros:

  • Project launch: Provision all the resources from the Cloud for a smooth product launch even if a million users sign up the first day
  • High Growth: Automatically scales website infrastructure, database, app servers, and even adds and configures load balancing and caching servers
  • Provides a high uptime, fault-tolerant website
  • Monitors all customer servers for crashes, and replaces any that fail
  • Backs up data at regular intervals, and uses Amazon EBS for database storage

     

Comparative Analysis

As per the above comparative analysis of various open-source cloud management software, OpenNebula 2.0.1 and Nimbus 2.7 are the best recommended software for small cloud providers. The top three software products in the table, OpenNebula, Eucalyptus and Nimbus, are almost equally competitive. Further, all three software packages are quite scalable and customizable. The most cost effective products are Eucalyptus 2.0.2, Nimbus 2.7, CloudStack 2.2, and Elastic Computing Platform Solutions.
 

 

To assist you in making informed choices when picking cloud management software, this research was sponsored by Monitis, the award-winning provider of the world’s first all-in-one systems monitoring cloudware. Monitis offers a complete, and flexible IT monitoring solution which consolidates website uptime monitoring, backend server monitoring, application performance monitoring, and cloud infrastructure monitoring in an all-in-one, hosted monitoring service. The platform is easily customizable and may be used for managing all kinds of IT assets such as websites, servers, routers, switches, VoIP devices, DNS, databases, processes and any other IP devices.  Monitis provides users with a comprehensive view of their system’s health and performance. For more information, visit us online at: http://portal.monitis.com/index.php/company/about

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  • Nice to see a well balanced article that is both informative and detailed.

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