Ravello Systems raises $26M to build a cloud hypervisor for developers

KVM founders create a cloud virtualization startup that bridges the virtual data center and the public cloud

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According to Thadani, Ravello is going after the cloud computing market in a different way. He claims everyone wants to do hybrid cloud, but goes on to say it really doesn't work and organizations are not able to effectively use the cloud the way they want to today. He explains the challenge of moving existing applications in this way:

Today, existing applications that run in data centers assume a certain underlying infrastructure. That includes virtualization technology (usually VMware), networking configuration (static IPs, DHCP, DNS, multicast, etc.) and storage. Further, IT teams have developed deployment and management processes specific to their data centers. This inextricably ties an existing application to the data center because the cloud is completely different. In the cloud, organizations have to deal with changing IPs, instances that fail often, DNS names that may change and certain protocols like multicast and others that may not be supported. Hence, moving an existing application to the cloud is extremely difficult, and often requires a re-architecture or a re-write.

Thadani adds, "using Ravello, developers can take entire multi-VM applications running on VMware or KVM infrastructure in their data center -- with multiple switches, routers, and firewalls -- and deploy them with the click of a button in the cloud, without any changes or transformations."

According to the company, once the application is in the cloud, developers can:

  • Create multiple isolated instances so that each developer and tester can have a full multi-VM app instance exactly as it is in production
  • Automatically spin up full multi-VM app instances for continuous integration, system and regression testing on every code check-in
  • Snapshot complete multi-VM application instances for debugging or versioning/archiving
  • Iteratively and collaboratively develop applications in the cloud

With Ravello's seemingly virtualizing virtualization approach, there are some drawbacks -- chief among them a performance lag. However, that could be why the initial beta release is targeting test and development environments. This group is typically more forgiving, often requesting agility over performance. Going down this route first should allow the company more time to perfect its new hypervisor technology for production use down the road.

Pricing hasn't been announced yet; however, the company said it's leaning toward an Amazon style usage-based pricing model.

The beta release currently supports Amazon EC2, Rackspace Cloud, and HP Cloud, but the company says it expects to expand that list later this year as the offering matures.

This article, "Ravello Systems raises $26M to build a cloud hypervisor for developers," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of David Marshall's Virtualization Report blogand follow the latest developments in virtualization at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.

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