Nimbula adds support for VMware hypervisor

Nimbula Director 2.0 lets customers build clouds based on VMware's ESXi hypervisor

Nimbula is hoping to better serve enterprises with version 2.0 of its operating system, which adds compatibility with VMware's hypervisor and other new features.

Nimbula Director 2.0, like its predecessor, is software used by businesses and service providers to build cloud infrastructure.

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Now, enterprises using VMware's ESXi hypervisor can build clouds with Nimbula Director 2.0. Many businesses use VMware's hypervisor and other software products for running traditional enterprise applications. And some companies want to continue using the VMware hypervisor but they also want some of the standard functionality of cloud platforms like self-service that they aren't getting using VMware's cloud products.

"These customers are still very much attached to the VMware hypervisor," said Reza Malekzadeh, vice president of marketing at Nimbula. Using Nimbula Director 2.0 "means they can keep their VMware hypervisor for their current enterprise apps but as they look to being in a new architecture for new apps, they will be able to leverage their existing VMware investment and add Nimbula Director," he said.

Nimbula won't be alone in offering cloud software that's compatible with VMware hypervisors. Eucalyptus and Citrix, for instance, both offer products that are compatible with VMware hypervisors.

The VMware hypervisor compatibility should also be attractive to cloud service providers that are Nimbula customers. Many cloud service providers have begun building two clouds: one using open-source products and another built on VMware's hypervisor to serve enterprises that require it. Service providers typically don't want to exclusively offer a VMware-based cloud because it's more expensive to operate.

Nimbula's operating system makes it easy for service providers to offer both VMware-based and open-source services, without having to build two entirely separate cloud infrastructures. That's because Nimbula allows a user to specify on which hypervisor to deploy a new machine. "This might help service providers have two offerings but one cloud," said Jay Judkowitz, director of product management at Nimbula.

In addition to adding support for VMware's hypervisor, Nimbula Director 2.0 also now allows an administrator to deploy a service across the cloud. That lets all departments in an enterprise, for example, access a service, rather than each department having to deploy the service individually. A business might want to make a SQL database or even a platform as a service like Cloud Foundry available across the cloud infrastructure. Doing so means that the service inherits Nimbula's built-in functionality like high availability, multitenancy and network security, the company said.

The new software also now lets users create and set plans for how individual applications should handle scenarios like service failures. It also now uses SELinux for added security features.

Nimbula is offering the new software in beta now and expects to open it to anyone in March. It's a free upgrade for existing customers and for people using 40 cores or less. Nimbula emphasizes that it's unusual among cloud software developers in that it allows anyone to access the software from its website without requiring any intervention by a salesperson or anyone else at the company.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's email address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com.

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