CloudStack is compatible with common cloud frameworks like Amazon's API, Citrix Cloud Center and VMware vCloud, potentially allowing portability of applications between private data centers and cloud. While the open source version is free to use, Cloud.com offers additional features and commercial support to paying customers, starting at $10,000 per year for five nodes. Cloud.com has some early support from Microsoft, as the two companies are collaborating on making Hyper-V compatible with open source cloud software.
Data access and performance
Data access and application performance are huge issues in virtualized and cloud-based workloads, and a whole slew of Network World's New IT Companies to Watch are working on these problems. Most of them, for whatever reason, have names starting with the letter "A" (startups often choose either A or Z names to get at the beginning or end of lists such as this one).
AppDynamics makes software that manages the performance of distributed Java and .NET applications, making it easier for IT pros to identify and fix problems in Web apps. The software works both on local applications as well as those running on Amazon EC2 and VMware-based clouds.
AppFirst, meanwhile, makes a SaaS product that provides IT pros with visibility into applications, identifying the server, server processes and activities causing performance problems. AppFirst says its service can analyze the "behavior and performance of applications across the entire application stack, regardless of language, application type or location (cloud, physical or virtual servers)."
Then there is Aryaka. Led by CEO Ajit Gupta, who previously sold Speedera Networks to Akamai, this startup has just launched a cloud-based application acceleration and WAN optimization platform, using TCP optimization, bandwidth scaling techniques, and application proxies to improve app performance and reduce bandwidth needs. Aryaka also boasts "enterprise-grade IPSec security."
Startups such as these could help businesses get over some of the performance problems posed by moving workloads to cloud services.
Cloud computing and virtualization "put a lot of demands on the network," Kerravala says. It takes a long time to move 10GB of data across a WAN link, and there's tremendous potential for startups that speed up that process, he notes.
That's why a company like Translattice, a startup whose technology goes into general availability Nov. 1, has built an appliance that improves access to applications and data for distributed and mobile workers. The appliance is fueled by a distributed relational SQL database that moves data closer to where it is likely to be used. "The Translattice platform is a distributed global application architecture that anticipates workers' application and data needs based on organizational policy and past usage, delivering the information when and where it is needed," the company says, adding that these benefits can be extended "even to small and remote offices."