Startup introduces open source IaaS software

Q&A: CMO Peder Ulander explains how CloudStack can help remove the complexity of building a public and private cloud infrastructure

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CIOs and service providers expect that the cloud computing model will offer a better, more cost-effective means for organizations to acquire and utilize IT. Cloud computing promises reduced CapEx and less capacity management and planning, resulting in significant cost savings. In addition to cost savings, cloud computing delivers higher efficiency, limitless scalability, and faster and easier deployment of new services and systems to the end user by shifting the delivery of IT resources to an on-demand model.

InfoWorld: What should organizations think about when looking to deploy an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud?

Ulander: Today, enterprises and service providers trying to build their own IaaS clouds face a daunting challenge. First they must integrate a patchwork of software, including hypervisor, management software, user interface, network virtualization, and storage management. Once the software stack is put together, they are faced with a costly requirement to build using specialized storage and networking equipment that supports proprietary extensions required by hypervisor vendors.

To avoid this, CIOs and service providers should think about finding an IaaS solution which can be seamlessly deployed into their existing environment. Key attributes should be:

  • Support for multiple hypervisors, storage platforms, and network architectures.
  • An architecture that supports complete isolation of users' machines, storage, and traffic.
  • A scalable architecture that can support thousands of servers and multiple data centers.

InfoWorld: What role do you believe open source has played in the momentum of the cloud computing market?

Ulander: Open source virtualization platforms, such as the Xen and KVM hypervisors, have driven the emergence of cloud computing and are playing a huge role. The biggest public clouds today are built on Xen, and now we have large enterprises that are very excited about leveraging Xen in the enterprise. Ultimately, we believe open source will play the same role in the booming IaaS cloud market.

Web 2.0 services, social gaming sites, research organization, and government are already building or operating open source clouds. It is very likely that the next Twitter or YouTube will be built on open source cloud platforms.

InfoWorld: Can you explain how charge back and billing occur in a multitenant cloud and what should users know about?

Ulander: Billing and charge back are critical considerations for anyone deploying a cloud. For public cloud providers, it is necessary to have detailed usage records that provide granular data on how customers are consuming everything from storage and VMs to IP addresses and network bandwidth. Licensing of software is also fundamentally changing with the emergence of cloud computing. Many public clouds are now selling software instances by the hour with the click of a mouse, and many software vendors are embracing this model.

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