I had a great chat with the team over at CloudVelocity:
They are doing some great work in the hybrid cloud space based on a solution which aims to make integration of your external cloud solutions and your internal systems seemless. It aims to do this by using exciting technology which encapsulates or virtualizes the application and the infrastructure to enable you to migrate your existing application as a work package into the cloud to remove the barriers to adopting cloud or even being locked to a specific cloud provider.
Key points of interest for me:
- External cloud environments can be integrated with my active directory or ldap platforms for authentication integration
- Changes can be replicated to keep environments in sync to the cloud and from the cloud
- Integrated data deduplication
- Integrated security across the stack using OpenStack technology
- Subscription model based on pay on use – so you only pay for what you use
- Brings us NFS support to the cloud
- The ability to use your corporate image or gold standard image for infrastructure deployments in the cloud, I can build out my servers using my corporate version of Windows 2003 with my group policies, wallpaper and settings and have that image deployable in the cloud.
There are two offerings:
- Cloud Cloning – this allows you to deploy infrastructure in the cloud – cloning virtual and physical servers into the cloud, to build out proof of concept and sandbox environments providing the on demand functionality in the cloud in a controlled environment using enterprise specified tools and configurations.
- Cloud Cloud Continuity – this builds upon the Cloud Cloning offering but additionally offers high availability features including NFS replication to enable continuity environments to be deployed and replicated to the cloud and if the cloud becomes live, replicate changes back to your in house systems.
My key driver or usage scenarios:
- Development environments and proof of concept scenarios – an interesting alternative to the infrastructure in a box solutions we see from hardware vendors. I can build out enterprise compatible environments for developers for Q/A testing, load testing and crash and burn type environments without having to invest in additional infrastructure, but ensure that we can do like for like testing not development and testing on a stock version of the OS which would then need retested and validated on our own systems.
- Interestingly as a vehicle for transformation and virtualization – could it be used to virtualize and migrate between not only cloud environments but data centers, or even virtualization technologies, if I’ve virtualized my systems could I not virtualize to the cloud, replace my hardware and indeed hypervisor then virtualize back. Upgrade a data center without the physical trauma we’re used too.
- Continuity or Disaster recovery – being able to consider concepts like building out a live environment in-house and then replicating to the cloud and when pressing the invoke button spinning up my infrastructure on demand, using it and then failing back, only paying for the infrastructure used is a compelling offering and changes the economics of disaster recovery.
On the call I also mentioned that if the software can replicate the technology I’m using I wondered about how it could be leveraged in the retail space? It was only a few months ago that a CIO friend told me the problem that he’d experienced in their flaghsip store during one sale time. Their point of sale terminals (cash registers if you will) crashed, and he was explaining the difficulty in rapidly training their younger staff members to swipe the card thing, mess about with tracing paper get the customer to sign and then separate the three bits. At the same time to find the volume of olden days card swipe machines that worked and all the paper bits to make them work.
How transformational would it have been if they could have failed their point of sale terminal services into the cloud and how much would they have been prepared to pay for the ability to invoke a backup system on demand?