AWS OpsWorks + VPC: AWS accelerates the pace in the hybrid cloud

After the Amazon Web Services (AWS) have acquired the German company Peritor and its solution Scalarium last year and renamed it to AWS OpsWorks, the further integration into the AWS cloud infrastructure follows. The next step is the integration with the Virtual Private Cloud which is, given the current market development, a further punch in the direction of the pursuer.

AWS OpsWorks + AWS Virtual Private Cloud

AWS OpsWorks is a DevOps solution with which applications can be deployed, customized and managed. In short, it ensures the entire application lifecycle. This includes features such as a user-based SSH management, CloudWatch metrics for the current load and the memory consumption, automatic RAID volume configurations and other options for application deployment. In addition, OpsWorks can be expanded with Chef by using individual Chef recipes.

The new Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) support now enables these OpsWorks functions within an isolated private network. For example applications can be transfered from an own IT infrastructure into a VPC in the Amazon Cloud by a secure connection between the own datacenter and the Amazon cloud is established. Thus, Amazon EC2 instances within a VPC behave as if it would be running in the existing corporate network.

OpsWorks and VPC are just the beginning

Believing in the results of the Rackspace 2013 Hybrid Cloud survey, 60 percent of IT decision-makers have the hybrid cloud as the main goal in mind. Here 60 percent will or have withdrawn their applications and workloads in the public cloud. 41 percent left the public cloud partially. 19 percent want to leave the public cloud even completely. The reasons for the use of a hybrid cloud rather than a public cloud are higher security (52 percent), more control (42 percent) and better performance and higher reliability (37 percent). The top benefits, which hybrid cloud users report, including more control (59 percent), a higher security (54 percent), a higher reliability (48 percent), cost savings (46 percent) and better performance (44 percent).

AWS has recognized this trend early in March 2012, and started the first strategic steps. The integration of OpsWorks with VPC is basically just a sideshow. The real trump card holds AWS with the cooperation of Eucalyptus, which was signed last year. The aim is to improve the compatibility with the AWS APIs by AWS supplies Eucalyptus with further information. Furthermore, developers from both companies focus on creating solutions that enterprise customers to help migrate existing data between data centers and the AWS cloud. The customer will also get the opportunity to use the same management tools and their knowledge of both platforms. With version 3.3 Eucalyptus already could present first results of this cooperation.

It will be exciting how the future of Eucalyptus looks. Eventually, the open source company is bought or sold. The question is who makes the first move. My advice is still that AWS must seek an acquisition of Eucalyptus. From a strategic and technological point of view there is actually no way around it.

Given this fact Rackspace and all the other who jumped on the hybrid cloud bandwagon may not have high hopes. Amazon put things on the right track and is also prepared for this scenario.

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Exclusive: openQRM 5.1 to be extended with hybrid cloud functionality and integrates Amazon AWS and Eucalyptus as a plugin

It’s happening soon. This summer openQRM 5.1 will be released. Project manager and openQRM-Enterprise CEO Matt Rechenburg already has told me some very interesting new features. In addition to a completely redesigned backend design the open source cloud infrastructure software from Cologne, Germany will be expanded with hybrid cloud functionality by integrating Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, and their clone Eucalyptus as a plugin.

New hybrid cloud features in openQRM 5.1

A short overview of the new hybrid cloud features in the next version of openQRM 5.1:

  • openQRM Cloud works transparently with Amazon EC2 and Eucalyptus.
  • Via a self-service end-user within a private openQRM Cloud can order by an administrator selected instance types or AMI’s which are then used by openQRM Cloud to automatically provision to Amazon EC2 (or Amazon compatible clouds).
  • User-friendly password login for the end-user of the cloud via WebSSHTerm directly in the openQRM Cloud portal.
  • Automatic applications deployment using Puppet.
  • Automatic cost accounting via the openQRM cloud billing system.
  • Automatic service monitoring via Nagios for Amazon EC2 instances.
  • openQRM high-availability at infrastructure-level for Amazon EC2 (or compatible private clouds). This means: If an EC2 instance fails or an error occurs in an Amazon Availability Zone (AZ) an exact copy of this instance is restarted. In case of a failure of an entire AZ, the instance starts up again in another AZ of the same Amazon region.
  • Integration of Amazon S3. Data can be stored directly on Amazon S3 via openQRM. When creating an EC2 instance a script that is stored on S3 can be specified, for example, that executes other commands during the start of the instance.

Comment: openQRM recognizes the trend at the right time

With its extension also openQRM-Enterprise shows that the hybrid cloud is becoming a serious factor in the development of cloud infrastructures and comes with the new features just at the right time. The Cologne based company are not surprisingly orientate at the current public cloud leader Amazon Web Services. Thus, in combination with Eucalyptus or other Amazon compatible cloud infrastructures, openQRM can also be used to build massively scalable hybrid cloud infrastructures. For this purpose openQRM focuses on its proven plugin-concept and integrates Amazon EC2, S3 and Eucalyptus exactly this way. Besides its own resources from a private openQRM Cloud, Amazon and Eucalyptus are used as further resource providers to get more computing power quickly and easily.

In my opinion, the absolute killer features include the automatic applications deployment using Puppet, with which the end-user to conveniently and automatically can provide EC2 instances with a complete software stack itself, as well as the consideration of the Amazon AZ-wide high-availability functionality, which is neglected by many cloud users again and again due to ignorance.

Much attention the team has also given the optics and the interface of the openQRM backend. The completely redesigned user interface looks tidier and easier in the handling and will positively surprise the existing customers.