10 Hot Open-Source Cloud Computing Plays2:45 PM EST Tue. Mar. 30, 2010
As cloud computing, by many accounts, is poised to shake the very foundation of high-tech and IT, it's only fitting that the open-source community has taken notice, spawning a smattering of open-source tools, solutions, applications and platforms to make cloud computing in an open environment a reality. From the app development platforms based on open-source software to industry frameworks built around various open-source offerings, the industry is flush with options.
While this is by no stretch every open-source options with regards to the cloud, here are 10 stand outs. Come on in, this cloud is open.
The open-source cloud computing infrastructure has put its stake in the ground with its hiring of former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos as its new chief executive. At MySQL, Mickos revolutionized the open-source market for databases, and Eucalyptus hopes he'll do the same for cloud computing.
Eucalyptus started as a U.C. Santa Barbara research project and has grown into a full-fledged open-source private cloud software offering. Eucalyptus makes an open-source infrastructure software that gives enterprises and government entities the ability to build their own cloud computing environments, getting the most out of their compute capacity to boost productivity, deploy new apps and protect sensitive data all while cutting costs.
Cloud management software maker Abiquo also plays the open-source game.
Abiquo offers enterprises a complete, hypervisor-agnostic, open-source cloud infrastructure management solution designed to change the way IT organizations operate their virtualized environments, making them more elastic and cost-effective to run. The company recently gave insight into version 1.5 of its abiCloud offering, which supports Microsoft Hyper-V and lets users leverage "drag-and-drop" functionality to convert a running VMware hypervisor to Hyper-V.
Abiquo recently opened its U.S.-based office in Redwood City, Calif. with $5.1 million in new funding the company has brought in. Abiquo operated in stealth mode in Barcelona before launching as a U.S. based company in March.
Nimbus offers a set of open-source tools to provide an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud solution. Currently in version 2.3, Nimbus' offerings let users lease remote resources by deploying virtual machines on those resources and configuring them to represent an environment desired by the user.
Nimbus' toolkit lets users turn clusters into an IaaS cloud and features interfaces for Amazon EC2 WSDLs and Grid community WSRF and implementations based on Xen hypervisor. It can be configured to use familiar schedulers like PBS or SGE to schedule virtual machines; it launches self-configuring virtual clusters with one click; and it defines an extensible architecture that lets users customize software based on the project's needs.
First established as a research project five years ago, OpenNebula is an open-source cloud computing toolkit that can be used to build any type of cloud - private, public or hybrid. The toolkit was deigned to integrate with any networking and storage solution and to fit in any data center, turning it into a flexible and agile virtual infrastructure which dynamically adapts to the changing demands of the service workload.
Essentially, OpenNebula, which launched its first version in March 2008, works by orchestrating the storage, networking and virtualization technologies to enable the dynamic placement of multi-tier services on distributed infrastructures, combing the data center's resources and the remote cloud's resources according to allocation policies.
OpenNebula is now in version 1.4, which features support for Xen, KVM and VMware virtualization platforms; access to Amazon EC2 and ElasticHosts clouds; and libvirt, EC2 Query API and OGC OCCI interfaces.
AppScale offers an open-source platform for Google App Engine applications. With AppScale, the platform lets users deploy and monitor their App Engine applications in an open-source environment while providing mechanisms to debug and profile applications as needed. AppScale has already developed quite the following and as cloud platforms continue their market penetration an open-source alternative will surely gain traction.
As a leader in open-source ERP software for SMBs, xTuple recently revealed that its latest version gives users the ability to run their xTuple database in the cloud using Amazon EC2. For the month of April, users of xTuple's free PostBooks Edition will have access to its cloud service free of charge and xTuple will encourage feedback to define what will eventually become a commercial service.
xTuple offers enterprise-class business process applications powered by open-source software like Linux, PostgreSQL and Qt.
EyeOS is also accessible by mobile Web browsers, along with computer-based browsers, meaning users can edit and display files regardless of where they are.
EyeOS takes a different track than other cloud computing platforms in that it is free software and users decide where they keep their servers and their data. EyeOS does not ask users to send data and EyeOS can be installed in environments that are completely under user control.
Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud ties into a number of open-source projects (including Eucalyptus) to offer private clouds. Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud gives users cloud computing via in-house, private clouds behind the firewall and lets them deploy workloads and have them running immediately. Capacity is scalable based on application needs. Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud is included with Ubuntu Server Edition.
Ubuntu also offers a public cloud offering, Ubuntu on Amazon EC2, which lets users build on-demand virtual systems on Amazon's public cloud.
Open-source software maker Cloudera offers a commercial version of Hadoop, the open source, Java-based software that manages data-intensive applications and large data sets running across clusters of computers.
Last year, Cloudera debuted its open-source cloud computing software, Cloudera Distribution for Hadoop. Hadoop has seen increased use in cloud computing environments because of its flexibility with cluster-based and data-intensive queries. Overseen by Apache, Hadoop is widely used for processing and analyzing large amounts of data.
Funded by the European Union, Reservoir is a research initiative on virtualized infrastructure and cloud computing. Reservoir aims to develop a system and framework to serve as the infrastructure for cloud computing by tying together virtualization, grid computing and business service management techniques.
The open-source Reservoir project is lead by industry and academic leaders and focuses on federation of clouds at the infrastructure level to enable on-demand delivery of IT services at competitive costs without the need for massive capital infrastructure investments. Essentially, Reservoir aims to enable end users to run applications on virtual machines in the cloud without having to own or manage physical resources.
Reservoir offers software and specifications under the Reservoir Framework that give users the opportunity to build public and private clouds by choosing specific components.