Egenera Integrates AWS With Its Public Cloud Management Software

Cloud management software developer Egenera on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its PAN Cloud Director software that includes integration with Amazon Web Services (AWS).

With the integration, users will be able to use a single console to deploy and manage compute, storage and networking resources from both their own private cloud and the AWS public cloud, said John Humphreys, vice president of marketing for Boxborough, Mass.-based Egenera.

"By integrating our PAN Cloud Director with AWS, all compute elements, switches and Elastic Block Store features of Amazon can be exposed in our service catalog," Humphreys said.

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The integration stemmed in part from Egenera's acquisition last year of Fort Technologies, a Dublin, Ireland-based developer of cloud lifecycle software, Humphreys said.

Also impacting the integration was feedback from users that, while the cloud lifecycle management technology from Fort Technologies was helpful in building out clouds, they also need the capability to just as easily consume public cloud resources from companies like AWS and Rackspace, he said.

"One beta customer, a manufacturer I can't name, has a private cloud, but also wants to consume Amazon cloud resources," he said. "It wants to do test-dev [testing and development] on Amazon, but put its production environment in a private cloud."

For another potential use case, a company could run its database using on-premise physical hardware, its application tier on virtual machines hosted on-premise, and its Web tier in the Amazon public cloud, all managed by PAN Cloud Director 2.0, Humphreys said.

"We can connect all that virtually, and deploy it in a matter of minutes," he said.

This is a huge deal, said Chip Krebs, director of data center services at TSR Solutions, a Milwaukee-based data center and cloud services provider.

TSR Solutions has been working with Egenera for about six months, and uses that company's technology on a virtualized platform to let customers design and architect their required cloud services before building those services, Krebs said.

"It's a GUI with drag-and-drop capabilities making it easy to build virtual servers to specification, connect it to the firewall, drag and drop in applications, and provide a quote," he said. "When the customer is ready to order, he just presses 'submit.'"

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While Egenera was very useful for customers looking to build services using TSR Solutions' compute, memory and storage resources, TSR Solutions' Krebs said. However, some customers also want to do the same with AWS, which he said has nothing as elegant as Egenera's interface.

"What we like about Egenera is its drag-and-drop capabilities and its easy-to-use GUI," he said. "AWS uses a drop-down menu. Some customers say it's not as intuitive, not as user-friendly as Egenera's. Also, Egenera ties the two together. With the new PAN Cloud Director, you use the same GUI, one that is easier to use than AWS' interface."

Humphreys said Egenera leverages Amazon to expose that company's APIs to its PAN Cloud Director 2.0. "As a company, we've prided ourselves on our ability to manage any environment a customer runs on," he said.

To take advantage of the new integrated AWS cloud services capabilities with PAN Cloud Director 2.0, customers must have their own Amazon account, Humphreys said.

"Just point to AWS, and PAN Cloud Director manages it," he said. "We provide a services catalog with a list of all resources available to the customer. Amazon becomes another tab in the catalog, with all the compute, switch and Elastic Block Storage resources listed. As those resources are deployed, customers see them. And once they are deployed, customers can come back at any time to make changes."

Over 90 percent of Egenera's revenue comes from indirect sales channels, Humphreys said. The company's software is sold both on a subscription and a perpetual licensing basis.