It's A Cloud In A Box: 10 All-In-One Cloud Computing Plays


The complexity of cloud computing has prompted plenty of purveyors to launch all-in-one offerings that tie together all, or at least most, of the necessary components for a cloud computing infrastructure.

In doing so, they've built cloud-in-a-box offerings that offer a one-stop cloud shop in a single solution or a cobbled together platform. Here, we take a look at 10 of the hot offerings that bill themselves as clouds in a box. Note: just because it's called a "cloud-in-a-box" doesn't always mean there is a physical box involved.

Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud

At Oracle OpenWorld this year, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison pulled the curtain off of Oracle's Exalogic Elastic Cloud, a self-proclaimed cloud-in-a-box that he called "one big honkin' cloud." The Exalogic Elastic Cloud bills itself as the first and only integrated cloud machine that boasts hardware and software engineered together. The company said it can help consolidate data centers, tie together a host of mission-critical and performance-sensitive workloads.

The Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud server combines 64-bit x86 hardware, a total of 30 compute servers with 360 cores, with Oracle middleware such as the WebLogic server, Oracle Coherence data grid software, JRockit Java runtime software and Oracle VM virtualization software. The system can handle 1.8 million messages per second or 1 million HTTP requests per second and has 2.8 TB of DRAM, 4 TB of read cache and 960 GB of solid-state disk storage. Oracle will offer Linux and the Solaris operating systems with Exalogic.

Microsoft Windows Azure Platform Appliance

Earlier this year Microsoft launched the Windows Azure Platform Appliance, a turnkey cloud platform that users put in their own data centers to build their own private clouds. The appliance comprises Windows Azure, SQL Azure and a Microsoft-specified configuration of network, storage and server hardware. The appliance is available via the channel and is targeted at service providers, large enterprises and governments as a private cloud-in-a-box platform.

The goal is to let users and providers offer scaled out applications, platform-as-a-service or software-as-a-service in the data center and deploy a cloud platform that can scale to tens to thousands of servers.

The Microsoft Windows Azure Platform Appliance is available now in a limited protection release to a small number of customers and partners. A wider release is expected soon.

IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance

IBM's cloud-in-a-box comes in the form of its WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance, which unlocks enterprise-grade cloud computing to deliver the hardware, software and services needed to deploy and manage applications in a private cloud with minimal configuration requirements.

The IBM WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance stores and secures WebSphere Application Server Hypervisor Edition images and patterns to be dispensed into a cloud. It also integrates Tivoli Service Automation Manager to support data centers and automate the deployment and management processes for WebSphere cloud computing environments.

HP BladeSystem Matrix

HP stops short of calling its BladeSystem Matrix offering a true cloud-in-a-box, but the technology titan said it's about as close as it gets.

"We do not purport to call BladeSystem Matrix a 'cloud in a box" but in my opinion it is closer to a turnkey private cloud than anything I have seen in the market. The reason I do not call it a cloud in a box’ though is because our customers do need to populate the service catalog with services that are unique to their needs, integrate with their billing/chargeback system, integrate it into their existing IT processes, etc.," HP wrote in a blog earlier this year.

HP's BladeSystem Matrix is converged infrastructure platform that becomes the backbone of a private cloud environment and provisions infrastructure and applications. It ties in Virtual Connect Insight management software and standard ProLiant and Integrity blade servers with HP Services.

HP says the HP BladeSystem Matrix jumpstarts private cloud implementation and addresses the core requirements of a private cloud, including standardized services, pay-per-use services, self-service and multi-tenancy.

Unisys Secure Private Cloud

While not officially dubbed a cloud-in-a-box since it's software-based, the Unisys Secure Private Cloud is a pre-integrated internal private cloud offering that lets companies move into cloud computing and transform their data center operations into a more agile and automated infrastructure. The solution leverages a self-service portal that eliminates manual processing to build an almost no-touch IT infrastructure that makes it easier to deploy, operate and use private cloud computing.

The Unisys Secure Private Cloud combines software and services into a pre-packaged bundle that lets enterprises build their own private cloud computing environment.

WSO2 Ozone

WSO2 takes a different approach to a traditional cloud-in-a-box offering with its Ozone private cloud-in-a-box. Essentially, WSO2 Ozone offers up a portal-based system for running a Xen-powered private cloud. Ozone has a node controller for managing VMs, a cluster controller for managing a set of machines running the node controller and a web portal that lets users manage their own VMs.

WSO2 is quick to point out that it is not a product, but a tool that is available as an open source project.

Exadel Cloud-In-A-Box

The name says it all. Exadel, a San Francisco-based custom development, training and support player, launched its Cloud-In-A-Box offering last year. Exadel Cloud-In-A-Box is stack created as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). It's free and is a fully-functioning open source Web services stack that includes Red Hat Fedora, Ingress Database, RichFaces, Eclipse, JBoss, Apache and a RichFaces demo. It can be downloaded to run locally or run an instance from Amazon's EC2 cloud service.

ElasticStack Cloud-In-A-Box

The true essence of a cloud-in-a-box offering is the combination of hardware and software. That's what Elastic Stack is all about. Through a partnership with Very PC, UK-based ElasticStack offers converged hardware and software. Elastic Stack offers its software pre-installed on Very PC hardware to deliver the ElasticStack architecture that includes virtual hosts, API server and web control panel that are ready to run in the cloud. ElasticStack cloud-in-a-box offerings include fully managed operations, meaning maintenance, upgrades, monitoring and second line support are taken care of.

Enomaly ECP Service Provider Edition

Enomaly's Elastic Computing Platform (ECP) is a cloud computing platform, but the company bills its ECP Service Provider Edition as a complete "cloud in a box" solution that gives telcos and hosting providers the ability to offer IaaS cloud computing to their customers.

Enomaly's ECP Service Provider Edition offers a customer self-service interface, a customer-facing REST API, a theme engine, multi-tenant security and integration with billing, provisioning and monitoring. At its core, Enomaly's ECP Service Provider Edition is a turnkey cloud computing platform for service providers on which they can deliver their cloud service offerings.


Cisco, EMC and VMware have joined forces to offer their flavor of a cloud-in-a-box with their Vblock infrastructure packages that bring companies into the private cloud with an integrated combination of hardware and software from the three tech players, which formed the Virtual Computing Environment (VCE) coalition.

Vblock solutions are pre-integrated and pre-configured computing systems that tie together networking gear from Cisco; storage, security and system management from EMC; and virtualization software from VMware to create private internal cloud computing systems that can scale from small to large enterprises. Ultimately, Vblocks combine storage, server, networking and virtualization from the three member vendors and tie them into a single integrated offering.