Last month I’ve been invited to give a couple of talks about Cloud computing in the wonderful C3RS (Cisco Cloud Computing Research Symposium) and in a Spanish e-science meeting. (The slides are available online, if you want to check). Although the audiences were quite heterogeneous, there is a recurrent question among the participants of these events: How can I set my private cloud?. Let me briefly summarize the motivation of the people asking this:
- Lease compute capacity from the local infrastructure. These people acknowledge the benefits of virtualizing their own infrastructure as a whole. However, they are not interested, in selling this capacity over the internet, or at least is not a priority for them. This is, they do not want to become a EC2 competitor, so they do not need to expose to the world a cloud interface.
- Capacity in the cloud. They do not want to be the new EC2 but they want to use EC2. The ability of moving some services, or part of the capacity of a service, to an external provider is very attractive to them.
- Open Source. Current cloud solutions are proprietary and closed, they need an open source solution to play with. Also, they are using some virtualization technologies that would like to see integrated in the final solution.
I say to these people, take a look to OpenNebula. OpenNebula is a distributed virtual machine manager that allows you to virtualize your infrastructure. It also features an integral management of your virtual services, including networking and image management. Additionally, it is shipped with EC2 plug-ins that allow you to simultaneously deploy virtual machines in your local infrastructure and in Amazon EC2.
OpenNebula is modular-by-design to allow its integration with any other tool, like the Haziea lease manager, or Nimbus that gives you a EC2 compatible interface in case you need one. It is a healthy open source software being improved in several projects like RESERVOIR, and it has a growing community.