Cloudscaling Aims to Build the Super Clouds


Cloudscaling aims to build the super clouds. These are the giant clouds – the ones for such providers as AT&T.

To build these new massive services, Cloudscaling is announcing today its own operating system that is based upon OpenStack and its own unique technologies.The company says its Cloudscaling Open Cloud System (OCS) is similar to Amazon Web Services (AWS) but on the customer’s premise and under their control.

“We are not well designed for a 20 node system,” Bias said.  “We are designed  for a 20 rack system.”

This is not easy work. It is till very much an art to build a cloud infrastructure. Yes, it’s more simple to build a cloud based upon OpenStack than a year ago. But very few people still really know what this entails. The OpenStack open cloud initiative is not even two years old. There are lots of emerging experts but at this point the community is very small. Everyone is really learning from each other.

Cloudscaling Founder Randy Bias is one of the leaders of this emerging community. He has built a powerful services oriented group. And now he and his team see the opportunity to take the next step with an OS of its own. Cloudscaling is not first to the game. Piston Cloud launched its own OS earlier this month. (Look for more about Piston and the emerging startup culture around OpenStack in a post early next week.)

But there’s an opening in the market to create a new way for building infrastructure. In an interview last week, Bias said there are three components to its OS:

The Core: Cloudscaling uses the OpenStack core and adds its own technology for production systems that Bias says are designed to be scalable, robust and secure.

Hardware Blueprints: These are the recipes, the configurations for deploying across the hardware infrastructure. The recipes are all Chef, the open-source automation techniques developed by Opscode.

CloudBlocks: This is what binds it all together. It is the unifying architecture that fits the “Open Cloud OS with hardware reference blueprints to define modular cloud building blocks.”

Cloudscaling is now helping AT&T build out its open cloud infrastructure. He said much of that learning will flow back into the open-source community, most likely available  as an Apache Foundation license.

Services Angle

You can tell in talking with Bias that there is a goal to keep things  as simple as possible by deploying a horizontal archtecture with proven networking technology from Arista. Cloudscaling will use KVM, the open-source hypervisor.  The goal is to be reliable and available, not complicated by hierarchical systems.

Bias comes from a complete different philosophical viewpoint than compared to someone like VMware’s Matt Lodge who is a proponent for a more heavily leveraged virtiualization platform for building out private cloud infrastructures.

Bias sees VMware as unable to manage the load that comes with cloud-ready applications. The orchestration required makes it difficult  and costly compared to AWS style services that run across commodity servers.

But as Krishann Subramanian points out, this is not a pure world. The enterprise clouds will flourish in the years to come. But the truly scalable will come from the ones such as Cloudscaling.

But with both camps, services will remain essential. There will be a deep need for expertise around OpenStack, DevOps practices, new distributed storage, virtualized networking, etc.  Services is a major aspect of Cloudscaling’s offering and that from VMware and the multiple other players in the market, too.