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7/15/2013
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CloudVelocity Eases Moving Workloads To Amazon

CloudVelocity learns your systems and Amazon's processes, then streamlines migration of workloads into EC2.

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CloudVelocity came out of stealth mode Tuesday to introduce One Hybrid Cloud, a system that packages up a workload in a way that matches the production system, then migrates it to Amazon's EC2.

That might sound like what a lot of other parties are already doing, but CloudVelocity closely maps the existing application and its related servers -- including the database server -- and then creates duplicates in the cloud using the same IP addresses. It sets up Elastic Block Storage and networking as close to the original resources as possible and even out foxes Amazon's EC2 into provisioning the application with the operating system that it's sent, rather than the one Amazon wants to install by default.

"When we put it in the cloud, we try to make sure it will have the same performance" as the on-premises system, CloudVelocity CTO Anand Iyengar said in an interview.

The cloud-preparation system, available now, is also trying to bring its built-in knowledge of Amazon security groups to give the workload a similar measure of security and controlled user access. To help on that score, it either links the cloud job to the on-premises LDAP or Active Directory, or duplicates the directory on a linked cloud server. The link would send and receive data through the Secure File Transfer Protocol's encryption process.

[ Want to learn more about possible hybrid cloud operation? See VMware's Hybrid Cloud Not Amazon's Model. ]

After CloudVelocity has mapped your system -- the complete software stack, Web server, application server, database server, load balancer -- and has it running in the cloud, it will maintain it as a consistent copy with your on-premises production system. If you update the operating system or patch the application locally, One Hybrid Cloud will do the same within a few seconds in the cloud as well. In short, it removes a long set of headaches that often add up to a migraine as IT shops attempt to take advantage of cloud computing.

A system that moves a quick snapshot image of an application to the cloud but not its accompanying user authentication creates a headache for the enterprise system administrator responsible for the operation of the workload. For a targeted application, One Hybrid Cloud can use its discovery system to come up with all the servers involved in running the application, generate copies and fire them up in the correct order for a functioning system, Iyengar said.

There are a lot of advantages to having a duplicate production system in the cloud, he added. It can be tapped and run there if hardware resources are needed for other purposes on premises. It can also serve as a de facto recovery system, if the primary system fails. If desired, it can become the disaster recovery system, displacing an expensive and hard to test hardware-based system in a second data center.

So far, CloudVelocity has embedded its knowledge of Amazon Web Services operations in its product, but not other clouds. Microsoft's Azure is next on its hit list and then OpenStack. But Iyengar wouldn't commit to a schedule for those moves.

In addition, the young firm wants to add automated cloud-bursting to its system but it's not there yet. There's still work to be done to generate a full cloud-burst process that can shift a running workload onto cloud servers to absorb part of the demand for it.

Iyengar encapsulated One Hybrid Cloud's capabilities in the following sequence. Instead of relying on a template or application image to create a workload in the cloud, it discovers the application hosts and their dependencies; its creates a blueprint of the system and its configuration, including the specifics of the operating system and its kernel; it provisions AWS servers in as close a match as it can muster and then provides synchronization between the on-premises system and cloud-based system.

"It does this with the click of single button," said Iyengar. By next spring, he expects there to be a second button for cloud-bursting.

One Hybrid Cloud is primarily an on-premises, migration system priced on the number of servers being packaged together as a cloud workload. A 50-server system would result in a $15,000 charge. Once running in the cloud, the synchronization service that keeps it up to date is also cloud-based and would cost $2,000 a year, Iyengar said.

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