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11/25/2009
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Elastra Cloud Server Preps Apps For Azure, Amazon

Startup Elastra configures applications for deployment to a private cloud, Amazon EC2, or Microsoft Azure.

Elastra, a supplier of application infrastructure automation, has announced the second version of its Elastra Cloud Server, Enterprise Edition, which will prepare and deploy applications to Microsoft's Azure cloud as well as Amazon Web Services EC2.

Elastra provides a point-and-click method of configuring an application in preparation for its deployment to the cloud. It supplies ECML and EDML markup languages to make it easier to model and deploy the applications or move them from one cloud to another.

In its first enterprise version of Cloud Server, Elastra specialized in building the open source stack with which an application needs to run. In EC2, that included packaging an application with Red Hat's JBoss Application Server, Apache Web Server, the Apache Tomcat Java Servlet server, and the MySQL open source database system.

Elastra has added Oracle database, Oracle WebLogic application server and other enterprise software as Elastra moves the capabilities of its Cloud Server to Version 2.0. This version of Cloud Server can be used to run an internal or private cloud or export applications to either Amazon EC2 or Microsoft's Windows Azure Platform.

Applications, after being created in source code, still need to be configured for their target environment and combined with other pieces of software that help them do their work, said Kirill Sheynkman, CEO of two-year-old Elastra in San Francisco. "We've built a system for IT that sits in the middle of all this. Our system does the matchmaking between the application's requirements and the data center's capabilities," he noted in an interview. The data center can be either a private facility or an external cloud.

In one sense, Elastra's server is meant to sit in the middle of application developers, operations staff, and IT governance policy setters. All three tend "to toss designs back and forth over the wall," Sheynkman added. With Cloud Server, they can collaborate on configurations optimized for efficiency and compliance, he said.

Cloud Server 2.0 will work with existing enterprise software management tools to orchestrate cloud applications. It integrates with IBM Tivoli, HP OpenView, BMC's Patrol, CA's Spectrum, open source Zenoss system management, and Splunk, the commercial IT search and software asset indexing product.

The cloud server is geared to generate a lean cloud workload. An Elastra application orchestration is intended to consume the minimal amount of resources and capital expense as it operates, Sheynkman said. It is designed for application operations in either private clouds or public clouds.

The Elastra server can also work with different types of virtual machine workloads. It supports VMware's ESX Server virtual machines as well as Citrix Systems XenServer virtual machines and Microsoft's Hyper-V.

A version of Elastra Cloud Server is available for free use in the Amazon EC2 cloud. The free version prepares applications to run as workloads in EC2 with open source code only, since there would be licensing issues to resolve with proprietary code, Sheynkman noted.

Elastra Cloud Server 2.0 Enterprise Edition is available as a starting package for $30,000-$50,000, with a typical production system running $80,000, Sheynkman said.

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