Managing Applications across Multiple Clouds

This guest post post comes from our friends at Cloudsoft.

Do you work in a large company? Have you ever noticed that that no one ever worries about the availability of pens and pencils? Once a new employee has been shown the location of the office supply closet they can generally assume that the right items will always be available, in sufficient quantity, at the right time.

Location, availability, options, and on-demand access. These might sound familiar to those working with cloud.

But underpinning the effortless cool of uninterrupted office supplies, and allowing top executives to sleep without worrying about how many Post-Its tomorrow might need, lies a well honed internal system. In this system office supply ‘policies’ (to use a slightly heavy, formal term) are ‘automatically’ implemented (from the point of view of the end user) to manage procurement from multiple service providers (Staples, Office Depot etc.), taking advantage of all the options available, and coping with changing demand levels over time.

The administrator or assistant who manages the supply closet has the ability to multi-source office supplies, allowing them to avoid out-of-stock problems, source specialist items, and to access competitive prices and shipping. Changing suppliers or using multiple suppliers is transparent to end-users and has little or zero cost to the organization.

Does this still sound familiar in the world of cloud? Perhaps not so much.

While we are spoilt for choice for IaaS cloud suppliers, a current lack of application portability between clouds locks-in applications, preventing business flexibility and exploitation of the full potential of cloud computing.

Currently how would you:

  • move applications to a different IaaS provider, without huge code refactoring costs,
  • or source the majority of VMs from one cloud, while using special purpose machines from another,
  • or automatically scale and hybridize applications across multiple clouds,
  • or take advantage of spot pricing across suppliers,
  • or avoid momentary outages by switching supplier,
  • or serve applications from different geographies to suit the time of day?

Fortunately Cloudsoft has been working on open source projects to provide cloud portability and to implement automatic application management powerful enough to fulfill the scenarios above.

Cloudsoft’s Application Management Platform (AMP) combines the jclouds and Brooklyn open-source projects with enterprise-level support and professional services. This gives you a complete solution for deploying, configuring and managing applications in and across clouds, including private, public and hybridclouds.

jclouds is a library that makes applications portable across clouds. This gives cloud application owners the ability to move to different clouds, adding business flexibility and removing the risk of vendor lock-in.

By abstracting away the differences in cloud APIs, jclouds allows applications to use Citrix CloudPlatform, CloudStack and over 30 other clouds and cloud technologies in a portable and flexible fashion. Application owners can take advantage of the power of both CloudPlatform’s and CloudStack’s ability to create private, public and hybrid IaaS, while having the capability to consume best-of-class, specialist resources from other suppliers, and future-proofing their implementations.

Brooklyn is an automatic management plane that makes it easy to automate the implementation of business and technical policies.

Brooklyn has powerful application descriptors that model the inherent complexity of enterprise systems, and in addition Brooklyn can easily reuse existing application deployment and configuration componentry so that you do not have to re-invent what is already working well. The result is a fast, reliable and robust “one-click” deployment and configuration of your applications.

Brooklyn then goes on to dynamically manage and govern your applications while they are running, in and across cloud providers, throughout an application’s life cycle. Management decisions are made automatically through reference to the application owner’s business and technical policies, thereby greatly reducing manual intervention.


Managing Applications across Multiple Clouds – That is easy!

Watch the video at http://www.citrix.com/tv/#videos/6382 for  more information about Cloudsoft and Citrix [10mins], or find out more about Cloudsoft’s Application Management Platform at cloudsoftcorp.com.

This video is also available on Citrix.com: How to build a cloud from the ground up> Extend your Cloud > Platform-as-a-Service

By David Toy, Product Manager at Cloudsoft