Opalis Software is rolling out Version 6 of its namesake Opalis IT automation platform, complete with upgrades designed to automate such tasks as configuration, provisioning, orchestration and decommissioning in cloud computing environments. Opalis officials say while virtualization has fueled the development of cloud computing, the combination with event-based automation capabilities will help drive adoption. The move by Opalis comes at a time when major players such as Cisco and HP are making pushes into the space.
is bringing cloud computing capabilities to its namesake IT
In Opalis v6.0, announced March 24, Opalis is offering IT integration,
orchestration and automation for heterogeneous cloud computing environments and
both private and public clouds. In addition, the new capabilities integrate
with what Opalis already offers in its traditional process automation space.
Having such automated processes is a key step forward in the growth of cloud
computing environments, said Opalis CTO
Charles Crouchman. The industry has been talking about the idea of utility
computing for more than a decade, and the first major step in that direction
was virtualization technology, Crouchman said.
IT automation for cloud computing environments is the next key development.
"Automation is what takes virtualization and turns it into a
cloud," Crouchman said. "Take the base of virtualization and layer
automation on it, and now you've got something."
and Dell respond to Cisco's data center ambitions.
If you look at cloud computing as essentially infrastructure as a service-in
which businesses can carve out chunks of computing capacity as needed, based on
demand-then that needs to be done in a dynamic environment where such tasks as
configuration, reconfiguration, provisioning, orchestration and decommissioning
can be automated and event-driven, Crouchman said. Opalis is offering that
capability in Opalis v6, he said.
Opalis' move comes as the buzz about cloud computing continues to grow. In a
statement released March 6, research company IDC
said cloud computing is more than hype, and that global spending on cloud
services will grow to $42 billion by 2012, with a key driver being the need to
cut IT costs.
"The thing about cloud computing is that it's not just the vendors who
are getting excited," he said. "It has the potential to be an
economic game-changer for enterprises and service providers."
Crouchman also sees the adoption of cloud computing following the same arc
as that of virtualization: with midsized enterprises first adopting it to help
cut costs, and then with larger enterprises using the technology in test and
development environments. Wider adoption will follow, he said.
However, research company Gartner warned in September 2008 that cloud
computing was being defined in myriad ways by vendors and the contrasting views
were causing some confusion among potential customers. One primary definition
centered on a SAAS (software as a service) perspective, and another on
infrastructure and virtualization, although Gartner analysts said both
definitions are essentially related.
Cloud features in Opalis v6 include Cloud Objects, which is a collection of
prepackaged, out-of-the-box objects for creating, provisioning,
decommissioning, backing up and restoring services offered from the cloud. In
addition, the Quick Integration Kit offers a way to integrate, orchestrate and
automate an application in the cloud and in the enterprise.
Using Cloud Release Management, businesses can migrate workflows across
physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures, and from test to development.
Dynamic provisioning enables businesses to automatically determine cloud
capacity based on demand or other triggering events. In addition, using Opalis
v6 gives businesses a script-free way to integrate processes, which speeds up
the time needed to implement cloud environments.
The enhanced capabilities also let enterprises easily move between public
and private clouds,
Opalis said, which is important as enterprises create
private clouds within their own data centers. The platform enables businesses
to run key applications in the data center, but automatically tap into public
clouds, such as those of Amazon.com and Google, to handle peak demands. It also
lets businesses run their applications in the data center but automatically
fail over to public or private clouds in the case of a disaster.
Crouchman said Opalis in some ways is competing with those vendors that it
always has competed with, such as Hewlett-Packard and BMC
Software. However, it wasn't until Cisco Systems unveiled its Unified
March 16 that another vendor first broached the idea of
deeply involving IT automation in the process, he said.