Nimbula Director Beta Lets Enterprises Create Amazon EC2-Like Private Clouds

Startup Nimbula launched a beta test of Nimbula Director to automate deployments of Amazon EC2-like private clouds within enterprise data centers.

Nimbula announced a public beta of its Nimbula Director which provides automated tools for enterprises to create private cloud systems in their own data centers.

The Nimbula Director allows organizations to create Amazon-like "public infrastructure clouds" within their own private data centers to provide on-demand access to scalable computing resources including processing power, storage, and networking, according to Nimbula officials. Numbula introduced the beta Dec. 8 the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas.

"Based on Nimbula's Cloud Operating System technology, Nimbula Director delivers Amazon EC2-like services behind the firewall," according to a Nimbula statement.

Along with automated deployment and cloud management, Director can also scale and migrate existing applications into the cloud, according to Nimbula. The software can launch a multi-platform environment with flexible networking features, such as load balancing, and storage, according to the company. Nimbula Director supports both the KVM and Xen hypervisors.

With Nimbula Director, organizations can deploy hybrid clouds that span both public and private clouds. The software lets IT administrators move applications between the data center and Amazon EC2. There will be similar integration with other public clouds, according to Nimbula. Nimbula Director may be deployed on-premise or as part of a hosted service.

The Nimbula Director software has a "launch plan" screen where IT organizations create and define a suite of heterogeneous virtual machines by listing each machine's configuration. The software also gathers and collates monitoring information for the entire site and the displays the status overview as graphs.

The policy-based authorization system ensures users are granted the correct level of access to system objects and resources. In the Nimbula Director software, administrators use a detailed chart with checkboxes to grant permissions on a granular level.

Private cloud news has been rolling out of the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas this week, such as the hosted private cloud from Unisys and Rackspace's Cloud Connect service bridging the company's public cloud with the hosting services.

The private clouds promise control over the infrastructure as well as flexibility and scalability. Enterprises want to have the "proven benefits" of public clouds within their own data centers, said Dave Bartoletti, senior analyst at Taneja Group. Virtualization is no longer enough to deliver higher levels of automation, efficiency, and agility, he said.

There are other platforms for private cloud deployments from vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, and open-source Eucalyptus. OpenStack, an open-source joint collaboration between Rackspace and NASA, is designed to be very scalable and to be built from ground up, which can take some time and effort.

Nimbula's goal is to automate the entire private cloud deployment process. Nimbula's focus is on automation, to simplify how organizations can deploy private clouds. IT organizations install the software on bare-metal servers. Then Director takes care of pooling, provisioning and managing the resources.

Nimbula has a number of big names backing it, including Amazon EC2 pioneers Chris Pinkham and Williem van Biljon. The founder and former CEO of VMware Diane Green is on Nimbula's board of directors. The start-up has a number of VMware and Amazon executives, as well.

The beta software is currently available as a free download on Nimbula's Web site. General availability is planned for the first half of 2011.