Cloudius Builds New Open-Source Cloud Operating System

By Sean Michael Kerner  |  Posted 2013-09-26

Does the cloud need its own operating system? The founders of startup Cloudius think so. Avi Kivity and Dor Laor, co-founders of Cloudius, were formerly at Qumranet, a virtualization startup acquired by Red Hat for $108 million in 2008. Kivity is well-known in the virtualization world as being the "father" of KVM, the open-source virtualization technology that Red Hat, IBM and other major tech vendors now develop.

In a video interview with eWEEK, Kivity and Laor explain what Cloudius is all about and why the cloud needs its own operating system.

"We're not Linux," Laor said. "Avi Kivity wrote most of the system on his own with many other good folks that we have on the team."

Kivity explained that the Cloudius operating system, called OSv, is being written mostly in the C++ programming language.

"Instead of having a full-fledged system which is designed for mobile phones, supercomputers and also the cloud, we have an operating system that is designed specifically for the cloud," Kivity said. "It doesn't contain all the extra baggage that a standard system has."

In terms of applications, Cloudius' OSv runs a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) that can enable a large array of existing Java applications to run on the new cloud operating system.

"By concentrating on just doing the minimum amount of work that an application expects, we can improve efficiency and reduce the memory footprint," Kivity said.


Currently Cloudius does not have a commercial product; it only has the open-source OSv project. The goal is to first build a community around the project. At some future point, the commercial plan is to offer a virtual appliance for specific application use-cases.

Cloudius will face a few challenges as it attempts to gain traction in the marketplace.

"There is a lot of inertia in this space; people have grown used to using existing operating systems, so we need to offer something that is significantly better, both in terms of performance and manageability."

Watch the full video interview with Cloudius founders Avi Kivity and Dor Laor below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eWEEK and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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