Dell is releasing a cloud-computing solution that leverages the open-source OpenStack cloud software platform and its own PowerEdge servers.
Dell's new IaaS (infrastructure as a service) offering-called the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution and announced July 26-is part of the vendor's effort to push the adoption of open-source technology for cloud offerings. Along with the use of OpenStack, the Dell solution includes its "Crowbar" OpenStack installer, which manages the deployment of OpenStack from when the server initially boots all the way through configuration.
As part of the open-source IaaS strategy, Dell officials also announced that they are releasing Crowbar to the open-source community, with hopes of making it a project within the OpenStack initiative.
The OpenStack platform enables customers to adopt a cloud environment that is open rather than proprietary licensed software, Dell officials said. The Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution also includes Dell's cloud-optimized PowerEdge C servers and services from Dell and Rackspace Cloud Builders. The rollout comes four months after Dell, Rackspace and Opscode demonstrated what officials said was the first fully automated provisioning of a multi-node OpenStack cloud.
The companies gave the demonstration during the Cloud Connect conference in March.
Rackspace and NASA launched the OpenStack project in July 2010, and it now has 92 companies and almost 2,000 people as members, according to its Website. The goal is to create an open and standard cloud operating environment.
Dell's OpenStack Cloud Solution-which uses the current OpenStack released, dubbed "Cactus"-is designed to give businesses a fast and cost-effective way to get their IaaS infrastructure up and running, according to Mark Linebaugh, vice president of Dell's Next Generation Computing Solutions group.
"Dell is an active participant in the OpenStack community because it brings our customers open APIs, capable practices for cloud operations and affordable infrastructure," Linebaugh said in a statement. "Utilizing and integrating the efficiencies of the PowerEdge C line with optimized software and tailored services, the Dell OpenStack Cloud Solution enables users to go from unboxing servers to running a usable OpenStack cloud in mere hours. The ability to quickly develop, deploy and deliver open-source cloud services can translate not only to lower costs, but also the flexibility to rapidly add new features and meet customer needs on demand."
Dell's Crowbar technology is a key part of the equation, according to company officials. The technology enables users to more quickly launch a bare-metal deployment of OpenStack clouds in a matter of hours rather than days. Crowbar then helps businesses maintain the cloud and grow it through such capabilities as BIOS configuration, RAID configuration, network discovery, status monitoring, performance data gathering and alerting.
Dell's OpenStack Cloud Solution supports public compute cloud application programming interfaces from Amazon and Rackspace, as well as virtualization technologies from Citrix Systems, Microsoft, and VMware.
Dell's PowerEdge C systems are designed to offer high performance in small, energy-efficient form factors, features that meet the demands of cloud environments and Web 2.0 data centers. Designed by Dell's Data Center Solutions Group, the initial PowerEdge C systems were custom-built for large data centers. Later releases were aimed at more mainstream customers.