Platform Vendors Seed the Cloud

Vendors deliver new and improved cloud computing offerings and partnerships at the Structure 08 conference.

GigaSpaces Technologies has delivered its scale-out application server on the Amazon compute cloud.

On June 26, GigaSpaces announced the availability of its "cloud application server" on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, also known as Amazon EC2. The move will enable rapid development of scalable, fault-tolerant applications on Amazon EC2.

GigaSpaces' XAP (eXtreme Application Platform) supports transactional and data-intensive applications, such as those often used in Web 2.0, SAAS (software as a service) and enterprise applications, the company said. And with its usage-based pricing model, users can move on-premise applications to the cloud and vice versa.

"Cloud computing is poised to revolutionize the IT industry, but for most companies there still exists a significant gap between the vision and the reality," said Geva Perry, chief marketing officer with GigaSpaces. "GigaSpaces aims to bridge this gap. GigaSpaces XAP is an application platform born for the cloud. The level of traction we are seeing with customers and partners - before even officially announcing the solution - seems to indicate that we are not the only ones who think so."

GigaSpaces released the initial version of its Amazon EC2 offering in November 2007 and several companies hopped onto the platform.

"By combining the GigaSpaces scale-out middleware with the Amazon EC2 cloud computing service, we now have a cost-effective application infrastructure that is fault-tolerant, flexible and scalable," said Paul Itoi, president of BazuMedia.

"Our application, built on top of the GigaSpaces scale-out application server, is able to linearly scale on demand to handle peaks in traffic. Running GigaSpaces on Amazon EC2 allows us to utilize an on-demand, pay-per-use computing utility - meaning we only pay for hardware and software we actually use, without any upfront infrastructure investments," Itoi said.

Moreover, Steve Rabuchin, director of developer relations and business development for Amazon Web Services, said, "We are pleased that GigaSpaces can leverage Amazon EC2 to bring their customers the scalable and highly available Web infrastructure that they require."

Meanwhile, CohesiveFT, which provides the Elastic Server Platform, an on-demand service for dynamic assembly and deployment of virtual machines, and FlexiScale, a provider of on-demand cloud computing, today announced a partnership to enable deployment of CohesiveFT's Elastic Servers to FlexiScale's cloud. The companies announced their partnership at the Structure 08 conference in San Francisco on June 25.

Patrick Kerpan, president and CTO at CohesiveFT, said the partnership will also allow ISVs (independent software vendors), application developers and QA teams to dramatically increase their productivity throughout the development lifecycle.

Initially, Elastic Server-branded virtual machines will be available from FlexiScale's Control Panel as templates built in a Xen virtual format for deployment into VDS (Virtual Dedicated Servers) in FlexiScale's Cloud, Kerpan said. And the Elastic Server templates will feature application stacks as pre-built virtual machine images of popular components. Users will have access to these custom images on demand, eliminating the typical administrative overhead of assembling virtual machine images by hand.

"Cloud computing is revolutionizing the application development lifecycle," Kerpan said. "Our partnership with FlexiScale will provide companies the ability to build and deploy a custom virtual server to a cloud in minutes which brings massive efficiencies to the adopters of this approach."

CohesiveFT also announced a partnership with Skytap, a provider of cloud-based virtualization solutions, to distribute CohesiveFT's Elastic Servers to Skytap's Virtual Lab platform.

The combined solution will enable application development and test teams to dynamically assemble and deploy custom application stacks to a virtual test cloud, freeing them from build and set-up tasks and the constraints of traditional test lab environments.

"Skytap and CohesiveFT's combination of cloud-based services gives us a glimpse into how application teams will develop and test software in the future," said Theresa Lanowitz, an analyst with Voke.

"As a new model for application delivery matures, we'll see rapid adoption of cloud-based services by organizations of all sizes. Just as tool and process integration was driven by dramatic improvements in productivity and the resulting economic benefits, the shift to cloud-based services will be driven by the same market forces."