Bitrock, the company that provides tools and services to package, deploy and update software, has announced the release of Bitnami Studio, a self service GUI based platform to package and deploy applications to the clouds. It offers choice from the underlying operating systems to middleware/runtime to applications to the users so that they can easily assemble the stack they want and get it running on the cloud within minutes. I have already covered rPath several times in this blog and Bitrock claim that they offer more choice to the IT users than their competitors. Though I never got a chance to do a feature by feature comparison, I did notice that Bitnami studio offers more OS choices than rPath )rPath supports RHEL, SUSE, CentOS and Windows coming in Q3 of 2010).
Bitnami studio is well suited for organizations that are keen to push their applications (whether popular open source applications customized to their needs or their own custom built applications) to either the public clouds like Amazon EC2 or private clouds within their own datacenters. With Bitnami studio the whole process is seamless and saves lot of time which IT spends in packaging and deployment. Some of the interesting features of Bitnami studio include
  • Cross platform – it is independent of OS. You can run any OS of your choice
  • Multiple distribution –  even within Linux, you are free to use any distribution of your choice. Either you can take one from the diverse choices they offer or if you have a custom built Linux distro to suit your organizational needs, you can upload it too. This is one of the areas where they differentiate themselves from rPath
  • Choice of Middleware and Applications – They have a wide variety of option for middleware/runtime components and applications. This allows you to package any type of stack you want
  • Templates – Like other players in this space, they also support templates. As an user, you have a choice to either use one of the ready-made templates or use your custom ones
  • Supports many virtualization platforms – Support for VMware and EC2 is already available and they are working with other providers to support their platforms
  • SaaS or On-Premise – Bitnami studio is available as both a SaaS offering and a downloadable offering for on-premise installation
  • Role based control – This is one feature that will be attractive to enterprises. They provide role based access controls to allow you to limit access to stacks and components for accountability and security purposes. IT will love this kind of fine grained control at the component level. You can do this by setting up the necessary username and password before packaging on the Bitnami Studio
During Glue Conference, I had a demo of Bitnami Studio and what I saw was a pretty good product offering a seamless way to package any open source or custom applications. It is definitely a powerful tool that will help organizations push their apps to the cloud easily. Even without a cloud strategy, Bitnami Studio will come handy for packaging and deploying applications in your own datacenters. Even though they have a solid product, it will be interesting to watch them come up in a market where established companies like rPath and others have already gained marketshare. When I spoke to Bitrock people, they told me that they are already seeing some solid interest for their product and they are confident that they can gain marketshare by offering more choice to their users. If you are someone in your organization’s IT and you are looking for a way to easily package your custom built application, I strongly urge you to take a look at Bitnami Studio. I will also closely observe their progress and get back to update in this space in the future.
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Krishnan Subramanian

Krish dons several avatars including entrepreneur in exile, analyst cum researcher, technology evangelist, blogger, ex-physicist, social/political commentator, etc.. My main focus is research and analysis on various high impact topics in the fields of Open Source, Cloud Computing and the interface between them. I also evangelize Open Source and Cloud Computing in various media outlets, blogs and other public forums. I offer strategic advise to both Cloud Computing and Open Source providers and, also, help other companies take advantage of Open Source and Cloud Computing. In my opinion, Open Source commoditized software and Cloud Computing commoditized computing resources. A combination of these two developments offers a strong competitive advantage to companies of all sizes and shapes. Due to various factors, including fear, the adoption of both Open Source and Cloud Computing are relatively slow in the business sector. So, I take it upon myself to clear any confusion in this regard and educate, enrich and advise users/customers to take advantage of the benefits offered by these technologies. I am also a managing partner in two consulting companies based in India. I blog about Open Source topics at http://open.krishworld.com and Cloud Computing related topics at http://www.cloudave.com.

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