A number of cloud commentators seem to get all pent up and in a state of agitated hand-wringing about private cloud. “But it’s not the true cloud” they say, having some sort of dogmatic view over what is, and isn’t cloud. In my mind – so long as it’s scalable and abstracts management away from the user, I’ll consider it able to be called cloud. This of course is different from the “Private, on-premise, customer owned, physical virtual clouds” that one vendor mentioned at last year’s CloudConnect event!

Anyway – into the emotional fray that private clouds seems to generate comes Nimbula. Nimbula comes from royal blood, being founded by the team that developed the Amazon’s EC2, arguably the granddaddy of cloud infrastructure. Nimbula has obtained $5.75 million in series A funding and has a who’s who of former Amazon and VMWare execs as its founders.

I spoke to Chris Pinkham, Nimbula CEO. He stated Nimbula’s mission is simply put:

to Blend Amazon EC2-like scale, agility and efficiency, with private infrastructure customization and control.

To that end they’re launching their product Nimbula Director today. Director is a product that seeks to manage both on-premise and off-premise resources. Director is a cloud operating system that is designed for scalability, ease of use, flexibility, reliability, and security. It:

  • Installs on bare metal
  • Allows for a heterogeneous configuration
  • Across thousands of nodes
  • Provides an automated control plane
  • Is reliable and distributed
  • Needs minimal configuration
  • Includes dynamic Resource Discovery

The diagram below shows what Nimbula Director will actually provide:


According to the briefing I received from Nimbula, they’re built with a focus on the following area:

  • Scalability – The Nimbula cloud OS is designed for linear scaling from a few up  to hundreds of thousands of notes. This allows an organization to grow, and grow  quickly.
  • Ease of use – A highly automated, hands-off install requiring minimal configuration or interaction dramatically reduces the complexity of deploying an on-premise cloud. Racks come online automatically in under 15 minutes. Management of cloud services is largely automated, significantly improving operational efficiency.
  • Flexibility – The Nimbula cloud OS supports controlled federation to external private and public clouds like EC2 as needed by the customer during peak times or for specific applications.
  • Reliability – With no single point of failure, the Nimbula cloud OS employs sophisticated fail over mechanisms to ensure system integrity and resilience.
  • Security – A robust and flexible policy based authorization system supporting multi tenancy provides mature and reliable security, and sophisticated cloud management control

Nimbula is under a beta trial with half a dozen or so customers. They plan to expose their beta more widely in Q3 this year with a formal product launch at the end of the year.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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