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Zimory Adds to Open Source-Powered Cloud Tools

The idea of the "cloud" is all about offering distributed computing resources. Yet simply offering resources is not enough -- there is a real need for management and control, too.

Deutsche Telekom (NYSE: DT) spin-off Zimory, which officially launched in January, is now adding new capabilities to its open source powered cloud service aimed at providing more control to enterprise users.

The new capabilities come as cloud deployments continue to grow with large deployments, representing a growing area of IT that at least some observers claim can help the recovery in tech spending.

For Zimory, that's an opportunity to address an increasing need for enterprise control over their use of the cloud.

"One surprise that we've come across has not been on anything technical, but instead, how many people were interested in certification and the legal aspect of the cloud," Maximilian Ahrens, Zimory's CTO told InternetNews.com. "Because we've standardized SLAs (Service Level Agreements), we've really simplified that process and discussion."

Zimory works through client-side Zimory Agents, which aggregate computing resources. Those resources are then aggregated either for an enterprise's internal cloud use or for resale as part of the Zimory Public Cloud.

The other part of the solution is the Zimory Manager, which resides in each datacenter for overall cloud management.

Ahrens explained that with the new update, Zimory is giving users more control over their cloud experience. Among the changes are new accounting and auditing capabilities to handle multiple users within an enterprise as well as providing detailed usage information.

Zimory has also adding new booking and planning capabilities so users can schedule their cloud time in advance. The cloud also gains rule-based automation features, enabling users to set up rules for maintaining and creating cloud instances based on triggers, such as CPU and memory percentage usage over a period of time.

For backup and availability, Zimory is now adding a multi-site hosting capability that enables a cloud deployment to be moved from one datacenter to another.

The ability to migrate virtual machines is a common feature for server virtualization vendor VMware with its Vmotion live virtual machine migration technology. Zimory, however, is not using Vmotion.

"Our technology doesn't do live migration -- it's about very short downtime migration without the introduction of short-term storage solution, or other complexities," Ahrens said. "It's about the thinnest possible implementation to quickly do cold migration between WAN with very high speeds."

Open source

Zimory's cloud technology is built on open source and its agent itself is open source as well. Since Zimory's first release in January, other open source efforts, notably Eucalyptus have launched. Eucalyptus is a cloud infrastructure technology and is integrated with Ubuntu Linux. However, the relationship between Eucalyptus and Zimory doesn't need to be adversarial, Ahrens said.

[cob:Special_Report]"For us, Eucalyptus can be treated almost like a VMWare stack -- including the management piece. We see them as another tool people can use within Zimory," Ahrens said. "The buzz they have created though has been great when we approach enterprise installations. It's great to see them making the market attractive."

Ahrens also admitted that Zimory still has some work to do with its own open source efforts.

"To be honest, contributions from the community have been limited -- and that's our fault," he said. "We have been so busy building the company, building the technology and building the customer base that we have not reached out in any substantive way to the community. That outreach will definitely increase."