Vendors line up to use Cloud as differentiator

Vendors small and large are starting to see Cloud Computing as a great sales and technical differentiator. Three example of this are:

1. AMD pushed out press to let the world know it is saying “yes to cloud”. Whoopee ! To quote:

“Advanced Micro Devices CEO Dirk Meyer sees cloud computing as the next great investment for the enterprises and says AMD’s processors are going to be a big part of this type of future data center”.

Given the rapid progression of the public/private cloud and virtualisation markets, I’m sure the chip vendors must be salivating at the potential extra dollars to be made.

2. Ubuntu announced version 9.10 of their Linux Distro  which is codenamed Karmic Koala and also announced that it will have built in support for Cloud in their server edition.  Their aim is for Ubuntu to provide a standard set of AMI’s (Amazon Machine Images) to enable simplified deployment on EC2.  So far so what, but the developers also aim to integrate support for Eucalyptus, which we have discussed previously. This would enable organisations to use Ubuntu to make their own private clouds within their own data center. A real differentiator and a great way to create a value point differentiation against the likes of RedHat and SUSE.

3. Cobol and the Cloud….two things you probably would not expect to hear in the same sentence. However MicroFocus has identified a market in which customers can outsource their Cobol applications and MicroFocus can host them on the cloud. Micro Focus is supporting Amazon EC2 to increase the options customers have to reach the cloud and begin capitalizing on the cost savings associated with cloud computing.

Interesting times indeed…

I want EC2 Cloud but I’ve got VMWare !

Many organisations are used to using virtualisation in-house probably from the use of VMWare. Often the organisational need is to move an existing virtualised application hosted on VMWare to a cloud provider, such as EC2. If this is your scenario, standards won’t help but you can still achieve what you need to do. The basic steps to do this are:

1.    Shut down the existing VMWare image

2.    Grab a copy of QEMU which you can use to convert the image.

3.    The VMDK file will then be converted into a RAW file

4.    As this is a RAW image it should be bootable by a local Xen, QEMU or KVM installation.

5.    Now you need to bundle this into an AMI using ‘ec2-bundle-image’

6.    Lastly you need to upload the bundled image and register it in EC2.

7.    The AMI will appear when you request a list of your images

We’ve done this for quite a few clients now and it is a relatively straight forward process.