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The Clouds Have Opened

2010 has already seen a host of activity in terms of new Open Source technology merging with cloud computing environments…

Sam Johnston, an outspoken champion of open cloud computing, has released OpenECP, an Open Source fork of the Enomaly Elastic Computing Platform (EECP). The move follows Enomaly’s decision to remove all traces of its Open Source version from the internet and concentrate its efforts onto developing proprietary versions of the software.

“There is a strong demand for open source web-based cloud management like Amazon’s excellent AWS Management Console for managing hypervisors, virtual machines, images, etc.,” Johnston told Linux User & Developer. “I had thought Enomaly would fill this void but they failed to deliver a working, secure product for a very long time and then finally pulled all their open source code from the Internet and have since refused to make it available. In my opinion, this is little more than blatantly (and successfully I might add) taking advantage of the Open Source community for as long as necessary to get the product into the limelight.”

Not one to take things lying down, Johnson took an older release of the code, which he had stored, and after ironing out a series of critical security bugs he released an Alpha version of OpenECP under the Affero GPL. This bold move prevents the estimated 15,000 users of the previous Open Source edition of ECP from being railroaded into using Enomaly’s proprietary editions and ensures the survival of what many more may find a useful tool in the future.

Cache in the Clouds
Startups Eucalyptus and Terracotta, have also joined forces to deliver an new enhanced cloud offering. Both companies operate an “open-core” business model, offering both Open Source and more fully-featured enterprise versions of their software.

Eucalyptus have enhanced their existing platform for building private clouds by integrating Terracotta’s sophisticated cacheing and session clustering software. The new partners claim that Terracotta’s technology, used to speed and scale database applications in large datacentres, removes the common data bottleneck in cloud computing, allowing users to scale the data layer at the same rate as the compute layer within elastic computing environments.

Meanwhile, Gear6 seems to have caught on to a similar idea for running websites in the cloud. The company produces an enhanced version of the popular Open Source Memcached cacheing solution used in high-load websites and web applications. Having tweaked Memcached specifically to run with the Amazon EC2 cloud environment back in December, the company has just announced a similar solution for GoGrid’s hosted cloud infrastructure.

A New Linux for Cloud Service Providers
Finally, not one to miss a party in the clouds, Linux has also seen a few developments. Launched just yesterday, CloudLinux is a new Linux distribution aimed at Cloud service providers such as shared hosting providers and datacentres.

Cloud Linux uses some Kernel tweaks at the resource allocation level in conjuntion with what the eponymous company behind the new distro is calling ‘Lightweight Virtual Environments’ (LVE’s). This new proprietary technology is designed to optimise the operating system to run a higher number of virtual instances per physical server, whilst mitigating the effect of individual resource hogs and load spikes on the overall server performance.

Despite repeatedly using the term ‘proprietary technology’ on the company’s new website, founder and CEO Igor Seletskiy assured Linux User and Developer that Cloud Linux was being run using the a RedHat-type business model and that all the company’s technology would be fully Open Source. Seletskiy also confirmed that the company had no connections to, which is a separate project in the planning stages, looking at developing a bare metal hypervisor based on the Linux kernel.
Rory MacDonald

This is a sample story from issue 85 of Linux User & Developer magazine.

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