Recently we’ve seen an explosion of new ideas based on the ‘cloud computing’ concept, and the chances are that many of you want to participate in this lucrative market as well. So what features do you need to provide to offer virtual servers ‘in the cloud’? These are the fundamentals:
Your cloud service must be highly available, with automatic failover. The promise of cloud computing is that is it always on, and instantly available. Automatic failover ensures your cloud users experience zero downtime if a server fails, and also reduces your support costs.
There must be an easy to deploy and agile billing system. While utility billing is often seen as going hand-in-hand with the cloud computing concept, it is important to be able to offer different kinds of billing for your cloud service, with fixed (plan) pricing per month as well as by-the-hour billing for cloud resources.
There must be an easy to use management and monitoring system. Customers need instant and dynamic resource allocation, and a simple way to provision and manage cloud services themselves.
You need to be able to offer virtual machine templates for all popular Operating Systems – Linux and Windows, in 32 and 64-bit flavors.
You also need a comprehensive API that enables you to integrate your cloud service with billing systems, support systems, CRM software and other third party software.
There are plenty of very complicated solutions in development. Unfortunately, most of these offerings are not straightforward enough for regular users. Some of the best-known cloud service providers still rely on complex CLI and API access to cloud resources, which creates a barrier to adoption for users without the necessary technical skills.
Fortunately, there are solutions which make it possible to deploy and sell products for cloud computing very quickly, without that complexity. One of the fastest-growing is a cloud platform called OnApp, which works with Open-E products to enable the deployment of fast, low cost and easy-to-use cloud computing services.
So how does it work?
With OnApp cloud software and Open-E DSS V6, it’s easy to set up different kinds of hosted cloud services, including “by-the-hour” public cloud hosting, and Private Clouds. This set-up includes all of the fundamental cloud features described above, as standard.
OnApp whiteboard image
The storage cluster runs on two storage servers with DSS V6 iSCSI Failover. The OnApp cloud platform has two main components: the OnApp Controller, and Hypervisors. OnApp and DSS v6 are both easy to deploy and easy to manage solutions.
Together they make it possible for almost any service provider to get into cloud hosting without the cost and complexity of other solutions. If you’re planning to move ‘to the cloud’, you should definitely check this out!