Abiquo26 Cloud Computing

Abiquo is a complete solution designed from the ground-up to provide next generation Cloud management. Abiquo provides features like virtual to virtual conversion; reportedly, it is easy to implement and operate and facilitates managing thousands of virtual machines, without relinquishing control of the physical infrastructure.

Authorized users and groups are empowered to manage their own virtual enterprises within allocated resource limits. New virtual machines or pre-built appliances can be deployed in seconds, dramatically improving efficiency and allowing you to regain business agility.

Abiquo manages all aspects of the virtualization infrastructure, including the physical cores, network and storage resources. It is vendor agnostic, supporting all of the popular hypervisors and will convert one supported hypervisor type to any other in a simple drag-and-drop operation, ending vendor lock-in. Abiquo will capture and store stateful virtual images in shared, private, and public image repositories. The repositories allow customers to view all virtual images, centrally load gold images from an enterprise’s existing storage systems, and immediately deploy. As a result, enterprises no longer needed to start from scratch on the Cloud; they could leverage and deploy existing images, a major time-saver when migrating.

Abiquo’s Vision

The Resource Cloud
In the Abiquo vision, the provision of physical infrastructure is completely separated from the virtual application infrastructure by a “Resource Cloud” Physical infrastructure, managed by the IT infra-structure organization, contributes resources to the Resource Cloud, while virtual enterprises (containing virtual datacenters, virtual machines and virtual appliances) consume it. Today, we might think of the resources as CPU cores, memory, storage and connectivity, but these terms will change to more universal units of resource as the market evolves

. . . . the IT infrastructure organization delegates management of the virtual enterprises. It simply creates a virtual enterprise, assigns someone to administer it, and sets limits as to the resource that may be consumed. All of this takes less than a minute. The assigned administrator could be a development lab manager, or similar, but in many cases, especially in enterprise organizations, he or she will be an IT organization professional in another area—for example the messaging group that manages operation of corporate email.

The decision as to where a virtual machine is deployed (i.e., the actual physical server it will run on) is determined entirely automatically, according to policy. In fact, neither the virtual enterprise administrator, nor any other consumer of the Resource Cloud knows either. And so long as deployment has occurred according to policy, they don’t care.

Policy is however vitally important. It governs obvious rules, like “don’t try to run this workload on a server that has insufficient capacity or the wrong hypervisor”, [and also implements] security polic[ies such as] “this application must be network separated from that application”, to “this application is so sensitive it can only run in a local datacenter.” It also covers how available physical resources are to be utilized, by implementing appropriate policies such as, “spread the load across all available machines” where maximum performance is required to “load each physical machine fully before loading the next one” in a hosting environment.

Elasticity

Physical resources can be provided by a local datacenter, remote data centers owned by the organization (together a Private Cloud) or by third party providers (Public Cloud). The IT infrastructure organization has full control of the resources added to the resource cloud and, in the case of public cloud resources such as Amazon EC2, of the amount that may be consumed with each vendor. Combined with workload policy, this allows third-party resources to be consumed safely and in line with suitable security, taking advantage of standards as they evolve.

Libraries Manage Virtual Machine Images

Where permitted by role, users can capture and store virtual machine images in private, shared or even public libraries. They can combine sets of VM images into a single appliance for easy redeployment. Shared libraries allow the IT organization to define standard VM images—for example built to company antivirus, directory, and control requirements. Public VM images from reputable vendors can be downloaded for rapid deployment of complex systems, dramatically reducing implementation and evaluation times.

Benefits
[Abiquo] reduces the load on the IT infrastructure organization, by delegating responsibility for virtual enterprise management. Given that virtual enterprise users don’t have direct access to physical machines, and that virtual enterprises cannot exceed allocation resources (because workload management doesn’t allow it), there is no danger in this delegation. The IT infrastructure organization can then rest easy, [and] focus on meeting service levels. . .

Management Benefits

Using VMWare’s VCloud (Cloud User API) standard, Abiquo offers a Cloud Service API enabling self-service administrators to migrate existing VMs and other resources into the resource cloud quickly and easily.

Abiquo 1.6 includes network management capabilities such as support for 802.1Q VLAN model with trunking, multiple NICs per virtual machine, multiple virtual LANS (VLANs) per virtual datacenter, named networks, fully configurable address spaces, allocation policy management based on VLAN availability, physical NIC customization, and support for DHCP relays. Earlier releases of Abiquo already provided the ability to identify, purchase, and assign public IP addresses at a targeted location, as well as the ability to centrally track all networks running in virtual enterprises. A Cloud Operator API, inspired by Sun Public Cloud (Resource Cloud API), enables an Operator to run a dynamic, scalable cloud that is configured based on automated capacity rules.

Other Abiquo Benefits
Hypervisor Independence

Abiquo was designed to avoid dependence on any hypervisor. Not only are all major hypervisors fully and simultaneously supported, Abiquo allows conversion of virtual machines from one hypervisor to another in any combination, completely eliminating vendor lock-in with a single drag and drop operation. Supported hypervisors include all the major hypervisors in use today:

  • VMware ESX and ESXi
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Citrix XenServer
  • Virtual Box
  • Xen
  • KVM

Multi-tenancy with Delegated Control

Hierarchical user management and role based permissions allow delegation of management tasks according to the organization’s needs. Since any user’s view is limited to the hierarchy below them, Abiquo provides multi-tenancy with full isolation, whether to internal groups, or to external customers. A single Web-based management console is context sensitive to the role and permissions of the relevant user, reducing complexity and providing unparalleled ease of use.

Setting and Enforcing Resource Limits

Defined CPU, memory and storage limits for each Virtual Enterprise, including both hard (enforced) and soft (warning) levels for each ensure that no Virtual Enterprise can exceed its allocated resource limit; there is no danger of users exceeding the capabilities of the physical infrastructure.

Network and Storage Management

Storage resources from popular standards and vendors can be managed, including OpenSolaris ZFS and LVM/iSCSi, allocating them to Virtual Enterprises and allowing Enterprise Administrators to perform volume management tasks, as well as allocation to specific virtual machines. Abiquo 1.6 adds extended Logical Volume Manager (LVM) storage support on Linux-based Servers to manage iSCSI LUNs.


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