Nimbula—Roll Your Own Private EC2 Cloud Computing

Silicon Valley-based Nimbula was in stealth mode for over a year but emerged in June 2010. It’s headed by Chris Pinkham and Willem van Bijon, a couple of Amazon developers credited with leading the development of EC2. The purpose of Nimbula is to “blend EC2-like scale, agility and efficiency with private infrastructure customization and control.” Nimbula brought in $5.75 million in Series A funding from venture capitalist Sequoia Capital and strategic partner VMware.

The Nimbula Cloud Operating System is an automated cloud management system delivering Amazon EC2-like services behind the firewall. Nimbula’s technology allows customers to easily repurpose their existing infrastructure and build a computing cloud in the trusted environment of their own data center. Using simple and rapid deployment technologies, The Nimbula Cloud OS transforms underutilized private data centers into muscular, easily configurable computing capacity, quickly and cost effectively. With access to both on- and off-premise cloud services available via a common API, the Nimbula Cloud OS combines the benefits of capitalizing on internal resource capacity and controlled access to additional external compute capacity.

The Nimbula Cloud OS technology has been designed to respond to the following key requirements of an enterprise cloud solution:

  • Scalability—The Nimbula Cloud OS is designed for linear scaling from a small cluster up to hundreds of thousands of computers. This allows an organization to grow and grow quickly.
  • Ease of use—A highly automated, hands-off install requiring minimal configuration or interaction dramatically reduces the complexity of deploying an on-premise cloud. Racks come online automatically in under 15 minutes. Management of cloud services is largely automated, significantly improving operational efficiency.
  • Ease of migration—The Nimbula Cloud OS facilitates easy migration of existing applications into the cloud through its support for multiplatform environments and flexible networking and storage.
  • Flexibility—The Nimbula technology supports controlled federation to external private and public clouds like Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) as needed by the customer: during peak times or for specific applications.
  • Reliability—With no single points of failure, the Nimbula Cloud OS employs sophisticated fail-over mechanisms to ensure system integrity and resilience.
  • Security—A robust and flexible policy based Authorization System supporting multitenancy provides mature and reliable security and sophisticated cloud management control.

Nimbula says it is in beta with a half-dozen international customers in financial services, tech and healthcare. Nimbula’s other co-founder—and now its VP of products—Willem van Biljon wrote EC2s business plan and led its product development. VMware co-founder and former CEO Diane Greene has just joined Nimbula’s board.

The start-up’s also got AWS’s ex-biz dev and sales chief Martin Buhr as its VP of sales and ex-VMware exec Reza Malekzadeh as VP of marketing.


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