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Open source cloud computing

Posted on 2009-07-08
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1. Which open source software should I go with? i've been looking into "www.openqrm.com" and "www.eucalyptus.com". Both only provide support on linux machines as far as I can tell. Does anyone here have experience with either of these in a real world or even test environment that can shed some light on them for me? I'm mainly looking for stability and ease of use and management.

2. Are there any other open source cloud software out there that supports both windows and linux machines in the same grid or that are simply better than the 2 above?

Thanks!
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Question by:allwebnow
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Author Comment

by:allwebnow
ID: 24803250
I also wanted to ask if there was any licensed stable cloud software out there i could just install?  If so, that might be the way to go, as I wouldn't have to spend as much on technicians and also I'd get the cross platform scalability needed.
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Expert Comment

by:dnilson
ID: 24810994
Try VMware ESXi (free), or vSphere http://www.vmware.com 

Ultra stable, fully supported, widely adopted solutions.

Also can look at the free and licensed copies of XEN

Licensed XEN is quickly catching up with VMware now that Citrix bought it.  
http://citrix.com/English/ps2/products/product.asp?contentID=683148

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MarkSlingsby earned 500 total points
ID: 24840082
We have been evaluating OpenQRM. It seems to work. But we are only 3/4 of the way through the project. Its got some awesome features and is built to handle plugins for all sorts of things.

Eucalyptus seems like a good option too. We havent evaled that yet.

We use KVM on Ubuntu for a lot of our FreeBSD VM's. It supports windows too.

However, you can use XenServer Enterprise for FREE now. It totally depends on what you need it to do. VMWare and Xen both have paid options to support all the fancy bells and whistles.

The majority of these solutions need you to use NetApp, Equallogic or EMC storage to actually make the highavaility and other tricks work nicely.
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Author Comment

by:allwebnow
ID: 24840246
MarkSlingsby

I basically want to just host cpanel websites on a cloud.  mainly cpanel hosting and centos dedicated server clients with some using root access in centos onlyr.    There will be other things too maybe, but mainly that. So,  I'm thinking my best bet might be to start with just cpanel/centos only servers in the cloud and then if I need like windows or seomthing, simply setup another cloud grid dedicated to windows servers as I go.  So, maybe open src is the way to go.  Openqrm has the best screenshots/video and representation of what it actually does compared to any other cloud solution out there that I've seen so far, but the others get good reviews too.  

Also, another concern I have is if I convert my current dedicated server clients to grid, I may lose a lot of profit due to lower priced cloud packages and gain a lot of expense due to higher cost hardware and tech administrative costs.  have you found that to be a concern?  it still might be worth it long term though considering hosting industry is going to be all cloud based long term i would think.  what do you think?
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Expert Comment

by:MarkSlingsby
ID: 24841487
there are a number of considerations. Cloud gives many advantages and disadvantages.

Revenue protection is a difficult obstacle, but you cant see cloud as neccessarily cheaper. infact its actually more expensive to setup a cloud initially because you need better systems and high quality storage.

Alternatively you could use amazon web services to host the cloud and see how it goes. You can then migrate that VM to your cloud as well. we are running netapp with a combination of Xen and KVM mainly. True Cloud is still in dev/testing with us (as in bill per MB traffic, per cycle CPU and per RAM unit usage)

We chose to checkout OpenQRM first because it sounds so good, but its been a bit of a headache so far. The software is moving so fast that you barely get to test each version! All openqrm and the others tools are nice frontends onto Xen and other virtualisation technologies anyway.
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Author Comment

by:allwebnow
ID: 24841845
so do you have to fresh re-install after every update of openqrm?  Also, what's your setup of openqrm?  do you have the advanced recommended setup from the their site:

Advanced (recommended) setup :

    * one linux box to install openQRM-server on (for a HA setup of the openQRM-server two systems are needed)
    * a high-available database-server (remote)
    * one or more high-available storage-servers
    * one or more physical systems to be managed by openQRM

Or do you have the standard 2 server setup?  amount of hardware required to test is also another deciding factor.
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Expert Comment

by:MarkSlingsby
ID: 24846457
We haave done OpenQRM in a VM for now - running it on a separate bare metal is probably the best option with a virtualised server.

We are running 2 backend storage types at the moment. NetApp with NFS and a ZFS server.

NetApp we are running 2 controllers so the HA is builtin natively to the NetApp.
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Author Closing Comment

by:allwebnow
ID: 31601086
We've decided to go with openqrm for now for testing.  Thanks for your time!
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