Nimbula addresses questions

Customers would be well advised to discover their suppliers' support polices before adopting a cloud computing monitor. Nimbula asserts that customers will not face support issues.

In the post, Nimbula launches Director V1.5 as a "cloud operating system", I suggested that customers ask a number of questions prior to engaging with Nimbula. Most of the questions centered on third party support. Company representatives quickly responded wanting to address my questions.

Here were the questions I suggested customers ask:

  • Which system suppliers have tested this software and will offer support when Nimbula Director is managing their systems?
  • Which system features of what systems from what vendors will be supported by this software? Companies pay a premium for these advanced features and would be unhappy if these features were either ignored or used badly by Nimbula Director.
  • Which operating system suppliers will offer support of their operating system when run in a virtual machine supported by Nimbula Director? Customers might be unhappy if they’re told “please reproduce these problems on a physical machine before submitting problem reports.”
  • Which database management systems will be supported under what operating systems running in one of Nimbula’s virtual machines? As with operating system problems, customers are likely to be upset if their database supplier appears less than helpful because they’ve never had a chance to test their software working under Nimbula’s Director.
  • Which development tools will be supported in this environment?
  • Which storage suppliers will support their storage servers in this environment?
  • While Nimbula often presents that the founders where involved in the development of Amazon’s EC2, no claim is made that it is compatible with Amazon’s software. Will it be wise for an organization to re-architect their applications and workflows to work with Nimbula Director and, thus, be locked into Nimbula’s environment.

Quick summary of Nimbula's answers

  • Nimbula reminded me that their Cloud Director, the so-called Cloud Operating System, does not rely upon modified system software; application development tools and frameworks; database management systems or applications.The company asserted that the fact that their Cloud Director was deployed shouldn't change the support relationship customers have with other suppliers nor should it have an impact on what systems, virtual machine software, networking hardware or storage supported by those operating systems.
  • Nimbula pointed out that while their founders worked on Amazon's EC2, they don't make claims that their software is totally compatible with Amazon's offerings. Nimbula points out that what was learned during the EC2 development process has been applied to the deveopment of Nimbula's own software. They also point out that Nimbula Director "manages resources in public clouds such as Amazon's EC2."

Snapshot analysis

Although Nimbula's comments were well thought out and reasonable, I still believe that customers would be wise to get their suppliers to state that they will support their products in an environment managed by Nimbula's Cloud Director. In my view, it is better to take the trouble to discover support issues before they become problems.

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