Point-and-Click your local Servers to the Cloud: Racemi

Racemi is offering a service that will let you move your existing servers to the cloud, or from one cloud vendor to another, with a point and a click.
Written by Steven Vaughan-Nichols, Senior Contributing Editor

As people are getting their heads around the economic benefits of cloud computing--pay just for what you use servers and services--I've been hearing a lot of people say they'd use the cloud if only they could move their existing servers to the cloud without a lot of blood, sweat, and toil. This is where Racemi, a cloud-services company, comes in with its easy server migration program.

Racemi's answer for server to cloud migration is an online point-and-click tool that lets you easily take your servers from your server room to the cloud of your choice. This magic trick is called Racemi Cloud Path.

Cloud Path is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that the company claims "requires no infrastructure at the customer location so there is no hardware to buy and nothing to maintain. Cloud Path makes it possible to quickly migrate existing applications to cloud computing providers, like Amazon EC2, Rackspace, Terremark, and GoGrid without costly professional services or rebuilding servers from scratch. By comparison, it can take hours or even days to migrate an existing application manually, costing hundreds or even thousands of dollars."

In a statement, James Strayer, Racemi's VP of product management, said, "We've taken our award-winning DynaCenter image-based provisioning software and made it available online as a service. This enables businesses to migrate their existing applications into the cloud with very little cost and absolutely zero risk. There is no easier way to get into cloud computing."

I might just assume that was hype, but Racemi has actually been doing a good job of moving servers for a while now. Before Racemi DynaCenter 4.0, which was released this spring, made it possible to move workloads from physical server to virtual and cloud systems, it had long been used move servers from one machine to another.

The really neat thing about this is that DynaCenter, and now Cloud Path, doesn't require you to modify your server to make it portable. In short, you really can just move your local servers to the cloud without a lot of pain and suffering.

Just as nice, with Cloud Path you can avoid cloud vendor lock-in. Say you discover that Amazon EC2 isn't for you. Usually shifting from one cloud provider can be another can be a nightmare. Racemi promises that Cloud Path can also make shifting servers from one cloud to another a simple point-and-click operation. I really like the sounds of that.

Cloud Path works by comparing the configuration and resources of the source and destination servers, and configuring the necessary network, storage, and virtual machine components "in-flight" to ensure that the image can be run on the target cloud platform. Thus, it automates the migration process so that all need do is to make any needed tweaks on its journey to the cloud and then check it out once it's arrived.

While I haven't tried it myself, others have tried it out and it seems to work. In a press statement, Rachel Chalmers, research director for The 451 Group a respected research company, said, "More and more organizations need cloud on-boarding and migration tools, and this [machine to cloud and cloud-to-cloud] is a natural application for Racemi's technology. Making it easily available via software-as-a-service is the logical next step."

You can give it a run for yourself for free and see it works for you. As part of its beta testing, Racemi is offering free cloud migrations for its first hundred users. At this time, they're only supporting the migration of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and CentOS Linux to Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Rackspace, and Terremark. The company will be offering additional OS platforms and cloud providers as the project matures.

Even if you miss this trial, you're still not out of luck. You only pay for Cloud Path's migration service if it works. So, if you've been thinking about trying the cloud out for your servers, but the headaches of migration and fear of cloud vendor lock-in was stopping you, Cloud Path is for you.

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