Ravello develops cloud application hypervisor

The core founders of the KVM open source hypervisor announced public access to the beta of a new cloud application hypervisor and more than $25 million in funding
Written by Paula Rooney, Contributor

One Palo Alto, Calif. startup maintains that enterprises ought to look at yet another type of virtualization hypervsior to layer on their nex-gen hybrid cloud infrastructure.

ravello systems recently opened up beta testing of its "cloud application hypervsor" to the public. This new hypervisor is said to support and ease multiple-VM apllication deployment across a data center and public cloud. 

While some maintain that a robust management solution is sufficient for supporting the new breed of virtual apps being deployed on the cloud, ravello is promoting a new hypervisor as the answer.

The founders know something about the topic. They created the open source KVM hypervisor and founded Qumranet, which was acquired by Red Hat. KVM is now backed by Red Hat and is incorporated as the core hypervisor in the Linux kernel.

Ravello must be on to something: partners are public cloud operators Amazon, HP Cloud and Rackspace and venture capitalists have pumped more than $25 million into the company, which was founded in 2011 ans has a big development center in Israel. 

ravello's beta cloud application hypervisor currently supports Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, Rackspace Open Cloud based on OpenStack and HP Cloud. 

Here's the company's pitch, which has been embraced by several top VCs:

"If hybrid cloud environments were a reality, enterprises would design their internal data centers for average load, and simply rent additional capacity in the cloud to accommodate peaks. They would be able to take their multi-VM applications as is (without making any changes) and run them on any cloud. They would use their existing VMs, networking and storage topology, the same processes, tools, etc. However, that is not possible today," Ravello posted on its web site.

 "What’s needed is an infrastructure that normalizes the public cloud and the data center from the application’s perspective. This infrastructure would run in the cloud and expose the same computing, network and storage services to the multi-VM enterprise application as if it were running internally," the blog continues.

"To accomplish this, ravello has developed a “Cloud Application Hypervisor”. This enables an enterprise to completely encapsulate a multi-VM application such as VMware or KVM and run it in any cloud such as AWS/EC-2, Rackspace, HP Cloud without making any changes whatsoever. " 

ravello released a first beta earlier this year. This second beta, made public, includes a number of improvements including, the company writes:

  1. Tutorial workflows that will help you understand the concepts behind Ravello and get you started quickly. These include our two main use cases: 1. Import your applications from your on-premise data center to Ravello and then deploy to any cloud so you can supercharge your dev/test and 2. Rapidly develop your new application in any cloud, and deploy it anywhere (in the cloud, or on-premise).
  2. New ready-made VMs and application blueprints. These will help you rapidly get started  and include Ruby, Python, Java, PostgreSQL, MySQL and MongoDB. (You can always upload or configure your own VMs as well). We will be adding many more as we go along. A big thanks to one of our implementation partners, Comm’N sense who have been working tirelessly to get these done.
  3. SMP support. Now you can deploy 2vCPU VMs on AWS, Rackspace and HP Cloud using Ravello. 4vCPUs is also ready, but we are disabling it for now to reduce our costs for the beta. That said, if you want to check it out, send us an email (pm@ravellosystems.com) and we can enable a preview.
  4. New cloud support. In addition to AWS, Rackspace and HP Cloud, we have also added support for the new Rackspace Open Cloud (based on OpenStack).
  5. EXPERIMENTAL – Ability to import AMIs. If you have already been working with Amazon, you can import your AMIs to Ravello, drag/drop and define your application, and then deploy to any cloud. We have marked this as experimental because it currently works for certain VM types. We are actively developing and testing this, so please let us know if you encounter any issues.
  6. A bunch of back-end features that you will not notice, but interesting to note from a developer perspective. A usage tracking system, integration with our CRM, etc. By the way, all this was developed using our own service, and that enabled us to get it done quickly and with high quality. We posted a blog on some of our own development methodologies using Ravello here. If you are interested, reach out to us  and we’ll be happy to share all details.
  7. Some security features including 1. IP filtering which allows you to enable access to your application only from a predefined set of IP addresses (e.g., your office), 2. SSH key customization, 3. IDS implementation at the HVX level that alerts us on security risks both inbound and outbound.



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