Novell Looks to Solve Private Cloud Vendor Lock-in

With its Cloud Manager software released on Monday, Novell hopes to address the vendor lock-in problem facing enterprises building private clouds.

By Nancy Gohring
Mon, September 13, 2010

IDG News Service — With its Cloud Manager software released on Monday, Novell (NOVL) hopes to address the vendor lock-in problem facing enterprises building private clouds.

Pre-Packaged Private Cloud: 4 Questions to Ask
The Case For and Against Private Clouds

Cloud Manager allows IT staff to manage virtualized resources that may be based on different hypervisors, including VMware (VMW), Microsoft's (MSFT) Hyper-V and Xen virtual servers, all from a single management tool, according to Novell.

Today, companies that have private clouds based on different hypervisors typically have to manage them separately, using tools from different vendors. But that can be complicated.

With a single management console, companies may be more likely to use a mix of hypervisors based on their needs, said Ben Grubin, director of data center management at Novell.

"What this allows you to do is make infrastructure choices based on what you need to do to support your business services, rather than trying to maintain a single unified stack," he said.

Microsoft is moving in a similar direction. Its Systems Center software can manage VMware as well as Hyper-V environments today, and Microsoft has said the next version, due next year, will manage Citrix XenServer as well. VMware's tools can manage only its own hypervisors.

Businesses may want to use hypervisors from different vendors depending on the applications they're running, Grubin said. VMware's software has the biggest market share and the most features but it is also more expensive, he said, and some applications don't require all those capabilities. He argued that companies can keep their costs down by using a lighter-weight, less expensive hypervisor for some applications.

Cloud Manager also includes tools that allow end users to provision their own computing resources, even those that may be hosted across data centers on multiple hypervisors. The provisioning console can display a catalog of services, as well as service tiers with different prices, that the end user can choose from.

When workers or business units want access to new services they typically have to call the IT department and work through a provisioning process that could take months. They may also have to pay for new hardware and software. Allowing them to self-provision resources from a private cloud cuts the time it takes to set up new services and allows them to pay only for the resources they use.

To use Cloud Manager, an enterprise connects the application server, which runs the self-service portal, to orchestration servers at data centers. Each orchestration server can communicate with infrastructures built on different hypervisors.

Continue Reading

Our Commenting Policies