Cloud Bursting and Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery
Assuming applications are developed in a dynamic, loosely-coupled fashion - for example, scalable web applications such as web site, gaming platforms, and e-learning environments - Eucalyptus clouds represent a cost-effective solution to highly voliatile, unpredictable workloads as follows:
- Applications and middleware can request new compute and storage resources when necessary.
- Any additional assets are released as soon as the rush passes.
- Workloads can be evenly spread across already present hardware, even if these assets reside in different datacenters.
- Administrators can adjust the information processing mixture to reflect seasonal variability, which helps maximize revenue.
- When demands exceed internal capabilities, it’s easy to expand into the public cloud for extra capacity ("cloud bursting").
- To diminish costs and complexity, all of the above capabilities can be automated.
This ability to "burst" applications from one cloud to another also represents a key component of a good Business Continuity / Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) strategy. Even the most well designed, self-healing infrastructures can experience outages, just like Amazon Web services experienced in April 2011. In those situations, having a backup Eucalyptus cloud supporting your AWS applications serves as a way to avoid complete outages. That also works in the other direction. If you are running your applications in a Eucalyptus cloud and *your* infrastructure goes down for whatever reason, you can keep services running by moving them to AWS while you fix the problem, and then migrate them back once you have addressed the issues.
Storage as a Service
Eucalyptus supports internally created and managed Storage-as-a-Service offerings, which allows on-premise Eucalyptus clouds to deliver the following business and financial advantages:
- By adhering to the well defined Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) API, Eucalyptus provides a simplified gateway to interact with cloud-based storage.
- Authorized users can access this information from anywhere.
- Administrators can construct and customize the exact storage topology without impacting users or impacting application software. Internal storage assets can thus be utilized fully.
- It’s easy to define group-level storage policies without requiring any custom coding or other expensive configurations.
- User credentials can be tied to storage usage, thereby facilitating accurate chargeback.
- Full S3 API compatibility lets you transparently expand into the public cloud when necessary.
Remote Desktop Hosting
Eucalyptus clouds streamline the process of providing remote desktops to end users and help control related costs in a variety of different ways:
- Administrators are free to configure, launch, and monitor remote machines from a central location using standardized images. This increases flexibility and boosts policy compliance.
- Standardized procedures increase the accuracy of the resulting software environments.
- In addition to manual requests submitted by administrators, software can also be configured to automatically request resources from the on-premise cloud yet still obey organizational policies and quotas.
- Remote desktops are configured more quickly, leading to greater user productivity.
This wraps up our introduction to Eucalyptus. In the next series of blog entries, we'll begin to explore Eucalyptus platform concepts, starting with the way Eucalyptus interfaces with virtual machines.