, , , , , , ,

This post is the third of a series that I started in 24/01/2013. In that post I stated that the use of open and “interoperable” Cloud Platform is a key feature (even a must) to ask your Cloud Service Provider for, because it prevents (or, at least, makes difficult) from falling captive of a vendor (vendor lock-in), i.e. you’ll be able to easily move your applications from one an IaaS provider to another interoperable one, without having to alter your own Cloud designed applications and the services they offer. You can even download a copy of open Platform to run inside your own data center as well, which (in principle) makes it feasible to move computing jobs from a private data center to commercial clouds and back again, at will: Moreover, with that approach, hybrid cloud construction becomes easier.

In the second post of this series, I revise first the standardization processes around Cloud; second, we found how Amazon (given that according to some statistics, Amazon Web Services – AWS – holds 70 percent of the IaaS) is achieving that its service APIs are becoming, in some way, a “de facto” standard since other vendors declare to be compatible with: once again let me say that we should be honest and thank Amazon for popularizing IaaS and making it affordable, accessible, and broadly relevant to the current IT market, and besides for keeping innovating about, however, we must remind that APIs specification is not open but proprietary, and Amazon could change whenever it wants by itself. So, currently and almost sure in the future you are captive on Amazon if your application is developed on its APIs. So, that post finalizes analyzing several open source cloud platform. OpenStack, Eucalyptus, OpenNebula and CloudStack from two different points of view:

  • its community support, and main service coverage:
  • its relationship with Amazon, i.e., their support of Amazon’s APIs

And my conclusions were (and are) that:

  • Eucalyptus, OpenNebula and CloudStack have embraced Amazon Web Services (AWS) APIs to have compatibility with AWS’s application programming interfaces. OpenStack, while so far supporting AWS in its open source code, and has taken a much different approach and is attempting to position itself as an open-source alternative to AWS.
  • All of them, also supports the OCCI API, or are in its way of do it, enabling (or easing) the future cross interoperability.
  • Besides, while Eucalyptus, CloudStack and OpenNebula are open product offered and supported by a company (besides of a community), OpenStack is an full open source code that vendors or end users can adopt themselves to manage a cloud.
  • Finally (referring to the one analyzed in this post) all of them offer or enable to build services similar to the Amazon EC2, but OpenStack is the only one of them that span the bare compute service, and offers scalable object storage for petabytes of accessible data as the ones of Amazon’s S3 Services, besides of traditional block storage.

To conclude that comparison, today we are going to analyze other more technical subjects, and fortunately Vadim Truksha (in Network World) has already done that work 7 months ago roughly, so in spite of Cloud area is changing quickly I think is accurate enough, and I showed it in the above table.

But before show it, let me advice in advance a couple of points:

  • First, the comparison only is about one main resource: compute, included of course the block storage that this kind of resources needs as well as basic communications needs; it doesn’t compare other important resources as stand-alone storage, usually needed very cheap, where the best solution is “block storage”, and advanced communications features: I mean the related ones with Software Defined networking (SDN) that let align, in real-time, communications with the fast changing needs of application, virtual machines (VM)  movements, and so on.
  • For simplification reason, in the previous posts I do not analyze  the virtualization market leader VmWare, that is trying to become a big Cloud player too, but the current VmWare’s Cloud offering is restricted to the VmWare ecosystem, so it’s a proprietary solution and the problem is the same. However, as a VM management platform it’s unquestionably the best, if you can afford its costs. In future post (with enough time for that) I’ll analyze this subject deeper. And this note, it’s because in the table appears VmWare’s vCloud Director 1.5

So here it’s the comparison table:

Some Cloud Computing Platforms Comparison

NOTE added on 2013/feb/27. Recently I’ve received an e-mail about this post from Mr. Marten Mickos, CEO of Eucalyptus Systems, clarifying or amending some of my comments. I quote its words:

Comments from Eucalyptus:

  • We agree that the API abstractions of Amazon Web Services have become a de facto standard in the cloud world. More than that, the AWS ecosystem is the most important driving force in software development for cloud today.

  • Eucalyptus has the most complete AWS compatibility and is the only vendor to work in partnership with Amazon Web Services on API compatibility.

  • Eucalyptus has a range of advanced storage services including Walrus (compatible with S3), EBS and JBOD.

  • The Network World comparison is radically outdated and partly incorrect.

  • It is based on Eucalyptus 2.0 which was shipped in 2010. Since then, Eucalyptus has gone through three major product generations – 3.0, 3.1 and now 3.2. – and added significant functionality such as HA, IAM, a new user console, etc.

  • Generally, Eucalyptus stands out in a comparison with the other 3 open source cloud platforms as the one that is AWS API compatible and the one that has taken productization the farthest. Therefore, it is the fastest path to a functioning hybrid cloud.


And my own comments about Eucalyptus clarifications or amendments are:

  • I’ve let out OpenNebula in this second part of comparison (but not in the first one, referred also in the blog) only because I use (that I clearly stated that it was copied from “Network World”) a table done by other (I mentioned Mr. Vadim Truksha) that unfortunately does not include OpenNebula.
  • The same reason was the cause for referring Eucalyptus 2.0.3 and no to the current version. Actually I noted in the posted that the comparison table was done 7 months ago roughly.
  • About some of their words about AWS I fully agree too. In fact in my aforesaid post I argue the same ideas but in other words:
      • AWS – holds 70 percent of the IaaS; by the way we should be honest and thank Amazon for popularizing IaaS and making it affordable, accessible, and broadly relevant to the current IT market, and for keep innovating about.
      • AWS APIs are becoming, in some way, a “de facto” standard since other vendors declare to be compatible with.
      • Besides, I also said that Eucalyptus signed an agreement with Amazon in 2012, that it also made it easier for Eucalyptus to bill their product as the natural partner to Amazon’s offerings

Of course, I’ve not doubts about Mr. Mickos corrections about Eucalyptus’ product, so I beg its pardon about the possible inconvenient and I’m publishing this note in different ways and media to solve the problem.