Cross-cloud enabler Ravello Systems has entered general availability for its Cloud Application Hypervisor. The company aims to eliminate the boundaries between on-premise applications and public clouds like Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, and HP. Last February, the company raised $26 million to this end.
Since February, over 2,000 enterprises replicated more than 30,000 applications representing more than 1 million CPU hours deployed, according to Ravello. These applications ranged from a few VMs to complex, applications spanning over 100s VMs with multiple subnets and several virtual network appliances.
Different virtualization, networking and storage stand in the way of leveraging the cloud for proper development and testing. The cloud hypervisor makes public clouds look and feel like the enterprise data center and is a nice ramp to using cloud.
“Most enterprises recognize the need to test on replicas of their production applications," said Paul Burns, president and IT analyst, Neovise. "However, it requires too much effort to recreate complex multi-tier production environments and there often isn’t enough capacity in the internal data center. The public cloud can solve the capacity issue but it’s still a very different environment usually requiring long migration and automation projects.”
Replicating Apps for Multiple Clouds
Ravello features high-performance nested virtualization (HVX), software defined networking and storage, and an application framework. Enterprises can easily create replicas of their on-premise, multi-tier VMware or KVM based applications in any public cloud without making any changes. Spin up as many instances on Amazon Web Services, Rackspace, or HP cloud as needed.
There obvious cost benefits to this, namely enterprises don’t need to built out that massive test capacity on-site. Considering the intermittent nature of this infrastructure, it makes sense to rent it rather than having that capital expenditure sit idly most of the time.
ScanCafe, a photo digitization and photo concierge service, is one example of Ravello in practice.
“Earlier we sometimes felt we were rolling out code a bit like we were rolling dice because we were privileging agility. We’d rather spend our resources in developing features for our customers than in building the type of test infrastructure and automation that would be required for flawless deployments,” said Laurent Martin, president and CTO, ScanCafe. “With Ravello we no longer need to compromise; we are able to get our applications to market faster and with better quality.”
Ravello has a usage-based pricing model, making it economically feasible to develop and test on replicas of production with no capacity constraints. For bursty workloads like development and test it does not make economic sense for enterprises to build internal data center capacity for peak usage, since on average, resource utilization may be as low as one percent,” said Navin R. Thadani, SVP of products, Ravello Systems. “The public cloud sounds promising but is too different an environment, and still does not solve the infrastructure automation problem. Consequently testing is still mostly on-premise. It is rarely as frequent or as efficient as it needs to be. Hence, development cycles are far too slow.”