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Elastra – Another Cloud Provider

By John | March 25, 2008

Elastra Cloud Server

I spoke to the founder of Elastra, Kirill Sheynkman, last week about his new cloud offering, “Elastra Cloud Server”. The Elastra Cloud Server is what I call a “Level 1 Cloud” that is designed to run on top of Amazon’s EC2. Due to their well-designed architecture, however, they have basically positioned themselves to be able to run on any cloud provider. While all other cloud vendors are trying to justify using “Cloud” in their name, vendors such as Elastra, RightScale, and 3Tera are walking the walk. As I have stated before, a true cloud not only abstracts the hardware but also abstracts the complicated software infrastructure as well. A ‘Holy-Grail” cloud solution does not focus on the provisioning of just single systems; it provides a holistic, abstracted view of a service that can be made up of many different complicated systems. At the core of Elastra’s architecture are the system design specifications called ECML and EDML. ECML is an XML markup language to specify a cloud design (i.e., multiple system design of firewalls, load balancers, app servers, db servers, etc.). The EDML markup provides the provisioning instructions. The interesting thing about the EDML is that it also includes markup tags for autonomic processing (How do you like them apples, IBM?). You can design the elasticity into your defined service with markup tags that tell the Elastic Cloud Server what system/performance metrics should be used to expand or shrink servers. Other vendors, such as 3Tera and RightScale, have this kind of capability built in to their systems, but Elastra seems to be the first to have designed their autonomics into a standards language. I have been running a 3Tera grid for a few weeks, and I am about to fire up some RightScale instances soon. It will be exciting to discuss the differences between all of these new Cloud providers on this blog. Stay tuned.

Topics: 3tera, autonomic, aws, cloud computing, ec2, elastra, grid, ibm, provisioning, rightscale, thebigswitch | 3 Comments »

3 Responses to “Elastra – Another Cloud Provider”

  1. Charles N Wyble Says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    John,

    I can’t find any references or documentation regarding ECML or EDML. Do you have any references on them?

    Did searches on both live.com and google.com. Nothing turned up immediately other then some spam sites.

    Please advise. :)

  2. John Says:
    March 25th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Charles,

    ECML and EDML are Elastra specific markup languages. However they are based of the DMTF Open Virtual Machine Format or OVF. Elastra has a white paper describing their offering at:

    http://www.elastra.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/EC_WhitePaper_FINAL.pdf

    Thanks
    John

  3. William Vambenepe’s blog » Blog Archive » Elastra and data center configuration formats Says:
    March 26th, 2008 at 10:53 am

    [...] and as far as I can tell it’s working (since I heard about them). They got to me through John’s blog. They are also using the more conventional PR channel (and in that context they follow all the [...]

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