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ScaleXtreme Extends Management of Multiple Clouds

ScaleXtreme, a company that lets IT administrators and service providers manage public and private clouds, this week updated its service to allow customers to model, configure and launch servers.

The company's new Dynamic Server Assembly lets IT pros who use ScaleXtreme's Web-based Xpress and Xpert services build templates that represent how a machine is built, rather than binding it to a specific cloud provider or virtual machine stack. Administrators can use those templates to manage systems and apps running on multiple public and private clouds.

"We are talking about a new way of modeling and templating machines that allows you to build a canonical expression of a machine and instantiate that on one or more cloud providers so the machine effectively gets built on demand," said ScaleXtreme CEO and Co-Founder Nand Mulchandani.

ScaleXtreme competes with cloud management providers such as RightScale, though Mulchandani argues that his company is better suited for managing both internal private clouds and public clouds. ScaleXtreme itself is a cloud-hosted service and puts agents on internal servers, allowing IT admins or service providers to create and manage virtual machine templates and VMs; start and stop VMs; and, at the OS layer, configure, patch, audit, monitor and remotely access the system.

The service provides consolidated views of multiple cloud services and internal servers and allows admins to browse the file system; monitor and graph OS metrics; and store, edit and run automation scripts in the cloud.

ScaleXtreme offers a free version of its service, which is limited to one administrator and one cloud. A paid service, which costs $15 per month for each server, provides management of an unlimited number of clouds and administrators.

ScaleXtreme manages clouds from Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and those based on OpenStack and VMware's vCloud. The company last month added support for Citrix Systems' CloudStack. With its support for CloudStack, which Citrix picked up earlier this year with its acquisition of Cloud.com, ScaleXtreme claims it can now manage most public and private clouds.

"We probably cover 80 to 90 percent of the footprint of public clouds or semi-private clouds that you can buy capacity from," Mulchandani said. Among those they don't cover are Eucalyptus and Microsoft's Windows Azure and Hyper-V.

"What Microsoft does not have that the other players have in the market have is a templating, cataloging API layer that allows you to programmatically access all the functions of Hyper-V so you can do things like provision machines and manage machines through the APIs," Mulchandani said. He believes once Microsoft delivers a new capability in its System Center 2012 called System Center App Controller 2012,  code-named "Project Concero", that those barriers to managing Azure and HyperV will be lifted. Microsoft released System Center App Controller to beta late last month and said it expects it to be commercially available in the first half of 2012.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on November 16, 2011


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