Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Advantages of Hypervisor Based Cloud Computing

We're creating content for our website... Every. Techie's. Worst. Nightmare. The question came up: "What sets Abacus Data Exchange apart from Rackspace and Amazon's EC2?". Ugh.

We offer a fully customizable virtual machine option. Try getting a 1 CPU, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB persistent storage option with those other two. Most cloud services limit you to specific RAM/Storage sizes. Each of our images come with pre-installed operating systems ready to go on statically sized disk images which don't have much room left on them. At any point, even during creation, you can add additional persistent disk images to your virtual machine (you could try that too, but you won't be able to). Unlike the other two where you can change CPU/RAM/Storage "on-the-fly", we require a reboot of the virtual machine for the changes to take effect.

We also offer hardware based VLAN capabilities. While they cannot be provisioned on demand, a simple request to tech support will get one created free of charge. Combined with a virtual appliance installed with Vyatta, a customer can completely secure a set of virtual machines from the outside world. That's how we run our services. Even our router for our internet service is a virtual appliance.

I believe our biggest advantage is to the local market in Lafayette, LA. Lafayette is home to a successful Fiber-to-the-Home network that is municipally owned. Any home/business on the fiber network can get 100 mbps connectivity to any other peer. Soak that in. If you live in Lafayette, you could create a virtual machine and get 100 mbps connection to that virtual machine. How is that not amazing?!?

Of course, we didn't do this on our own. We have to give props to the awesome team over at Enomaly. Other than that, most of our infrastructure is open sourced. So here's a shoutout to: CentOS, Xen, Fedora, Ubuntu and FAN. Don't forget the ones I already mentioned!

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