Orchestrating resources for a pitch perfect data centre

Ahead of the release next month of Extility 1.3, Flexiant, an independent cloud platform provider and software and services company, has announced the launch of three enterprise features that will allow licensees to integrate the cloud into existing systems with ease: foreign keys, VLAN interworking, and small footprint installation.

Flexiant developed Europe’s first cloud platform over four years ago and remains one of only a handful of independent cloud platform providers worldwide. Flexiant’s pioneering cloud platform is now being used by the EU across a range of multi-million Euro FP7 projects as a testbed to speed up cloud computing’s adoption rate by enterprise level companies throughout Europe.

Tackling head on the issue of virtual machine sprawl, Extility 1.3’s foreign keys feature allows data centre operators and their end-user customers to orchestrate virtual resources and ensure they are always deployed where they are needed.

The new foreign keys facility is important for making best use of the speed, economy and flexibility of a cloud platform. Foreign keys allow the cloud provider and enterprise user not only to define and tag content but also to build its own logic on top. This will allow the user to query resources active within the company – where four departments could have four separate accounts and four virtual data centres working on one project. By tagging resources the enterprise can drill down and see how these are actually being used rather than having them disappear into the black hole of departmental budgets.

Tony Lucas, Flexiant’s founder explains: “All data centres already have substantial investments in software, hardware and other IT infrastructure. Our challenge is to develop systems which allow organisations to benefit from the agility, flexibility and economy of a cloud computing platform while making the best use of their existing capital investment.”

Flexiant’s VLAN interworking feature will allow integration of existing physical servers and the cloud at the network level, allowing customers to move fully or partially to a cloud platform, in a seamless manner. This means end customers can pilot virtualisation by moving to the cloud those services that will bring the greatest benefit, whilst retaining on physical infrastructure those services which are better suited to it. Services that are most likely to benefit from a move to the cloud include those that may run just once a month and can leave physical servers idle for long periods; when moved to the cloud, such services would share physical resources.

“Whilst many IT resources can be moved to the cloud with ease, some workloads do not benefit from virtualisation,” adds Lucas. “And, understandably, customers may be reluctant to re-architect their entire infrastructure, preferring a more gradual transition to cloud-based services. VLAN interworking allows customers the flexibility to pick and choose which services they put on the cloud.”

A production-ready cloud platform can be both capital and time intensive, a fact that often discourages data centre operators from trialling cloud technology. Extility 1.3’s small foot-print install feature means data centre operators can pilot a cloud offering with relatively little investment in time or capital before developing this deployment into a fully-fledged cloud platform for their customers.

Lucas continues: “Extility is a mature platform and with every release we are building something even more powerful. We are enabling business intelligence faster than ever and adding high level functionality for our licensees and their end users.”

For more information visit http://www.flexiant.com or email Sarah Lee.

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