Ever since is launched, Nimbula has been focused on brining “Amazon-like” functionality to private data centers. There messaging has unwaveringly been about the agility and flexibility of the public cloud, for private data center operations. Their aim came another step closer today with the beta release of version two of their product, Director, which brings these same features to VMware users.
This new version extends the Director product on five fronts:
Extensibility: Nimbula Director can be augmented by third parties who can provide network, data, PaaS or other cloud services. Those services and their custom logic are embedded into the cloud, are run and managed as if they were written by Nimbula, and inherit all of Nimbula Director’s high availability, multi-tenancy and network security functionality.
MyPOV – this move speaks to building partnerships with other small providers looking to differentiate themselves from the other cloud operating systems – it’s a strategic move that looks to win approval from customers who want a more modular approach to building their own clouds.
VMware Support: Nimbula Director 2.0 is now open to VMware customers with its support of the ESXi hypervisor. In addition, Nimbula Director 2.0 will support VMware’s Cloud Foundry PaaS solution, and Nimbula is now a member of VMware’s Technology Alliance Program (TAP).
MyPOV – On two fronts this is smart. VMware is a dominant player within data center virtualization and this move therefore opens up an entire new market of potential customers, those who want to keep using a hypervisor they’re already comfortable. it’s also a recognition of the fact that PaaS is growing rapidly and that CloudFoundry is gaining significant mindshare. Nimbula hopes to attract customers who opt for an end-to-end VMware product base.
Application Management: Nimbula Director is extending its management from the control plane up into the end user application space. Customers can now orchestrate the provisioning of complex applications and have the system monitor and manage applications over their lifetimes.
MyPOV – I predict that more and more customers will seek to abstract as much of the complexity of their operations as they can. This move sees Nimbula extend its breadth higher into the cloud stack and will appeal strongly to organizations with an existing application base who want to automate not only the underlying infrastructure but also the provisioning of the applications that sit on top of it.
DNS and VPN services: This release rounds out the IaaS networking feature set, which also includes DHCP, NAT, firewall and VLAN services, providing a complete set of networking services required for running real world applications.
Enterprise Readiness: Nimbula is introducing a scalable distributed backend database, using an SELinux base for its node software, commissioning a deep external party security audit its code, introducing more enterprise systems management functionality, and adding quota management as well.
MyPOV – both of these moves strongly speak to Nimbula’s strategy of providing a complete end to end offering – either through partnering or by creating their own products.
I have long wondered how Nimbula will remain competitive and compelling in a world that increasingly seems bifurcated between organizations that want to use public cloud services, and those who are compelled by the strength of adoption that OpenStack is seeing. Today’s release gives Nimbula some ammunition in their attempt to differentiate from other players – most notably with organizations strongly invested with VMware. Whether it is enough for Nimbula to truly build market strength remains to be seen.
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog – SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)