Oracle and Ravello have entered into an agreement whereby Ravello will be acquired by Oracle as noted in a February 22 blog post by Rami Tamir, CEO of Ravello Systems (Ravello). The Ravello team will become part of the Oracle Public Cloud group and Ravello’s technology will be integrated into the Oracle Cloud. Ravello’s proprietary, nested HVX hypervisor allows customers to replicate application infrastructures within public clouds in conjunction with a rich visual interface used for creating a blueprint of an application and its constituent parameters. As a result, Ravello customers can migrate applications to public clouds without costly re-architectures through a simple, drag and drop user interface. The acquisition of Ravello by Oracle represents a huge coup for the Oracle Public Cloud given the uniqueness of Ravello’s nested virtualization technology as an enabling tool for migrating workloads to the public cloud for dev and test use cases, disaster recovery, production usage or even or security, penetration and malware testing. By acquiring Ravello Sytems, Oracle promises to integrate cloud portability into its product offerings and subsequently differentiate itself from Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and the Google Public Cloud. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed but VentureBeat claims that Oracle paid $500M for Ravello Systems.
Ravello Systems today announced that its nested virtualization technology will render the Nutanix Community Edition available on Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud. The partnership between Ravello Systems and Nutanix marks the first time hyperconverged infrastructure technology such as the Nutanix Community Edition is available on the public cloud and powerfully illustrates the efficacy of one of Ravello’s three use cases, namely the facilitation of the deployment of cloud environments by rendering an expanded roster of hypervisors compatible with a cloud environment and infrastructure. By partnering with Ravello Systems, Nutanix customers can take advantage of the community edition of its converged infrastructure platform without the operational challenge of purchasing, deploying and managing hardware. Instead, customers of Nutanix on AWS or the Google Cloud can select the Nutanix Community Edition blueprint from within the Ravello Systems platform and launch Nutanix infrastructures on the selected public cloud within minutes. The enhanced and streamlined operational agility with respect to both deployment and ongoing management means that Nutanix customers can focus on optimizing their converged infrastructure deployments by means of attention to analytics and KPIs that enable the optimization of infrastructure performance. More importantly, by making Nutanix Community Edition available on AWS and Google Cloud via Ravello, Nutanix stands to benefit from increased exposure to a wider range of customers that may be in the market for a converged infrastructure solution for their data center. As told to Cloud Computing Today in an interview with Shruti Bhat, Director of Marketing at Ravello Systems and Nikita Maheswari from Nutanix’s Product Marketing Team, the partnership between Ravello and Nutanix rests on a product integration marked by a rewriting of the Acropolis hypervisor used by Nutanix to render it compatible with Ravello’s nested hypervisor technology. As such, the announcement continues to underscore the ability of Ravello Systems to engineer its platform to accommodate a multitude of hypervisor technology toward the end of facilitating migrations from on premise environments to the cloud, or for other use cases such as dev and test or even security testing.
Ravello Systems today announced details of a new and powerful use case for its nested virtualization technology in the form of the ability to allow customers to perform security sandbox penetration testing and malware testing on public clouds such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud. Given that public clouds such as AWS typically impose limits on the frequency and scheduling of penetration testing because they find it difficult to differentiate between orchestrated penetration testing and legitimate security threats to their infrastructures, Ravello’s nested virtualization technology provides customers with the ability to conduct penetration and malware testing at will. On the AWS platform, for example, Ravello’s nested virtualization platform empowers customers to perform penetration testing by isolating the test from Amazon’s infrastructure as enabled by the conjunction of Ravello’s HVX hypervisor technology and its software defined L2 networking platform. The encapsulation and isolation specific to Ravello’s L2 networking technology means that customers can analyze the results of penetration or malware testing using data from Ravello’s instance, without reference to the underlying AWS or Google Cloud infrastructure. More importantly, customers now have the ability to expeditiously create copies of their on premise infrastructures on AWS and Google Cloud and thereby run security tests at will without compromising the integrity of their deployments. Moreover, Ravello’s nested hypervisor technology allows customers to store blueprints of their security sandbox testing in the cloud for future tests in ways that optimize the operational efficiencies associated with security testing. All in all, the ability to run sandbox security testing in the cloud using Ravello marks a breakthrough use case for Ravello’s innovative technology that stands to disrupt the cybersecurity landscape by rendering it increasingly convenient, affordable, secure and operationally efficient to conduct penetration and malware testing using the public cloud.
The following video, courtesy of Ravello Systems, elaborates on the concept of nested virtualization whereby the Ravello Systems hypervisor, HVX, enables a multi-VM-based application to run on AWS or the Google Cloud. Navin Thadani, Ravello’s SVP of Products, elaborates on two modalities of nested virtualization that include running the ESXi hypervisor atop Ravello’s high performance HVX hypervisor to run ESXi labs on Google or Amazon AWS.
Ravello Systems today announced the general availability of its cloud hypervisor platform for Google Compute Engine. As a result of the announcement, Ravello customers can use its SaaS nested virtualization technology to migrate workloads to the Google Compute Engine (GCE) public cloud with a few clicks of the mouse and thereby take advantage of the agility of public cloud environments to accelerate their development and testing efforts. Ravello’s process for the migration of workloads to public cloud environments simplifies migrations by preserving network topologies as well as storage and computing configurations. Customers use Ravello’s user interface to upload their virtual machines into Ravello’s private library, drag and drop them onto an “application canvas,” specify the requisite network configuration, publish the configuration of VMs to the cloud and then create an “application blueprint” that serves as a snapshot of the application at the time of upload. Developers can use the blueprint to spin up the application for parallel testing and QA purposes or connect Ravello to a continuous integration server that synchronizes the blueprint with changes to the on-premise version of the application to ensure that development and testing efforts are performed on the latest version of the application.
Today’s announcement means that Ravello now supports four public clouds in the form of Amazon Web Services, HP Cloud, Rackspace and Google Compute Engine. Integration with Microsoft Azure remains on the product roadmap as told to Cloud Computing Today in a phone interview with Shruti Bhat, Ravello’s Director of Product Marketing. The general availability of Ravello’s nested virtualization technology on GCE represents a particularly special moment for Ravello insofar as its leadership team built the KVM hypervisor that constitutes the basis of virtualization within the Google Compute Engine platform. Ravello’s partnership with Google affirms the threat Google Compute Engine poses to the IaaS market supremacy enjoyed by Amazon Web Services and additionally promises to provide data about cloud deployments within the public clouds it supports by means of the Ravello Cloud Dashboard, which features data about VM provisioning time and VM provisioning-related error rates per cloud provider. From an industry perspective, Ravello’s integration with GCE continues to underscore the importance of public cloud environments for accelerating development and testing. Other use cases for the platform include disaster recovery, backup and replication, but the core use case will revolve around an embellishment of the platform’s capabilities for dev and test in ways that leverage the flexibility of the public cloud to disrupt contemporary protocols for software testing in favor of the massive, algorithmic parallel testing enabled by Ravello’s “blueprint” concept and cloud-based, nested virtualization platform.
Today, Ravello Systems revealed the results of a survey that illustrates the infancy of DevOps, particularly as it pertains to development and testing environments. The survey of 278 IT professionals identified a widespread feeling that dev environments are too costly and complex to create and evince significant differences between dev/test and production environments. Customers are using public clouds for dev/test, but there remains a necessity to accelerate and streamline the integration between development and production. Overall, the survey points to the way in which organizations are turning to the public cloud as a use case for dev/test but are nevertheless struggling to implement their processes with the desired degree of robustness and agility.
On Wednesday, Ravello Systems announced the general availability of its application hypervisor technology that allows organizations to seamlessly replicate application infrastructures within public clouds to augment their development and testing capabilities. Ravello’s application hypervisor platform gives enterprises a new use case for the public cloud by providing a platform that not only migrates application infrastructures to public cloud environments, but additionally enables developers to manage testing as well. Once an application has been imported to a public cloud using Ravello, customers manage the public cloud-residing infrastructure through Ravello’s platform and user interface in order to create application blueprints, tweak application settings for the purpose of A/B and multivariate testing, and monitor the results of subsequent development testing and QA.
Key features of Ravello’s software platform include the following:
•The platform’s claim to fame involves the simplicity of its user interface for importing an application environment into a public cloud infrastructure. Whereas migrations to public clouds can often be complicated, costly and inaccurate, Ravello presents customers with a schematic user interface that allows customers to specify the parameters and configuration of their application as illustrated below:
•Since its Beta launch in February 2013, Ravello’s application hypervisor platform has been used by 2,000 enterprise users for a total of 30,000 applications. Application sizes range from just a few virtual machines to over 100 virtual machines.
•The GA version features enhancements to scalability, networking and storage in the form of “the ability to deal with hundreds of VMs per application, complex enterprise grade networking including VLANs/trunking, L2 appliances, and clustering/storage related features.”
•Ravello currently supports application migration to Amazon Web Services, Rackspace and HP Public Cloud, although it has plans to support Windows Azure according to CEO Rami Tamir, in an interview with Cloud Computing Today.
•Ravello’s user base has not favored any one of its default public clouds (Amazon Web Services, Rackspace or HP) over the others, thus far, according to Tamir. In other words, a disproportionate number of its customers are not leveraging Amazon Web Services, for example, as the favored platform for public cloud deployment.
•Ravello’s pricing is based on application size, complexity and optimization criteria (cost or performance) and includes the cost of the public cloud.
Based on the usage of its platform, Ravello has analyzed data regarding the comparative efficacy of public clouds within a cloud dashboard that compares metrics such as the average time to provision a virtual machine across select regions per cloud provider and the error rate of provisioning a virtual machine. The data is compiled and abstracted from Ravello’s user base featuring thousands of deployments of virtual machines across multiple public cloud systems.
Overall, Ravello’s GA announcement marks the release of an exciting, enterprise grade product to the rapidly growing cloud-based testing and development space. More importantly, however, the product illustrates yet another use case for the public cloud as enabled by technology whose user friendly interface simplifies the replication of application environments within public cloud settings for development and testing in addition to other potential use cases as well.