Ravello Systems Extends Its Platform For Migrating Workloads To Public Clouds To Google Compute Engine

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.

Ravello Systems Uses Cloud Application Hypervisor To Facilitate Use Of Public Clouds For Development And Testing

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.