What a year it has been! We've released a lot of really cool features, including a MultiCloud API and many MultiCloud ServerTemplates. To round out the year, last week, we launched new public clouds that are available on the RightScale MultiCloud Management Platform: AWS South America in São Paulo, Datapipe, Logicworks, SoftLayer and Rackspace UK. These new clouds offer choice for our users when they ask where workloads should be launched on the cloud. With these latest additions, we span a total of 8 geographic areas with additional presence in Amsterdam, Dallas, Hong Kong, London, New York, Sao Paolo, Seattle, Singapore and Washington DC.
These clouds have been in the works for a little while, and I'm pleased they are now available in the RightScale platform for our customers. When we integrate with a given cloud, we work hard to ensure a seamless experience across all the clouds we support. We provide a generic interface to each of the clouds integrated within RightScale. This is not to limit functionality from the clouds themselves; but rather to ensure all that cool functionality is usable. If I'm using SoftLayer and Datapipe, I don't want to deal with different storage solutions like volumes or instance based storage (or at least not until I'm ready to optimize the storage). Likewise, keep networking off my plate...I don't care whether it's security groups or ip tables. Just make that infrastructure stuff work so that my app can run.
As a user, I want to easily port what I have in one resource pool to another resource pool. For this purpose, RightScale has generic constructs for things like instances, instance types, images, volumes, volume snapshots, etc, that are exposed in our dashboard. Then, in our ServerTemplates (stay tuned by the way, a release is imminent), we use chef to abstract features for individual ServerTemplates that work, albeit very differently, across different resource pools. Using the above example, someone launching servers in SoftLayer's Amsterdam cloud and Datapipe's Hong Kong cloud doesn't have to worry about the differences between network configuration and storage management. You can launch an entire 3-tier PHP architecture on both environments using ServerTemplates from the MultiCloud Marketplace. We'll take care of dealing with instance based storage in Amsterdam and set up the proper security groups for you in Hong Kong through the platform.
Why does RightScale spend so much time touting 'MultiCloud' and why should anyone care?
It's a good question to ask. I spend a lot of my time working with service providers and various companies looking to deliver infrastructure as a service for public consumption. A number of people, our existing customers included, come to us and say, "Hey, I know I will have multiple clouds (if I don't already). Help me make that happen." Analysts also agree - Forrester's Holger Kisker touts "multi-cloud becomes the norm" as his number one cloud computing prediction for 2012.
It's real. And it's great validation for being the leader in "multi-cloud management."
Perhaps even more interesting (and contradictory if you think about it) is that the service providers say the same thing! We describe how RightScale offers clouds to consumers and the choice consumers have to use what works best for their business needs. And, IaaS providers are more than happy (okay, some take it as a challenge to deliver an even better service for their users. ;-)). In truth though, they recognize that cloud is a heterogeneous environment. A single customer will use more than one cloud offering in a single environment. Cost is one factor, and another I hear often is performance. In some cases, geographic location is important and they "can't get there with their current IaaS provider." It's an opportunity for some to seize, and we're partnering with the best to deliver the multi-cloud solutions our customers want.
Within RightScale, you can use any or all of the following clouds - all the Amazon regions, SoftLayer, Rackspace Cloud across US and UK, Datapipe, Logicworks as well as private cloud management with CloudStack and Eucalyptus.