Frequently Asked Questions
Answer: Cloud computing has several definitions. We define cloud computing as the availability of computing resources on demand via the Internet. The three main categories are:
Infrastructure as a Service has the potential to change the computing landscape with several big players entering the market (Amazon, IBM, Microsoft). In addition to computing resources, network resources will also evolve to support cloud computing.
Infrastructure as a Service provides highly accessible, geographically redundant infrastructure on demand without any upfront capital expense. This means that customers pay for usage only. Instead of buying, building and maintaining infrastructure, companies can simply rent infrastructure at a fraction of what it costs them to run such infrastructure themselves. Economic principles around the specialization of skills and economies of scale are at play here.
The benefits of Infrastructure as a Service are as follows:
Companies such as Kaavo enable organizations to leverage infrastructure as a service, making it easy for customers to securely tap various public clouds through a simple online interface.
Answer: Kaavo enables companies to have the highest level of security when using cloud computing. For secure cloud computing using public clouds (Amazon EC2, Flexiscale, GoGrid, etc.) following three must be addressed:
Kaavo’s enables the customers to achieve desired level of security by enabling all or any of the above listed items.
Answer: Getting infrastructure, servers, storage, etc. within minutes is only part of the solution. To fully leverage cloud computing, automation is needed for configuring the infrastructure resources to run applications and workloads on-demand within minutes. Also there is need to manage service levels for applications running in the cloud by automating the response to known events. Kaavo is started by enterprise IT veterans, we understand the issues of security and controls in the adoption of cloud computing from enterprise IT perspective. In addition we also realize the huge opportunity and potential of cloud computing not only in reducing operational costs and providing flexibility; but most importantly in simplifying and streamlining the configuration management and change management processes in enterprise IT. In addition to providing simple interface to various cloud providers, we provide the following key value:
Answer: At Kaavo, we focus on enabling companies to run their business critical application in the cloud by eliminating barriers to the use of infrastructure as a service. Our product makes cloud computing easy and secure.
This allows businesses to focus on core competencies and avoid the challenges associated with datacenter management, server procurement and other complex, costly computing issues.
Other benefits of cloud computing include reduced costs, unlimited storage capabilities, flexibility, higher visibility and the ability to access your information from anywhere in the world.
Answer: IMOD makes it easy and secure to use cloud infrastructure around the world. The IMOD product can be used for both internal and external clouds.
Using a simple browser based interface, users can manage and monitor applications & services run in the cloud.
System administrators and developers can log-in to the cloud servers where they can manage, monitor, deploy software, and securely transfer files to and from the cloud. IMOD provides single click deployment of complex multi-tier systems and also provide run-time automation for managing service levels.
IMOD provides added security benefits to the following areas of cloud computing:
Kaavo covers all three major areas by properly configuring firewalls and VPN connectivity with both the cloud server and an internal datacenter or network. IMOD provides a data encryption mechanism in the cloud such that gives the data owner sole proprietary access and decryption rights.
Answer: Kaavo uses AES-256 bit encryption. AES-256 bit encryption is currently the most highly recommended encryption solution and is approved by the National Security Agency for protecting top secret information.
Answer: From a macro- level, they all provide infrastructure as a service on-demand (ie. virtual private servers). There are some differences in application programming interface (API), service level agreements (SLAs) and pricing.
Answer: The data will be stored on the backend provider platform. (i.e. Amazon EC2, GoGrid, FlexiScale)
Answer: Yes, disaster recovery mechanisms are developed by backend providers such as Amazon EC2. Kaavo’s interface makes it easy to recover the data from distributed repositories.
Answer: If Kaavo fails, the user’s system and data will continue to sit on the backend provider platform, e.g. Amazon, IBM, Rackspace. The only component at risk is the easy to use and secure interface provided by Kaavo. If this is a concern, Kaavo can provide mechanisms allowing companies to host their own instances of Kaavo’s application in the event that Kaavo or an acquirer of Kaavo can no longer support the customer. Kaavo has partnered with large established IT services companies, and customers concerns can be addressed by the established players supporting Kaavo's offerings.
Answer: Tools like BladeLogic, Pan Manager, Opsware, etc. were developed to handle the configuration management and datacenter automation challenges during the phase II of IT evolution. At that time most of the companies were consolidating datacenters to run multiple applications on same physical servers. All these tools were designed to manage resources using an infrastructure centric approach. Basically datacenter automation tools were designed for IT team running the datacenters. Cloud is a move towards providing self-serve model to the IT applications teams, so the cloud management tools must be designed to address their needs. This is why Kaavo has taken an application centric approach towards infrastructure management.
Kaavo’s IMOD is designed grounds to handle the challenges of virtualization and cloud computing. IMOD provides application centric approach to managing infrastructure and middleware resources required for any given application. All the infrastructure and middleware related configuration and resource requirements are captured in the System Definition for the application. IMOD automatically brings the entire infrastructure and middleware online and configure the appropriate software components, e.g. database, application servers, web servers, etc. required for running the application, and deploys the application. During run-time IMOD monitors the application service levels and take appropriate actions based on pre-defined workflows in the System Definition for the application. E.g. in case of a security breach, the IMOD can automatically shutdown certain ports or servers based on pre-configured workflows. Application owners can define actions for events in the System Definition, actions can be sophisticated workflows. In addition to built-in monitoring, IMOD can be integrated with external monitoring tools (e.g. Hyperic, Zabbix, Nagios, Tivoli, alt.) for application level monitoring. During run-time of the application , IMOD can receive data or events from external monitoring tools and take appropriate actions based on pre-defined workflows to make sure application can keep on running smoothly without any negative impact on the application service levels.
Answer: Rightscale is built for infrastructure centric management. Scripts and templates by RightScale are designed from a server management perspective to bring and configure a single server. Rightscale provides certain pre-configured components with multiple servers, e.g. MYSQL Master/Slave configuration etc., however, Rightscale's bottoms-up appoach of configuring multi-resource system using scripts has a complexity ceiling.
Kaavo’s IMOD is built grounds up for handling complex multi-tier multi-server deployments. Kaavo uses a top down application centric management approach from the application owner's perspective of the system. Kaavo allows users to easily configure single server templates like Rightscale. However, most importantly because of the application centric approach IMOD makes it very easy for users to define the entire configuration for a multi-server n-tier system with different OS, middleware, etc. in a single System Definition and bring online complex n-tier system with a single click. Because of the use of unique and innovative appraoch, Kaavo doesn't require the use of proprietary images. Kaavo provides enterprise class solution with robust security, tools for managing application service levels, and for ensuring business continuity. In addition Kaavo provides autopilot capability for the runtime service levels management of complex enterprise applications without human intervention. Kaavo's event to action architecture provides a flexible and reliable framework for automating the deployment and management of any complex custom application in public, private, or hybrid clouds. In addition to the SaaS solution Kaavo IMOD is also available for onsite deployment for managing large private or hybrid clouds.
Answer: Yes, tools like CohesiveFT and rPath allows users to create custom images for single server appliances. Using Kaavo’s IMOD these appliances can be tied together using the System Definition to build n-tier multi-server systems. Using IMOD these multi-server systems can be brought online in the clouds with a single click and users can manage their multi-server systems for running their applications using Kaavo’s innovative application centric approach.
Answer: Yes, in addition to built-in monitoring IMOD can be integrated with external monitoring solutions, we have tested the integration with Nagios, Zabbix, and Hyperic. Our standards based modular architecture allows plugging in different monitoring tools. Please contact us if you want to use other monitoring tools with IMOD for application centric management.
Answer: Amazon has published a detailed document covering serveral aspects of security related to EC2 & S3, including physical security, security of traffic within the Amazon datacenters, and serveral other related topics. Please click here to access the Amazon security document.
Answer: Yes. Here is the link to a detailed article describing the steps for migrating the vmware images to EC2 http://thewebfellas.com/blog/2008/9/1/creating-an-new-ec2-ami-from-within-vmware-or-from-vmdk-files .
Answer: Please refer to Kaavo Wiki AWS setup section for details.
Answer: Please refer to Kaavo Wiki Rackspace setup section for details.