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Enterprise Hardware

Nebula One Offers Quick Clouds with Standard Servers

Nebula One Offers Quick Clouds with Standard Servers
April 2, 2013 12:10PM

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In the Nebula One, the Nebula Cloud Controller hardware unit is designed to transform certified, industry-standard servers into a scalable, on-premise infrastructure-as-a-service cloud system using Nebula's distributed enterprise cloud operating system, called Cosmos. The Nebula approach is designed to save both time and money.

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A start-up company has a quick way to make a cloud. The cloud systems company, Nebula, has announced its Nebula One computer, to which servers can be connected in order to create a one-stop cloud environment.

The new product offers computing, network and storage services, and is designed to work with industry-standard servers from Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Dell and others via a self-service interface and APIs.

Chris C. Kemp, Nebula's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement that the Nebula One can democratize cloud computing by bringing the "simplicity, agility and operational efficiency" that is offered by the world's largest cloud networking companies, but at a fraction of the cost.

Minutes, Not Days

The company noted that other cloud solutions can require hours of work to provision and maintain the computing environment, but the Nebula One can reduce that amount of effort dramatically. By deploying reliable, tested servers for the cloud environment, the enterprise can also avoid having to incur costs for a specialized infrastructure.

The Palo Alto Research Center, or PARC, has selected the Nebula One for its private cloud infrastructure. A subsidiary of Xerox, PARC is well-known for such innovations as developing the first computer mouse and the graphical user interface. Walt Johnson, vice president of the Intelligent Systems Lab at PARC, told news media that his researchers can now provision "in minutes what once took days to manually provision or months to procure."

In the One, the Nebula Cloud Controller hardware unit is designed to transform certified, industry-standard servers into a scalable, on-premise infrastructure-as-a-service cloud system using Nebula's distributed enterprise cloud operating system, called Cosmos.

Cosmos is built on the open source, increasingly popular OpenStack cloud operating system, and includes compatibility with Amazon Web Services and OpenStack APIs. In addition to being utilized by mid-sized companies, Nebula One units can also be deployed in multi-rack configurations to provide the scale needed by large companies.

'Very, Very Large Data Sets'

The new product can be configured on the low-end with 96 terabytes of storage, 384 GB of memory, and 64 processing cores. At the high end: 2,400 terabytes, 9,600 GB, and 1,600 cores.

Charles King, an analyst with PundIT, noted that businesses with "very, very large data sets" can be constrained by data transfer speeds to remote clouds, or they can be concerned about security. In either case, they might want to keep their data on-premises, he said, and an approach such as Nebula One's could be appealing. He also noted that the product is coming out "at a time when how you build out and efficiently manage an internal cloud" has been getting a lot of discussion.

Nebula and OpenStack both had their origins at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Nebula CEO Kemp served as director of strategic business development of the space agency, and later as the CIO and CTO, and his team was behind the early development of OpenStack.

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