Cloud computing start-up creates secure tunnel between data center and Amazon cloud

Moves existing applications from internal data centers to the cloud without rewriting the app or requiring changes in management tools

A start-up that moves VMware-based applications to the Amazon cloud and creates a secure tunnel between a customer's data center and the cloud service is launching a public beta trial Monday.

CloudSwitch, recently out of stealth mode, moves existing applications from internal data centers to the cloud without rewriting the app or requiring changes in management tools.

10 cloud computing companies to watch

The concept is not a new one. Amazon's Virtual Private Cloud and the vendor CohesiveFT both tackle the goal of bridging the internal data center with public cloud services in a secure manner.

But CloudSwitch is unique in offering a service that takes care of all the networking, isolation, management, security and storage concerns related to moving an existing application to a cloud, says The 451 Group analyst William Fellows. Still, CloudSwitch has yet to demonstrate a real-world example of its technology in action, so there are still questions about the mechanism of deployment and user experience, he says.

"There are still some question marks around the operation of a CloudSwitch environment," Fellows says. "A lot of details are still quite closely held."

That's not unusual for a start-up just out of stealth mode, Fellows notes. But the goal of building hybrid clouds, in which computing resources are managed as one entity yet span internal data centers and public cloud services, is a difficult one to tackle, involving many different concerns such as IP addressing and routing, network latency and bandwidth availability, he says.

"It's not for the technology faint-hearted," Fellows says.

CloudSwitch's software, which installs as a virtual appliance into a VMware environment, turns the process of moving Windows and Linux applications to Amazon's EC2 cloud computing service into a simple drag-and-drop operation, says Ellen Rubin, the company's founder and vice president of products. Applications moved to the cloud "remain tightly integrated with enterprise data center tools and policies, and are managed as if they were running locally," the company says.

Data is encrypted in flight and at rest, and CloudSwitch's migration technology is compatible with pretty much any type of storage and network connection, she says.

"When you drag and drop your application, we're launching an encrypted tunnel between the data center and cloud," Rubin says.

CloudSwitch has raised $15 million in venture funding from Matrix Partners, Atlas Venture and Commonwealth Venture Partners.

The company introduced its technology in a private beta, and attracted six paying customers in the telecom, pharmaceutical, healthcare and clean technology industries, Rubin says. The beta customers mainly used CloudSwitch for test, development and various custom applications.

The public beta opens CloudSwitch technology to anyone who wants to download the software. A basic version is free, while an enterprise version including support and management of up to 20 virtual machines in the cloud starts at $25,000 a year.

Although CloudSwitch initially works only with Amazon EC2, Rubin says she plans to expand support to multiple cloud platforms for when the product hits general availability in the middle of 2010.

VMware is the only virtualization platform the company is advertising support for, but some beta customers have successfully used CloudSwitch with the open source Xen hypervisor, according to Rubin.

The company could potentially support Microsoft's Hyper-V in the future. The software isn't locked in to any particular virtualization platform. For example, Rubin says CloudSwitch does not rely on VMware's live migration, instead using a similar technology of its own design to move virtual machines.

Rubin was previously vice president of marketing for Netezza, a data warehousing appliance vendor. The CloudSwitch management team also includes veterans of BMC, EMC, RSA, SolidWorks and Sun Microsystems. CloudSwitch CEO John McEleney was previously CEO of SolidWorks, a 3D computer-aided design software vendor.

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Topics: Cloud, cloudswitch
Comments are now closed.

Latest News Articles

Most Popular Articles

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Compare & Save

Deals powered by WhistleOut
WhistleOut

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?