Chris Kemp helped to kick off the OpenStack Cloud revolution while he was the CTO of NASA. Now as CEO of OpenStack startup Nebula, Kemp has a product in-market and is aiming to turn his cloud company into a commercial success.
In an exclusive video interview with Datamation, Kemp details what makes Nebula work and explains the use cases where it is deployed today.
The Nebula system has been described as a 'cloud in a box' solution by some, though the reality is that the core technology is actually a cloud controller for servers. Kemp explained that users can buy their servers from whatever vendor they choose, as Nebula is not reselling servers.
The Nebula Cloud controller is an x86-based device that sits on top of the server architecture. The switching fabric is provided by way of a partnership with networking vendor Arista Networks. The controller has up to 50 x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports and has all the compute and storage required to cloud-enable a rack of servers.
"It has everything you need to turn a rack of servers into a cloud," Kemp said.
The core bare metal software that powers the Nebula Cloud Controller is called Cosmos. Cosmos includes the OpenStack Folsom platform with backports of security and stability patches from the current Grizzly release. OpenStack Grizzly was released in April of this year, while Folsom was initially made generally available in September of 2012.
"Think of Cosmos as the entire collection of technologies that makes the cloud work," Kemp said. "It's basically a hundred different open source technologies designed to operate as a single system."
Amazon EC2 is often thought off as a competitor for OpenStack. In the case of Nebula, Amazon compatibility is baked into the solution.
"I think that a lot of folks have experience with Amazon and they have existing tools," Kemp said. "Being compatible with the Amazon API makes it easier for folks to migrate workloads from Amazon to Nebula."
The initial group of customers for Nebula's solution includes enterprises with large amounts of data that have concerns about moving to a public cloud. One of the concerns that some people have about the cloud is security. According to Kemp, security in Nebula has been a core focus from the ground up.
"There is not a magic thing that you do to make a system this complex, secure," Kemp said. "Security is an ongoing concern for cloud and it's why we need to make clouds easy to manage and operate."
Watch the full video with Chris Kemp below:
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.