Today, we’re pleased to publicly announce the Ravello beta. Ravello is the industry’s first universal Cloud Application Platform and it features a new concept – a cloud application hypervisor, HVX. It allows developers to use the cloud more effectively and efficiently, solving some of the biggest challenges of moving existing applications from the data center to the cloud as well as developing and deploying new applications in the cloud.
So what are the challenges?
The Challenge with Existing Applications
Today, existing applications that run in data centers assume a certain underlying infrastructure. That includes virtualization technology (usually VMware), networking configuration (static IPs, DHCP, DNS, multicast, etc.) and storage. Further, IT teams have developed deployment and management processes specific to their data centers. This inextricably ties an existing application to the data center because the cloud is completely different. In the cloud, organizations have to deal with changing IPs, instances that fail often, DNS names that may change and certain protocols like multicast and others that may not be supported. Hence, moving an existing application to the cloud is extremely difficult, and often requires a re-architecture or a re-write. It’s no wonder that cloud “migration” projects can take six months or more and often end up failing.
The Challenge with New Applications
Developers starting to develop a new application face an uncomfortable choice. One option is to learn a cloud’s architecture specifics (such as networking, storage, availability zones, regions, HA best practices). They then need to analyze the differences across clouds, pick one and figure out how to manage it on an ongoing basis. Alternatively, they could simply push their code to a PaaS, but they then lose control, customizability and are often locked into that particular PaaS.
The Cost Challenge
In addition to these challenges, developers face another common problem. The cloud is really expensive, especially since most cloud VMs run at very low resource utilization levels.
The Ravello Solution
With Ravello, you can take an existing application and run it on any cloud on your terms: your tools, know-how and processes — with no changes to the application, no lock-in and at a fraction of the cost. We support Amazon and Rackspace today, and will add more as we go along including IBM, HP, etc.
Using Ravello, developers can take entire multi-VM applications running on VMware or KVM infrastructure in their data center — with multiple switches, routers, and firewalls — and deploy them with the click of a button in the cloud, without any changes or transformations. Unlike existing cloud management platforms, Ravello does not require modifications to the applications or VMs. This easy approach facilitates agile development and testing today, and in the future, seamless bursting , disaster recovery and other on-demand use-cases that are ideal for the cloud.
Ravello allows organizations to develop new applications in any cloud without worrying about the underlying cloud specifics. Developers can simply push their code onto an application blueprint and rapidly collaborate and develop their application in the cloud. Over time we will create customizable application blueprints that support auto-scaling, regional high availability and eventually, even multi-cloud high availability. Unlike with PaaS solutions, developers and devops teams can fully customize the underlying infrastructure by picking and choosing web, app and database servers, optimizing message queue configurations, and then deploying them on the cloud of their choice.
The Industry’s First Universal Cloud Application Platform:
In the 2000s, VMware defined a hypervisor infrastructure layer that changed the x86 landscape. It initially yielded abstraction and consolidation benefits and later led to tremendous agility advantages. Similarly, Ravello — featuring the industry’s first cloud application hypervisor, HVX — will enable complete abstraction, mobility — and in the near future — cloud VM consolidation. Please see our technology page for some more details.
With Ravello, the entire application (multiple VMs, networking and storage) is decoupled from the underlying cloud. This allows easy deployment to any cloud with the click of a button or a simple API call. In time, this decoupling will also allow us to enable dynamic scaling with no changes to the application. In addition, HVX will let organizations consolidate multiple cloud “guest” VMs on a single cloud “host” VM and enable substantial reductions in cost.
Ravello’s first service offering is intended for developers and devops and is available via an easy to use SaaS service. Developers can take an existing multi-VM application as-is from the data center, simply upload it to the Ravello service and deploy it to any cloud. Or they can pick an existing blueprint, customize it if needed, and start building a new app in the cloud without worrying about the underlying cloud specifics. It’s that simple.
Once the application is in the cloud, developers can:
- Create multiple isolated instances so that each developer and tester can have a full multi-VM app instance exactly as it is in production.
- Automatically spin up full multi-VM app instances for Continuous Integration, system and regression testing on every code check-in.
- Snapshot complete multi-VM application instances for debugging or versioning/archiving
- Iteratively, and collaboratively develop applications in the cloud
Request an invite to try it out for free. We pay for everything including your VM costs. No credit card needed. No cloud credentials needed. Let us know what you think!
About Ravello Systems
Ravello is the industry’s leading nested virtualization and software-defined networking SaaS. It enables enterprises to create cloud-based development, test, UAT, integration and staging environments by automatically cloning their VMware-based applications in AWS. Ravello is built by the same team that developed the KVM hypervisor in Linux.