CloudBolt Software Logo

CloudBolt Blog

CloudBolt Releases C2 v3.7.0

Posted by Justin Nemmers

4/8/13 9:03 AM

On behalf of the entire team here at CloudBolt, I’m excited to announce the release of CloudBolt C2 version 3.7.0. 

We continue to pull out all of the development stops in CloudBolt C2.  This latest version adds numerous improvements, and new features to help reduce the burden of IT and cloud management.

C2 updates in v3.7.0 make AWS easier

Amazon Web Services (AWS) support continues to strengthen.  Now, CloudBolt C2 will auto-create region-specific environments based on administrator-selected regions for EC2.  C2 will also list out the various AMIs admins want to make accessible to their users.  The best part is that this will work for any EC2-provided AMI, as well as customer-specific AMIs.  C2 also now provides for richer discover of running instances in EC2, so the server list and individual server views in C2 contain even more information about the related EC2 instance.  Keep your eyes peeled, because we’re going to continue adding capabilities to the AWS connector.

We believe that Network Virtualization from folks like Nicira by VMware will drastically change how IT organizations manage enterprises.  Our engineers have now enabled Network Virtualization support in the KVM connector, meaning administrators can now create and deploy virtualized networks on KVM-backed hosts using CloudBolt C2. 

One powerful aspect of CloudBolt C2 is that is it’s ability to apply actions to systems cross-environment.  Part of what was needed here was a multi-select capability that allowed users to multi-select where it makes sense to do so.  C2 now supports multi-select in the appropriate dialog boxes.

Provisioning instances is what CloudBolt C2 was built to do. When a user has no knowledge of what’s going on behind the scenes, it’s good practice to at least let them know that something is happening.  With 3.7.0, C2 does a better job showing users the provisioning progress of their instance.

Read More

Topics: Innovation, Feature, Cloud Manager, Upgrade, Release Notes, AWS

CloudBolt Releases C2 v3.6.1

Posted by Justin Nemmers

3/8/13 4:03 PM

We're keeping busy over here at CloudBolt.  To prove it, our engineers have released C2 v3.6.1 with a bounty of new capabilities.

Amazon Web Services (AWS for the acronym-inclined) support continues to get better and better in C2.  We understand that many users will want to import the existing state of an AWS account, so now C2 will import a list of all the running virtual instances in a customer's AWS accounts.  

Happy that you're able to provision servers quicker than ever?  Want to brag about it?  C2 now presents users that ability to post a Facebook message bragging about how well your IT environment is run after they provsion a virtual machine using CloudBolt. Of course, administrators can toggle that feature on and off as needed/required.

What happens when something goes wrong with a VM deployment? v3.6.1 now gives you more information on the status of an order, and will tell you more about errors from the underlying virtualization or configuration management.

While we'd love to say that bugs never happen, the fact is that all software has bugs.  We grabbed our fly swatter and fixed a handful of issues in this release, including UI rendering fixes for Internet Explorer, situations where the remote console feature failed, and some corrected verbiage in various status messages.

Ready to upgrade?  Hit up our support portal (login required) for details.  Want to kick the tires?  Request a download now!

Read More

Topics: Public Cloud, Feature, Cloud Manager, Upgrade, Release Notes, AWS, Development

CloudBolt Releases C2 v3.6.0

Posted by Justin Nemmers

2/14/13 3:31 PM

We're happy to announce the release of CloudBolt C2 v3.6.0!

Building on the ground-breaking Network Virtualization capabilites we released in v3.5.0, we've created the ability to directly manage network virtualization-provided layer 3 networking (i.e. routing) directly from C2.

C2 also now supports KVM-QEMU, further expanding the supported virtualization platforms that it centrally manages.

We've also added many more visual cues throught the user interface. You'll now see appropriate vendor icons for items including resource handlers like VMware vSphere and vCenter, AWS and QEMU, as well as Operating Systems, Configuration Management systems (Puppet, Chef, HP Server Automation), and Network Virtualization (Nicira by VMware).

Do you have a large number of users, but don't want to connect C2 to LDAP or Active Directory? Not a problem anymore, as C2 can now import users from a csv file.

From the beginning, CloudBolt enables plain old virtualzation environments to provide resources in a Cloud-ified manner: virtualization becomes Infrastructure as a Service and Platfform as a Service.  Strating with v3.6.0, we enable users to request multiple servers from multiple environments.  Previously, they could request multiple servers, but only from on envronment at a time.

We've also invested a bunch of time in performance tuning the UI, including adding capabilities to filter the server list by the OS family a server belongs to.

C2 can also now query a Configuration Management system to determine which virtual machines in your environment are also managed by a supported CM system so that C2 can enable more fine-grained application and life-cycle management of those VMs.

Ready to upgrade?  Hit up our support portal (login required) for details.  Want to kick the tires?  Request a download now!

Download C2

Read More

Topics: Nicira, Network Virtualization, Feature, Management, Virtualization, VMware, Cloud Manager, Upgrade, Release Notes

The Language Behind CloudBolt C2 - a Powerful Combination

Posted by Bernard Sanders

2/4/13 8:23 AM

A couple of us were speaking to an industry analyst the other day who was asking about our technology stack when he remarked:

The selection of Python and Django three years ago was either truly visionary or borderline crazy, but it’s exactly what you would choose if you were to start today.” – Bernd Harzog, The Virtualization Practice

I’d like to take the credit associated with the visionary part of that statement, but the truth is that Python has been a solid, logical choice for enterprise development longer than it usually gets credit for.   Python has been used for years at the core of intensive, production systems by everyone from Google to NASA, and it has performed admirably under the pressure.

Some might say that the choice of a back-end technology should be irrelevant to consumers of a product, but the fact is that a language, though unseen by end users, makes a huge impact on their experience.  A language should inspire a development team to deliver functionality quickly and reliably and allow engineers to focus simultaneously on the dual goals of robust architecture and an excellent end user experience.  In a similar way to how dogs and their owners tend to start looking like one another after years together, programmers’ thought patterns and behaviors are influenced by the attributes of the language and framework they use every day.  For example:

  • C programmers think overwhelmingly in computer science terms, at the expense of user experience.
  • .Net teams tend to think excessively graphically, at the expense of creating architectures that are not as interoperable and ready for integration and scale as they should be.
  • Perl encourages developers to think of the most obfuscated way of accomplishing a task, rather than the most transparent.

Development Language Owner dog1Development Language Owner dog4Development Language Owner dog3Development Language Owner dog1

Just as dogs and their owners begin to look alike, developers begin to think in their "native" language (photos courtesy of Cesar)

In contrast to other options, Python influences programmers to constantly consider extensibility, simplicity of design, ease of installation/management, and the principle of least surprise, all through the example that it sets.  It does this while enabling more rapid and responsive development than any other language I have used. 

Though CloudBolt C2 was introduced later than some other cloud management systems, we have seen it leapfrog other solutions and gain acknowledgement as being easier to install, more flexible and scalable, and sporting a cleaner and simpler user interface than other products in the space.  There are several factors that enabled us to surpass other solutions, but at the core of these is the Python programming language.

Read More

Topics: Innovation, Feature, Enterprise, Development, Bernard

License Management in the Cloud: Are you Flying Blind?

Posted by Justin Nemmers

1/14/13 11:18 AM

If I were to ask you how many copies of Red Hat Enterprise Linux you had in your virtual and physical environment, would you be able to answer that?  Not running RHEL?  Then how many copies of Windows Server are you running?  Oracle?  What about SQLServer?  Or JBoss?  Furthermore, how many of those licenses are deployed on virtual machines that are not actually running right now?

Cloud Software License Handcuffs
License management in the cloud can feel like handcuffs if not done correctly.

To determine these numbers, you can go out and do a large survey across every environment you have, adding up the licenses as you discover them.  Next, manually consolidate that information from all your different teams, and you’ll end up with one or more large spreadsheets that have all of the information you need to properly handle license negotiations with your vendors. Your counts will be roughly accurate until your admins provision some more instances, de-provision others, or install additional software on existing VMs. In short—and let’s be honest here—you have very little knowledge of your exact license usage real-time, or control over who is using them. A spreadsheet created manually, even assuming it’s 100% accurate, is simply a snapshot in time that is subject to rapid deprecation.

License management in the cloud has two parts: 

  1. You have to be able to identify, track, manage and control the licenses.
  2. You have to account for the different ways in which vendors license their software.

A discussion about software license management has to address how to create a model that fully addresses the entire lifecycle of software licenses, from identifying and tracking them to managing and controlling usage. I’ll discuss how various vendors need to license software in a future article.

First, let’s talk about the method you use to track software licenses, account for variations and keep up-to-date snapshots. Essentially, how do you create a fluid model that validates accurate counts and identifies usage without an ongoing effort? Tracking, identifying, managing, and controlling usage of licenses becomes much more important in the cloud because inaccurate counts and loss of control over license usage can significantly impact license agreements and operating expenses. Additionally, working across multiple cloud implementations can require investing much more time to manually identify, track, manage and control usage of software licenses.

It is clear that tracking software licenses has to move beyond an Excel spreadsheet or other manual systems, especially in the cloud.

The cloud causes us to rethink IT management as we’ve come to know it. To do it effectively requires advanced management tools—tools that solve problems in a manner that is conducive to your technology and process—but that also open the door for your IT teams to be more agile, and more responsive to the business that your team serves. Effective license management in the cloud is one specific area where most every Virtualization or Cloud Managemement (we just call it a Cloud Manager) vendor will totally fail you. Only one Cloud Manager product can effectively track those resources as they’re provisioned and decommissioned, and still allow you to dynamically adjust the method in which those licenses are tracked.

CloudBolt Software recognizes that software licenses only provide value when they’re running. CloudBolt C2 is the only Cloud Manager that provides a means to leverage utilization of licenses by accurately identifying, tracking, managing and controlling usage. For example, does a provisioned license on a stopped VM count against the pool total? C2 lets IT admin set those set or change those software policies, and control usage of software applications, and licenses. C2 can be used to control everything in the resource pool on demand, and fully manage the entire software license lifecycle: identify, track, allocate, provision, recycle or decommission.

Built-in license management in the C2 Enterprise Edition makes it possible to seamlessly and effortlessly track license usage across environments and clouds.  You will know immediately what your provisioned and actual turned-on license count is whenever you check. You can even enable the tracking and usage of different software versions in your environment. With a powerful and customizable tool like C2, the possibilities are limitless. Don’t fly blind with your license usage. With CloudBolt C2, you’ll finally have complete situational awareness, and will be flying blind no more.

Up next:  Software license agreements (SLAs) from different vendors have a big effect on how you track those licenses and how you use them in the cloud.

Get C2 Product Overview
Read More

Topics: Feature, Cloud Manager, License Management