Nebula Launches Hardware Version of OpenStack

By Erin Harrison

More than two years in the making, Nebula has debuted a new hardware version of OpenStack in an effort to simplify private cloud.

Branded as Nebula One, the enterprise cloud computer is built to handle the next generation of big data, web and mobile applications – while addressing enterprise security and management requirements.

Security is clearly a focus for Nebula, which was spun out of the NASA Nebula cloud under Chris Kemp, the former CIO of the federal agency. The Mountain View, Calif.-based company emphasizes that a private cloud deployed in an organization’s data center provides physical security, regulatory compliance and direct connections to existing data, users and resources.

“The Nebula One delivers on Nebula’s mission to democratize cloud computing by bringing the simplicity, agility, and operational efficiency of the world’s largest Internet companies to all enterprises at a fraction of the cost of public cloud services,” Kemp said in a statement.

Typically, cloud solutions require users to put in hours of work to provision and maintain their computing environment, however, Nebula One is designed to free organizations to focus on applications instead of infrastructure.

“Nebula One was built from the ground up to power the next generation of big data, web, and mobile applications,” reads an April 2 company blog post. “It’s a turnkey private cloud system that provides compute, network and storage services through a simple self-service interface and the OpenStack and Amazon Web Services APIs, using industry-standard servers from vendors such as HP, IBM and Dell.”

Nebula One is comprised of Nebula hardware and software coupled with certified industry-standard x86 servers called Nebula Cloud Nodes to create a private cloud. At its core is the Nebula Cloud Controller, an appliance that integrates up to 20 servers. While a single-rack deployment is enough for many medium-sized businesses, the Nebula One system can scale to multi-rack deployments to meet the needs of large enterprises.

Over the past year, companies have been testing early versions of Nebula One. For example, PARC, the R&D lab that invented the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, is using Nebula to power their private cloud infrastructure. 

“PARC researchers can now use and reuse the readily-available compute resources they need from the Nebula One cloud, provisioning in minutes what once took days to manually provision or months to procure,” said Walt Johnson, vice president, Intelligent Systems Lab, PARC.

In many industries, advances in infrastructure are driving the need for a new generation of computing technology, Kemp added. With the Nebula One, the ability to deploy pre-certified servers from vendors that customers already trust replaces the need for expensive, specialized computing infrastructure.

As for the cost, Kemp told Information Week that with the simplest configurations of one or three servers, customers can get started with cloud computing for about $100,000.

Edited by Braden Becker

Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

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