CloudBees AnyCloud Offers Data Sovereignty SolutionFebruary 14, 2012
by Martin Banks
CloudBees, a recent startup offering a new set of Java-based applications development and testing tools in the cloud, has already added its second product, AnyCloud.
The objective is to meet the user need for an environment that allows them to deploy new applications and services more flexibly, and give them a unified view of whatever applications, services and resources are being run, regardless of where they are being run.
According to the company’s VP of International Business Development, Francois Dechery, this provision of a unified view could be a possible answer to the pressures that some national legislation places on companies concerning data sovereignty. AnyCloud holds out the possibility of creating a logical unified environment that has the same management and controls regardless of where the data is physically stored or processed.
The company’s background is well grounded in the Java-based development world, with Dechery, CEO Sasha Labourey and the majority of the rest of the staff coming from well-known open source tools maker, JBoss. Its difference, according to Dechery, is that it views application development as an integral part of a PaaS environment, covering the full lifecycle of the application rather than just its code-cutting.
Currently he suggests that the only available solution comes from the existing mainstream software vendors that have suites of middleware tools to help manage this. But these are predominantly on-premised based and the best they can offer in terms of cloud deployment is a button marked `send to Amazon EC2’ or some similar service option. But this does not give users the flexibility and agility that is now possible with the cloud.
The AnyCloud architecture has been designed to provide a way to deploy a pool of resources on specified cloud providers. These could be any of the available service providers in the market, such as Amazon EC2, Rackspace and any of the others. But it could just as easily include legacy on-premise resources where that is considered appropriate.
An obvious example of such a requirement is where processing latency on an application is a critical factor in the efficient running of the business. In such circumstances, the ability to manage those legacy applications as services within the unified environment is important.
In practice, resources specified by the user are assigned to CloudBees to be managed as part of a PaaS environment. This then provides a single management environment for the customer, covering not only the resource pools that have been established but also any other activity that is undertaken using CloudBees, such as application development and testing environments. The resource pools will include the CloudBees application itself, the cloud services pool and, if it is required, a pool with essential on-premise services.
This provides an environment where users can decide where they want to run an application, with the environment being managed remotely by CloudBees. The aim is that, as far as possible users just consume the resources they need.
This approach does offer the chance to overcome the data sovereignty issues that are currently topical. Users can add resources to the pool in a number of locations around the world, and use AnyCloud as the management system for all of those resources, managing it as a single entity.
So the perception to the user is that they are moving it within a single datacentre, which allows users to build a tightly managed, physically pan-national environment that is the equal in terms of management, security and data integrity to a single physical location. This could be the equivalent of a virtual `single country’ regardless of where the data is stored or the processing performed.
Dechery suggested that this also helps short circuit the growing tendency for IT departments to feel out of control with the introduction of cloud services. It is a management environment for deploying and running production services which is closely integrated with a cloud-delivered applications development and test environment, so IT can maintain hands-on management of services right through their lifecycle.
According to CEO Sasha Labourey, this should also help with the fragmentation that some businesses are suffering with the independent addition of cloud services by individual departments. the development environment provides IT with a platform with which to re-integrate these individual development efforts and then deploy them in a managed environment where they then comply with whatever overall policies the business applies.