Cloud Expo: RightScale adds RackSpace, Eucalyptus to its 'hybrid clouds'

Already supporting Amazon EC2, GoGrid, and FlexiScale clouds, RightScale is now working on integrating RackSpace and Eucalyptus into its environment for managing hybrid clouds, said Thorsten von Eicken, the company's founder and CTO, in a meeting with Betanews at Cloud Computing Expo in New York City.

Available in free as well as other versions, RightScale's platform is aimed at organizations looking to administer private and public cloud spaces at the same time, acording to von Eicken.

The downloadable software uses a plug-in API architecture to accomplish monitoring, alerting, auto-scaling, and front end load balancing across multiple clouds. As a result, users can avoid "cloud lock-in," picking and choosing from among the cloud environments that best suit their development and data management needs, Betanews was told.

In a recent survey posted on RightScale's Web site, the software company asked users to name the issues that concern them most about moving to the cloud.

Among those polled, 71% responded, "Having my data locked in." Another 57% said, "Being locked in to a development environment." Other answers included "Being locked in to a development language" (29%), "Lock-in to cloud vendor" (21%) and "Having my log files locked in" (also 21%).

The CTO told Betanews that cloud environments relying on highly "proprietary" development environments, such as Salesforce.com, are particularly prone to lock-in. He contended that Santa Barbara, California-based RightScale stands way ahead of other vendors in terms of the numbers of customers who are already using its software to manage multiple clouds.

One RightScale customer, ForeclosureRadar.com, decided to complement its private cloud with a scalable environment on Amazon's EC2 public cloud after receiving 30 days notice that its Web site -- a tool for investors and real estate professionals -- would be featured in a segment of CBS' "60 Minutes."

RightScale's Web site also presents testimonials from more than a dozen other customers. Lots of current customers use the Ruby on Rails development environment, von Eicken said.

Next on RightScale's agenda is completing integration with RackSpace, through RackSpace's recently acquired Slicehost, and with Project Eucalyptus, an emerging open source cloud development environment.

In December, RightScale announced it had secured $13 million in second round venture funding led by European-based Index Ventures.

Aside from the free edition, RightScale's cloud management software is available in Web site, grid, and premium editions. Consulting services are also available.

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