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Aeolus–A New Open Source Multi-cloud Management Solution

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Aeolus is an open source project intended to provide solutions for managing packs of virtual machines across various private and public clouds. The project has been started by Red Hat, but they do not want to own the project, inviting other companies to join forces with them in creating an open cloud management solution.

Aeolus is very similar to what RightScale does, who provides a cloud management console and an unified API that works across, Eucalyptus, and Rackspace, while support for EC2 is to be added in the near future. Aeolus currently runs on a 64-bit machine with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.1 or Fedora 14 installed, and can be used to administer virtual images deployed on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Rackspace Cloud Hosting, Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV), VMware vSphere and/or Eucalyptus.

Some have compared Aeolus with OpenStack (Register, ITWorld), but they do not compare with each other. OpenStack is meant to be an open source cloud, like Amazon EC2, and it is used by Rackspace for their Cloud Hosting solution. Aeolus is not a new cloud provider, but a solution for creating machine templates which are then used to create Windows or Linux virtual images that are deployed on the user’s choice of cloud, including on Rackspace. The benefit of such a solution is twofold: offers a single point of managing all cloud deployments and escapes vendor locking by being able to move images around as desired.

Aeolus is made up of several projects: Conductor –managing tool for cloud resources-, Composer –tool for creating images from templates-, Orchestrator –dealing with groups of images-, and HA Manager –providing high availability though isolation, recovery and notification. The source code of the project and its dependencies are hosted on GitHub.

As with other open source projects, its success depends on building a healthy and vibrant community around it. Red Hat has a good reputation with Linux Fedora and JBoss, which might encourage some developers to join the Aeolus project. If others will not participate, it will remain for Red Hat to carry on the efforts by themselves.

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