Start-up Abiquo manages public, private clouds via open source

Open source software gets Microsoft Hyper-V support, automated virtual machine conversion features to better enable heterogeneous cloud management capabilities.

Abiquo launches U.S. operations, announces funding and releases Version 1.5 of its flagship open source cloud management software.

Coupling open source software with cloud computing expertise could help Abiquo make a big splash with U.S. customers looking to create and manage virtual resources pools on premise or in public environments. And with support for VMware, Xen, Virtual Box, KVM and now Microsoft Hyper-V, the Spanish start-up promises to deliver vendor-neutral, interoperable management at a reasonable price.

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IT management software start-up Abiquo recently launched its U.S. operations, with a $5.1 million round of new funding as well as Version 1.5 of its flagship software of the same name. Abiquo, a company name which according to CEO Pete Malcolm holds no special meaning, was founded in 2006 in Barcelona, Spain, and now has American offices in Redwood City, Calif. The funding is being put toward the company’s rapid worldwide expansion and distribution of Abiquo 1.5, the second release since the software's April 2009 open source debut, Malcolm says.

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“We now offer two versions of the software, an open source community edition as well as an enterprise edition,” Malcolm says. “We built our product around where virtual management is going, which is the cloud. We are hypervisor agnostic and can move virtual machine images between any hypervisor. We provide the management glue.”

Abiquo 1.5 adds Microsoft Hyper-V support to the company’s flagship product, enabling customers to perform VMware-to-Microsoft Hyper-V conversion. That means, according to Malcolm, that IT managers can move virtual images with a drag-and-drop feature in the software. IT managers use the software to create virtual data centers through which they can deploy bundled servers, storage and other physical resources, and applications from public or private virtual image libraries, he says. The software enables an IT organization to maintain control over its resources, residing in a private or public cloud, and prevents vendor lock-in because of its agnostic nature, according to Malcolm.

IT managers can install Abiquo 1.5 on a central server and point it at the physical machines it is to manage, or identify a range of IP addresses. The software auto-discovers machine resources and manages existing live virtual machines, Malcolm says, adding that the software can also capture and store “stateful” virtual machines. The updated version adds policy-based workload management, enforceable resource limits and multi-tenancy capabilities that provide delegated provisioning of virtual enterprises.

“Over the past few years, the cloud has moved from hype to reality. Emerging upstarts and large companies alike have made moves through partnerships and mergers and acquisitions to shore up a leadership position in the hotly contested infrastructure management sector,” said Ross Alghren, general partner of Abiquo investor Kreos Capital, in a statement. “At the same time, open source software adoption has seen tremendous growth as more and more companies look to reduce costs while still maintaining strong IT innovation. We believe the Abiquo team, with its management, sales and marketing in the United States, and development in Spain, is uniquely qualified to bring the best of performance and cost benefits to enterprises that may be reluctant to deploy private and public cloud-based architectures without the support of a well-funded commercial company.”

Available through the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) Version 3, the community edition of Abiquo is available here. The enterprise edition is available based on tiers of service, detailed in a public price list on the vendor’s Web site.

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