Friday, May 1, 2009

rPath offers free management tool for applications aspiring to the cloud

rPath would like to be your applications' path to cloud computing.

The Raleigh, N.C.-based start up founded by Red Hat refugees, Tim Buckley,
executive chairman of the board, and Erik Troan, CTO, recently released a free downloadable version of rBuilder for managing application deployment to virtual or cloud-based environments as well as traditional glass houses. [Disclosure: rPath is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

For IT managers looking at cloud deployment, rPath’s approach is to embrace as many flavors of the cloud as possible to deal with the fact that what is commonly called the cloud is really a bunch of non-standard environments varying from vendor to vendor.

rPath lists support for three clouds, Amazon EC2, Globus Alliance, and Bluelock. rBuilder also supports hypervisors, including VMware ESX, Citrix Xen and Microsoft Hyper-V.

As a startup with a limited budget for hardware, rPath eats its own cloud dog food. The company uses Amazon EC2 for some of its own applications, as Billy Marshall, chief strategy officer, explained in a Q&A interview with SearchSOA last fall. We also did an interiew with Marchall on BriefingsDirect.

The new free version of rBuilder differs from the free rBuilder Online community version in that you can download it and run it behind your own firewall. And it differs from the commercial version in that it is restricted to 20 running system instances in production.

Once a user reaches 21, they have to “establish a commercial relationship with rPath.”

Also, users of the free version can only get support through the rBuilder Online community.

For shops looking to explore Cloud computing, the free version of rBuilder, appears to be a viable option. You can check out the system requirements and download instruction at rPathQuickStart.

Rich Seeley provided research and editorial assistance to BriefingsDirect on this blog. He can be reached at Writer4Hire.

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