A start-up launched today at OSCON 2011 has promised to radically reduce the cost of deploying private cloud systems by offering hardware that can be up and running without specialised support.
Nebula, which is headed by former Nasa chief technical officer Chris Kemp, will provide a cloud system that can be plugged in and working in minutes, and is remotely supported to keep costs low.
The system interoperates with current industry standards, and Nebula has signed up big name backers.
"Until today, this computing power has only been accessible to organisations like Nasa and a small number of elite Silicon Valley companies," said Kemp. "We intend to bring it to the rest of the world."
The system is designed around the OpenStack cloud computing platform, which was partially developed at Nasa and is gaining rapid adoption.
HP has just joined the programme, and Dell announced its first infrastructure-as-a-service offering yesterday using the technology. Nebula also supports Facebook's Open Compute datacentre systems.
"I was at Facebook for the Open Compute launch and thought then what a good fit this would be with OpenStack. It turns out these guys did too," Mark Collier, OpenStack spokesman and vice president of business development at Rackspace, told V3.
"It's great to see the datacentre and server sides using the open source business model and talking to the rest of the industry. Datacentres used to be so closed off from the industry."
Nebula has been backed by Andy Bechtolsheim, David Cheriton and Ram Shriram, who were among the first investors in Google. It also has the backing of top venture capital firms Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Highland Capital Partners.
"Nebula embracing OpenStack today is similar to Sun embracing Berkeley Unix in the 1980s," said Bechtolsheim.
"Proprietary systems did not have a chance against open platforms. I see Nebula as the company that will bring OpenStack to the private enterprise cloud."
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