Even as virtualization captures a larger share of the IT budget (up to 60% of workloads are running in virtual machines), some are calling for the next generation to address the growth of more complex applications and the desire by enterprises to leverage the public cloud to save money. A relatively new SaaS vendor that was founded in 2011 and launched its first product in 2013, Ravello Systems is calling this evolution Virtualization 2.0.
“There is increasing pressure to build better apps, faster… agile development… replica development and test environment,” said Ravello’s Navin Thadani, SVP, Products. “In an ideal world today enterprises would be simply be able to use the cloud for test and development.”
Instead, developers face growing complexity, compatibility and automation challenges and a host of other issues. So Ravello has created a Software-as-a-Service, powered by what it calls the industry’s first Cloud Application Hypervisor, that enables developers, DevOps and IT to use the public cloud to develop and test their on-premise applications. Thandi said it is drag-and-drop service that can be up and running in the cloud in minutes.
While the company, and its HVX offering are both new, its roots go back to the development of the KVM hypervisor, with the senior executives having spent time with Red Hat, and Cisco. On Wednesday it announced new plug-ins and RESTful APIs to provision entire multi-virtual machine environments, along with networking and storage, in the cloud. Ravello added a new Apache Maven plug-in, and programming language bindings for Ruby and Python, with support for Continuous Integration (CI) systems including Jenkins, Bamboo, and Teamcity.
At the end of January it announced a partnership with Intrigo Systems to enable rapid prototyping and testing of SAP in the cloud. Ravello said its technology provides a way to save SAP blueprints and spin up these existing landscapes on AWS via self-service – resulting in the rapid prototyping of functionality, faster testing of upgrades and patches that will ultimately reduce costs and free up time for IT.
Ravello also announced that it can provide an up to 2x increase in application performance on Amazon Web Services (AWS) using nested virtualization to consolidate virtual machine. It said nested virtualization technology, delivered through a hybrid cloud model that utilizes capacity on demand from private and public clouds without making any changes to the application, enterprises can take their development and test environments to the next level – from virtual to cloud.
The Ravello hypervisor may be unique, but it faces its share of competitors in the test and development market, including Amazon Web Services, Eucalyptus and Skytap. Another company looking to rise above the multi-hypervisor universe is Docker, with its application container approach that provides a way to package an application in a virtual container so that it can be run across different Linux distributions.
Analyst Dan Kusnetzky said Ravello has developed some very interesting technology that could make development of virtualized workloads for physical and cloud environments much easier but believes they went too far when they decided to use marketing hyperbole, “virtualization 2.0,” to describe their very innovative work. While the company is doing something both innovative and interesting, what they’re doing is in the area of virtual machine technology and not a new take on all seven layers of virtualization technology in use today, he stated.
“Virtualization 2.0? Not even close.”