A key challenge IaaS providers face when building a cloud infrastructure is managing physical and virtual resources, namely servers, storage, and networks, in a holistic fashion. The orchestration of resources must be performed in a way to rapidly and dynamically provision resources to applications.

The software toolkit responsible for this orchestration is called a virtual infrastructure manager (VIM). This type of software resembles a traditional operating system—but instead of dealing with a single computer, it aggregates resources from multiple computers, presenting a uniform view to user and applications. The term “cloud operating system” is also used to refer to it. Other terms include “infrastructure sharing software” and “virtual infrastructure engine.”

Sotomayor et al., in their description of the cloud ecosystem of software tools, propose a differentiation between two categories of tools used to manage clouds. The first category—cloud toolkits—includes those that “expose a remote and secure interface for creating, controlling and monitoring virtualize resources,” but do not specialize in VI management. Tools in the second category—the virtual infrastructure managers—provide advanced features such as automatic load balancing and server consolidation, but do not expose remote cloud-like interfaces. However, the authors point out that there is a superposition between the categories; cloud toolkits can also manage virtual infrastructures, although they usually provide less sophisticated features than specialized VI managers do.

The availability of a remote cloud-like interface and the ability of managing many users and their permissions are the primary features that would distinguish “cloud toolkits” from “VIMs.” However, in this chapter, we place both categories of tools under the same group (of the VIMs) and, when applicable, we highlight the availability of a remote interface as a feature.

Virtually all VIMs we investigated present a set of basic features related to managing the life cycle of VMs, including networking groups of VMs together and setting up virtual disks for VMs. These basic features pretty much define whether a tool can be used in practical cloud deployments or not. On the other hand, only a handful of software present advanced features (e.g., high availability) which allow them to be used in large-scale production clouds.

Source of Information : Wiley - Cloud Computing Principles and Paradigms 2011


  1. Jorge  

    September 26, 2017 at 3:28 AM

    Informative post on building a cloud infrastructure. I found this blog very useful. Thanks for sharing

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