The demand for the cloud -- especially on premise cloud infrastructures -- is gaining speed. Having one with strong management to look after that infrastructure, and associated public clouds is key. Nimbula Director is one of these solutions.

Just when business is slowing down for the holidays, Nimbula announced that the first public beta of their cloud operating system -- Nimbula Director -- is available for enthusiasts to try. There have been some private betas available but this release is the first public one.

The product is still not finished, so don't use it in a production environment. Rather, test drive it a bit to get an impression what it is. If you want to download the product, you need to register at the site and you will be provided with a download link.

Nimbula Director - Built Like Amazon EC2

Nimbula Director is internal cloud management software. It delivers services similar to Amazon EC2, but behind the firewall. This isn't a coincidence -- the team behind Nimbula Director includes Amazon EC2 architects Chris Pinkham and Willem van Biljon.

Now Nimbula Director is still miles away from Amazon EC2 but its goals are ambitious, its architecture scalable and automated, and it combines the best features from public clouds and the security of private ones.

General availability is expected for the first half of 2011 and the rumor goes that a stripped-down but fully functional version of Nimbula Director will be available for free.

What's Inside Nimbula Director

Scalability, automation, permissions and networking are the four concepts around which Nimbula is built. Auto-healing is another capability that draws attention because in a large cloud, a machine will always fail and if the system can notice this automatically and fill the gap, this increases the overall reliability of the cloud.

Probably the main feature that distinguishes Nimbula from other internal cloud operating systems is that unlike them, Nimbula has its own KVM hypervisor layer, so that it doesn't install atop an existing virtualization level. If you want, you can install Nimbula atop a virtual engine, for instance VMware, but this is not the point. Since the KVM hypervisor is optimized for work in the cloud, if you don't use the software as per the design specs, it will inevitably affect its efficiency.

There are also other noteworthy features about Nimbula Director. If you are interested to learn more, details about Nimbula Director can be found on their site.