Joyent Rolls Out Its Latest Private-Cloud-In-A-Box Offering. One To Add To The Thousand Or So Other Players

Joyent is an interesting company. While private cloud products from initiatives like OpenStack and CloudStack get lots of market buzz, and Amazon Web Services (AWS)-clone Eucalyptus flies the flag for an AWS-compliant private cloud, Joyent quietly goes abut delivering services far and wide. And they really do go wide, Joyent offers compute, networking and appliance-based solutions as well as Joyent Manta, a scalable, distributed object storage service. On top of all this Joyent is the corporate backer of Node.js, the fast-growing open source server-side JavaScript project.

But today the news is all about private cloud software as Joyent rolls out version 7 of its SmartDataCenter product. SmartDataCenter is firmly positioned as the best of both worlds – it gives the compelling economics of more modular solutions from the likes of OpenStack, but does so with the benefits that a “one stop shop” can deliver. Of course Joyent isn’t the only vendor thinking holistically. Red Hat, in an attempt to become the… errr Red Hat of the cloud, has been on something of a spending spree of late. As well as investing heavily in its OpenStack offering, Red Hat has also acquired storage companies Gluster and Inktank to round out its cloud offerings.

Anyway, back to Joyent. SmartDataCenter is designed around lightweight, container-based virtualization. It’s also not an untested product – SmartDataCenter is a product borne through Joyent’s own use of the software to power its own public cloud offering. In rolling out this offering as a product, Joyent is aggressively critiquing the other private cloud offerings. According to Bryan Cantrill, CTO at Joyent:

…private cloud hasn’t meaningfully made its way into the data center because the options are limited. Operators have to choose between a kit cloud that requires the team to spend months researching every decision before they see a result, or legacy enterprise software that views ‘cloud’ as a mere re-branding opportunity

SmartDataCenter, if it wasn’t obvious before, is pitched as a complete solution. As well as the obvious cloud operating components, it includes such peripheral services as SSH key management, LDAP directory services, a full identity and role-based management and built in firewall capabilities. Obviously given the fact that it is a product that already runs Joyent’s public cloud, SmartDataCentre is completely consistent between the public and private offerings. Thus the release of the product, as well as generating private cloud revenue, will conceivably increase Joyent’s public cloud market share. An interesting hybrid story thus emerges that OpenStack, a natural enough party to deliver a similar story, simple cannot yet do due to the significant differences between the various OpenStack distributions.

Joyent is relatively unknown, at least to the mass majority cloud adopters who are busy comparing Microsoft MSFT -0.63%, Google GOOGL 0% and IBM Softlayer with AWS. The release of SmartDataCenter could very well change that, especially for organizations who are looking for a rock solid and completely seamless hybrid cloud story.


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