EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q1 2013

Executive Summary


marketplace for private cloud technologies from a customer perspective. Therefore, the only vendors

included in this report are the ones with a sizable number of production deployments. In the end, EMA

reviewed and empirically compared the 13 leading private cloud vendors in terms of “Solution Impact”

– features, architecture, and integration – and “Resource Efficiency” – time, effort, and cost. In order

to ensure an apples to apples comparison, there are two Radar charts, one for solutions that focus on

lightweight IaaS-centric private clouds (Abiquo, Citrix, Egenera, Embotics, Morphlabs, and Nimbula)

and another for much more comprehensive, application-aware private cloud platforms (ASG, BMC,

CA Technologies, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Microsoft, and VMware).

EMAs Definition of Private Cloud

EMA’s definition of private cloud is simple: Private cloud constitutes an abstraction layer on top of the

typically already existing server virtualization layer.” This cloud layer orchestrates the existing virtualization

stack, as well as the customers current enterprise IT management systems in order to offer IT resources

in a self-service manner. These resources can be individual virtual

machines (IaaS), collections of virtual machines that include specific

application services such as databases, middleware, and performance

monitoring (PaaS), or entire business services that are delivered in a

turn-key manner (SaaS).

Today’s definition of “private cloud” always includes a platform’s

capability to manage multiple resource pools servers, storage,

network that are located inside the corporate datacenter and in the

public cloud. This comprises the capability to centrally manage the

provisioning and lifecycle management of application environments

that are hosted on todays most popular public cloud offerings, such as

Amazon EC2, Microsoft Windows Azure, or Rackspace.

Core Challenge: Comparing Apples to Apples

In addition to a major end-customer research project, Demystifying Cloud, EMA has conducted more

than 50 customer interviews to ensure a customer-centric foundation for this Radar report. During

this process it became very clear that expectations and technical requirements are often fundamentally

different from customer to customer. Some customers look for a quicker way of provisioning VMs for

their development team, others aim at automating their current ITIL processes, while a third group

searches for a way to cost effectively deliver virtual desktops to their staff. These are just three examples

for the countless use cases of private cloud.

While the EMA approach to private cloud evaluation is based on “real” customer requirements, the

“apples to apples” problem remains a challenge. Therefore, it is up to the readers to carefully review

the profiles of all the vendors they are interested in, as these profiles describe the optimal use case for a

specific product.


©2013 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Today’s definition of

“private cloud” always

includes a platforms

capability to manage

multiple resource pools –

servers, storage, network

that are located inside

the corporate datacenter

and in the public cloud.

EMA believes that the true

value of OpenStack lies

in the fact that it provides

a set of standard APIs for

network (Quantum), storage

(Cinder and Swift), and

compute (Nova) provisioning

and management

EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q1 2013

The Marketplace for Private Cloud Technologies

The marketplace for cloud technologies consists of four general segments:

Big 4 Systems Management Vendors

IBM, CA Technologies, BMC Software, and HP all have shaped their product portfolios to offer

comprehensive IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS solutions. While the marketing story for these products may not

be as sexy as for some of todays cloud startups, specifically the OpenStack-based ones, the advantage

of a Big 4 cloud solution is rooted in the ability to leverage the customers existing IT infrastructure in

the best possible way.

Pure Play Commercial Platforms

These platforms typically offer specific value propositions, such as built-in resiliency (Egenera), rapid

deployment (Embotics), massive scalability (Nimbula and Citrix), extensive integration capabilities

(Abiquo and Citrix), application delivery (ASG), and high-density virtual machine provisioning

(Morphlabs). In many cases, application environments running on these platforms are managed by

software solutions from the portfolio of one of the Big 4 systems management vendors. Many of these

solutions take advantage of open source technologies such as OpenStack (Morphlabs and Nimbula),

CloudStack (ASG and Citrix), or LAMP1 stack (Abiquo).

Open Source Platforms

OpenStack, Apache CloudStack, and Eucalyptus are todays most notable open source cloud platforms.

Please note that this analysis does not directly evaluate these open source cloud technologies, as the focus of

EMA Radar Reports is on professionally supported enterprise solutions with a wide customer base. However,

the commercial enterprise cloud platforms that have incorporated or support OpenStack (IBM, HP,

Nimbula, Morphlabs) and CloudStack (ASG and Citrix), are part of

this review.

OpenStack: Much has been written about OpenStack and its

future impact. In reality, OpenStack technology is typically used for

development environments, due to a lack of maturity of the current

codebase. EMA believes that the true value of OpenStack lies in the

fact that it provides a set of standard APIs for network (Quantum),

storage (Cinder and Swift), and compute (Nova) provisioning and

management. Many of today’s commercial cloud vendors – IBM, HP,

CA Technologies, BMC, Nimbula are in the process of adopting

these API standards, while still determining how to take advantage of

the actual OpenStack code base for their product portfolio.

CloudStack: In April 2012, Citrix donated CloudStack, acquired from Cloud.com in August 2011,

to the Apache Software Foundation. In November of 2012, CloudStack 4.0 was released with new

networking and storage features as well as improved support for Amazon Web Services. In contrast to

OpenStack, CloudStack is a battle-proven enterprise cloud platform, with built-in high availability, a

relatively simple installation process, and an easy-to-use graphical interface.

LAMP stands for Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP


©2013 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q1 2013

Eucalyptus: Eucalyptus is an open source cloud platform for creating Amazon Web Services compatible

clouds, based on customers’ local server, network, and storage infrastructure. This means that any

application that can run on Amazon AWS EC2, S3, EBS, and IAM can also be hosted on Eucalyptus.

Customers can move applications between the Amazon public cloud and their Eucalyptus on-premise

cloud. This seamless workload portability allows customers to adhere to compliance requirements,

demanding that certain applications and data are hosted on-premise, while others are able to fully take

advantage of the elasticity and scalability of the Amazon public cloud.

Virtualization Vendors

Microsoft, VMware, and Citrix have been offering their own virtualization stacks for years and are now

more and more focusing on gaining market share in the private cloud arena. These vendors benefit

from the natural advantage of “owning” the customer’s private cloud from the hypervisor upwards,

offering customers “one throat to choke” or “one hand to shake.” Microsoft is marketing Windows

Server 2012 and System Center 2012 as “Cloud OS, while VMware is heavily investing in completing

its end-to-end cloud offerings through a long line of acquisitions. Some of the recent highlights of

VMware’s acquisitions are Virsto (storage virtualization), Nicira (software defined networking), and

DynamicOps (management of heterogeneous private and public resources). Citrix uses its cloud

offerings to complete its story of workplace mobility, where dynamic workspaces and collaboration

platforms are assembled based on employee requirements and geographical context.

Research Process

Demystifying Cloud Research Project

EMAs Demystifying Cloud research project, completed in early 2013, constitutes the radically customer-

focused basis for this competitive research report. The core findings customer pain points, strategic

goals, feature requirements, vendor perception, cost bottlenecks, and integration needs are essential

for this market analysis.

Characteristics of a Preferred Solution

The EMA Radar Report standardizes the evaluation of product sets in specific management disciplines

by comparing vendor and product review elements in five distinct categories.

Architecture and Integration

The ideal private cloud solution offers a highly available server, storage, and network platform, with

rapid disaster recovery capabilities. In order to allow customers to confidently move business-critical

applications to the cloud, private cloud platforms must offer the same or better resiliency and reliability

as conventional physical and virtual environments.

A private cloud platform’s ability to manage enterprise IT security elements, such as firewalls, is an

essential differentiator today, as customers mention security as one of the most important concerns when

considering the move of applications to the private or public cloud. The ideal private cloud platform

proactively enforces server, network, application, and data security. Identity management and intrusion

monitoring are as important as preserving corporate security policies during live migration. In order to

ensure optimal security, private cloud platforms must monitor virtual machine configuration, to ensure

corporate security policies are adhered to, as end users may change security relevant configuration


©2013 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q1 2013

items. Software vulnerability assessments, file integrity monitoring, and database integrity monitoring

are further security-relevant private cloud capabilities EMA evaluated in this Radar report. Integration

with user authentication technologies, such as LDAP, NIS, PAM, dedicated roles for auditors, and

pre-packaged security profiles for compliance with government regulations, such as HIPAA, SOX, and

PCI, enhance the security management capabilities of a cloud platform.

“Scalability” and elasticity” are further evaluation criteria, determining the customers ability to rapidly

deploy and retire additional application environments. The size of the cloud platform’s topology

footprint in relation to the amount of physical hosts and virtual machines managed is a metric for the

efficiency of a private clouds architecture.

Based on EMA’s

research, agility – the

rapid provisioning and

decommissioning of

compute, storage, and

network resources based on

application requirements – is

the primary strategy goal of

most cloud deployments.

The self-service provisioning and management of physical, virtual, and cloud resources is the core

capability of any private cloud platform. Today, customers more and more expect private clouds to

bundle together these resources and the software required to create entire business services. These services

must be created and monitored in a policy and SLA driven manner. Ideally, regulatory compliance is

centrally enforced through a service governor. In order to avoid waste through virtualization sprawl,

end users must be held accountable for the cost of their self-provisioned services.

The capability to leverage customers’ existing enterprise IT management software and hardware systems

is one of the core differentiators for private cloud platforms. Orchestrating and automating business

services on top of these existing datacenter resources enables customers to make the most out of their

previous investments. The various private cloud platforms differ in their ability to provide out-of-

the-box support for a large number of existing systems, as well as easy extensibility to enable customers

to create their own custom connectors. The quality of the orchestrator was mentioned during many

customer interviews as a core reason for selecting a specific private cloud.

User interface quality consists of two critical aspects:

1) The self-service dashboard has to enable business users and developers to easily, consistently,

and efficiently provision application environments.

2) Administrators must have the ability to centrally populate the corporate service portal with

service offerings that are based on policies and SLAs.

The integration of user interfaces is essential to minimize the effort and risk of error for administrators

and end users.


©2013 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Based on EMA’s research, agility the rapid provisioning and

decommissioning of compute, storage, and network resources based

on application requirements is the primary strategy goal of most

cloud deployments. To facilitate an optimal degree of agility, private

cloud platforms must offer a comprehensive API and the extensibility

required to integrate with third party services. Moving cloud resources

between hypervisors and between public and private clouds is essential

to ensure cost efficiency. Ultimately, this type of application workload

portability is enabled by open standards that are shared between cloud

and application vendors, enabling policy and SLA-based dynamic

workload placement.


EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q1 2013

Deployment and Administration

In recent EMA research, the cost and effort for deploying a private cloud was revealed as a central

pain point. The underlying problem is the complexity of the overall solution. The more private cloud

components have to be installed and integrated, the higher the overall deployment effort.

The onboarding of application workloads is another essential challenge during most cloud deployments.

The more this onboarding process is guided and automated by the private cloud platform, the easier

customers will be able to move their existing applications to the cloud.

The quality of customer support and professional deployment services is vital, as adopting a private cloud

typically entails a true paradigm shift for the corporate IT department. During this transition period, the

customer relies on the cloud vendor to set realistic expectations and assist in eliminating the unavoidable

roadblocks that will be encountered during the deployment and workload onboarding process.

The ease of provisioning server, network, and storage resources is only part of EMA’s “ease of

administration” evaluation. In order to host critical production workloads on the private cloud,

customers require advanced capacity management and analytics capabilities, as well as operating system

management, application workload management, and SLA and policy management capabilities.

Cost Advantage

Flexibility of the vendors licensing model, the actual license cost, the hardware required, as well as the

cost for implementation, integration, maintenance and support, are the core cost factors for any cloud

deployment. It is important to note that the cost scoring is mostly based on interviews with reference

customers, instead of placing much weight on the vendors cost figures.

Due to the general heterogeneity of private cloud solutions, this EMA Radar can only cover a core set

of cost considerations, based on EMAs end-customer research. Therefore, EMA encourages customers

to conduct a careful cost comparison, centered on their organizations’ very specific private cloud


Vendor Strength

Customers should always be aware of a vendors financial stability and commitment to a platform prior

to adoption of the solution in order to be sure of its long-term viability. A vendor that is financially

strong with high revenue and vast equity is more likely to continue support for a private cloud platform.

Solution providers that invest heavily in research and development are more likely to maintain continual

value in the platform’s architecture and feature set. Strategic and channel partnerships also increase

vendor relevance in the market space and customer loyalty extends visible credibility. Additionally, a

vendors vision and strategy for development, innovation, and foresight of future requirements indicates

whether a private cloud platform will maintain optimal value in a dynamic marketplace.

Evaluation Criteria

Feature Eligibility

In order for a product set to be credited with a feature or capability in EMAs evaluation, it was required

to meet three strict criteria:

The features needed to be generally available with the solution set at the time of the evaluation (i.e.

by December 2012). Any features that were in beta testing or scheduled to be included in later

releases of the management suite were not eligible for consideration.


©2013 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

EMA Radar for Private Cloud Platforms: Q1 2013

All features needed to be self-contained within the included package sets. Any features not directly

included in the evaluated package sets but available separately from the same vendor or third-

party vendors for an additional cost were identified as “available through direct integration” and

acknowledged in the Architecture and Integration evaluation.

All reported features needed to be clearly documented in publically available resources (such as user

manuals or technical papers) for verification.

Hard Facts

This EMA research report is based on a number of customer-centric data points that were gathered over

a three-month period:

Primary research: EMA established the key KPIs for this report through its Demystifying Cloud

end-customer research project. In addition to customer goals and experiences, this research data also

provided flashlights on how the individual cloud vendors’ solutions are perceived by end customers.

This customer-centric base of empirical data is essential for counterbalancing and crosschecking the

information provided by private cloud vendors.

Vendor survey: EMA employed a comprehensive vendor survey with over 500 data points to determine

an evaluation baseline for each vendor.

Vendor demos: Based on a careful review of the vendor surveys, EMA issued individual demo agendas

to each one of the participating vendors. These demo requests were aimed at confirming and clarifying

software capabilities. Each vendor received the opportunity to request multiple product demonstrations,

in order to ensure EMAs comprehensive understanding of all relevant private cloud platform features.

Customer interviews: EMA encouraged vendors to provide as many customer references as feasible.

Each one of these references was contacted by EMA in order to schedule one 30 minute interview.

During the interview, customers reported their experiences during the deployment, integration, and

day to day management of the private cloud platform.

Notable Absences

Cisco: Cisco acquired NewScale in 2011 and Cloupia in late 2012. The company is currently in

the process of further building and integrating its cloud portfolio and has therefore asked not to be

included in this report.

Gale Technologies: Gale Technologies was acquired by Dell in late 2012. Dells Active System Manager

is based on the code acquired through the purchase of Gale.

Dell, Convirture, and Virtustream: All three companies have received the “EMA Vendors to Watch

award, but do not yet have the features, architectural integration, or customer base to be included in

this EMA Radar.

RedHat/ManageIQ: RedHat acquired ManageIQ in late 2012. EMA engaged RedHat for participation,

but the vendor was unable to meet the deadline for completion of the detailed product survey. Lacking

sufficient information, EMA was unable to perform an in-depth analysis of the vendor’s product set.

However, EMA believes RedHat did make an honest (though not timely) effort to participate.


©2013 Enterprise Management Associates, Inc. All Rights Reserved.