Abiquo allows you to Manage the Complexity of compute (through supported hypervisors), networking and storage resources. Those resources can exist in multiple datacenters, with each datacenter forming a logical unit, so that the use of those resources can also be controlled by Abiquo’s policy.
The cloud resources are allocated to Abiquo enterprises. Enterprises are the basic cloud tenant. For a private cloud enterprises will be the business units, project teams or cost centers, or for service providers the enterprise will simply be a customer.
Abiquo enterprises then consume cloud resources through the use of virtual datacenters (VDCs). A VDC is a logical unit that is linked to a single Abiquo datacenter and to a single hypervisor technology. Through the use of different compute hardware, different hypervisors and different technology stacks, the Cloud Administrator can use VDCs to provide different service levels. Perhaps by running a development environment on commodity hardware and a free hypervisor such as KVM versus running a production environment on better hardware and an ESX hypervisor with backup, HA and other features enabled.
Abiquo policy can also be applied to VDCs through the use of resource allocation limits (controlling compute, network and storage resources) and by controlling which users within an enterprise can use a particular VDC. Networking and storage resources can also be defined by the Enterprise Administrator at the VDC and made available to the cloud consumer.
Within the VDC the cloud consumers take advantage of self-service by creating their own virtual appliances (vApps). Virtual appliances are simply containers that allow the consumer to create an application or service consisting of one or more virtual machines (VM’s). The resources the consumer can use are controlled by the administrator using policy and what the consumer is able to do with those resources is controlled through granular privileges that can be grouped into roles. For example, privileges may determine whether the consumer can change CPU and memory resources for a VM or add additional storage volumes to their configurations.
Simplicity is ultimately Delivered to the cloud consumer through the Apps Library (Application and Appliance Library). The library allows the Cloud Administrator to deliver virtual machine templates to the consumer so that self-service simply becomes a drag-and-drop operation. The Apps Library means that the Administrators can provide images and templates that are approved for running on the platform.
For the Service Provider the application opens up possibilities for providing Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings on top of the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform, or providing platform resources to resellers who may provide their own software applications. Enterprise Administrators can also upload their own images to the Apps Library, allowing them to bring their own software onto the Infrastructure platform.
The entire Abiquo platform is controlled through policy that allows the Cloud Administrator to maintain control of the physical infrastructure whilst delivering controlled self-service to the consumers. Policy controls how much resource is allocated to an Enterprise or VDC, where that resource is located, and (through privileges) how that resource can be used by the end consumer. Governance is also provided through dashboards and other data in the Abiquo GUI as well as reports that provide insight into how the infrastructure is being used and where virtual machines exist on the platform.
Finally operations on the Abiquo platform are all metered. Meaning that all resources allocated or consumed by Enterprises, VDCs and vApps are metered and tracked. This allows for chargeback reporting or billing of the cloud services. The Abiquo pricing information also allows for a charge-forward notification to the user so that they are notified how much they are likely to be charged for a vApp that they create through self service.
Abiquo Functional Map
Abiquo provides a Cloud Management platform that enables administrators to Manage Complexity and Deliver Simplicity. However there is much more to the Cloud infrastructure than the Abiquo platform alone and it is important to understand where Abiquo sits in the overall environment.
The Cloud platform is dependent on existing infrastructure, or new infrastructure will be required to build the Cloud Service. Abiquo can manage infrastructure in multiple datacenters, which may be distinct physical locations, but could also be logical groups of infrastructure within a large datacenter.
The Abiquo Cloud Management platform itself consists of the Abiquo Server (providing central management) and Remote Services in each Datacenter. See Abiquo Architecture Overview. The platform provides a number of services that are presented to the Cloud consumers or third party integrations:
- The Abiquo Server provides the central management of the entire platform and may host some of the other services
- Image Libraries that provide VM templates to run on the platform
- Reports that provide insight into how the platform is being used
- Self-service UIs that provide the main interface for Cloud Consumers to use the platform
- APIs that provide access to all of the platform's functionality and allow integration or automation possibilities
- Metering of the Cloud resources
The Abiquo metering data can be provided to billing providers through existing integrations, and additional services or integrations can be created on top of the Abiquo API. Typically this is used to integrate with existing portals that are used to present services to the users, or to allow new users to sign up to a service.
The documentation in this Introductory section includes: