Latest Release Feature Highlights

App blueprints, alarms and alerts and custom storage tiering with Abiquo 3.8

Abiquo launched the latest version of its award-winning software in March 2016. With new abilities to create application blueprints and deploy them to multiple cloud infrastructures, set up custom alarms and alerts and offer different storage SLAs to different tenant groups, Abiquo customers can meet their tenant’s needs and differentiate their services even further. Great features such as true multi-tenant Docker support – now extended with blueprints and alarms too – continue to attract industry interest. Read below for more information about how Abiquo v3.8 can benefit your business.

Abiquo 3.0 home screen

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All your clouds in one elegant portal!

Get the benefit of hybrid cloud faster than ever with Abiquo’s unified portal. Using a familiar drag-and-drop method to deploy VMs, and supported by built-in tutorials, users can get started within minutes with little or no training. With privileges you control, users can view monitoring information, onboard their own Amazon and Azure accounts, and even perform VM migrations. All these features are available through our REST API for endless automation and integration opportunities.

It’s easy to customise the interface to match your business – every text string can be modified by editing text files, and Abiquo can be fully white-labelled, and can even run multiple brands on the same platform to support reseller scenarios.

Contact us for a demo now!

Simplify deployment of complex applications

With Abiquo 3.8’s new “Virtual Appliance Specifications” (or “VApp specs”) you can create an application template which can include multiple VMs or Docker containers, networking configuration, firewall and loadbalancer policies, backup policies, storage tier requirements, anti-affinity needs and even VM/Docker variables and Chef recipes, if you use them.

Then select which tenant can access each template, control template versions and let them deploy with a click!

The real magic happens when your users want to deploy to a different datacenter. If there’s a template missing, the storage tiers are configured differently or they don’t have the networking configured yet, it’s no problem! Abiquo walks the user through a simple process to choose a similar template, or select a storage tier, then automatically configures the networking needed and creates the application.

Easy as that!

vappspec

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Monitoring, Metrics, Custom Alarms and Alerts – for VMs and Docker Containers

Abiquo 3.2 introduced monitoring and metrics of virtual machine on ESX and KVM hypervisors, and in AWS public cloud regions. The feature enables you to obtain a rapid and convenient overview of virtual machine performance through the Abiquo cloud console. Abiquo 3.6 added new capabilities to this core feature, including a plugin for collectd, helping to get metrics from a huge range of Linux components and software, Metric dimensions, to let users drill down to specific elements in a group and metrics for XenServer, adding to the existing ESX, KVM and AWS metrics.

Abiquo 3.8 adds the ability for users to define their own alarms, based on metrics gathered by Abiquo or on their own custom metrics – or a combination! For example, create an alarm for an e-commerce server based on CPU exceeding 80% for 10 minutes and cart abandons exceeding 50 over the same period. Mix and match as you like! Even combine alarms from multiple VMs or containers to generate an alert – maybe combine an alarm based on high network traffic on a web server with CPU and IOPS on a database server.

Use Amazon and Azure as part of your hybrid cloud service

Service providers are looking to respond and compete with Amazon’s insatiable growth and dominance in the cloud market and with Microsoft’s penetration into large Enterprises. Gartner estimates that Amazon’s cloud revenues are 5x larger than its nearest 14 competitors combined.

Why not look to help those enterprises that are already using Amazon and Azure get more control, insight and efficiency out of those services? Help them align usage controls with their existing internal IT policies, manage their public and private cloud resources from one place, simplify the management of multiple accounts and place the right ‘workload’ into the right ‘cloud’. With Abiquo 3.8, existing AWS and Azure accounts can be managed by Abiquo with a single click, and kept in sync even if existing management tools continue to be used. You can even move existing VMs and templates up to AWS and Azure with a couple of clicks for true mobility.

You can also restrict end users to an approved set of AWS images using the Abiquo appliance library, ensuring consistency and making sure that you control the quality of the images in use.

Since everything in Abiquo is logged, audited and metered through a single platform, you can get a good understanding of what’s happening across your hybrid cloud.

Abiquo 3.0 firewall screen

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Reserving servers for a tenant

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Create multiple tiers of service

Many enterprises and service providers need to offer a range of services from a fully shared cloud environment to dedicated “private cloud” offerings. Abiquo 3.8 adds datastore tiers to existing dedicated compute and networking options, enabling combinations of:

  • Dedicated compute – limit access to specific hosts for a tenant
  • Dedicated storage – limit access to a datastore for one tenant or a group of tenants
  • Dedicated networks – assign an externally-defined VLAN, such as an MPLS network, to a tenant
  • Dedicated NICs – link a virtual network to a specific hardware network
Abiquo 3.1 public cloud screen

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Manage other public clouds too!

As credible alternatives to AWS and Azure become more popular in the public cloud space, we have more public cloud plug-ins to help offer your tenants “best of breed” offerings, whether they be at a low price point, the best performance available, or some other unique feature set.

With Abiquo, you can deliver service to your customers from these providers in addition to AWS and Azure:

  • OpenStack
  • DigitalOcean
  • Rackspace
  • CloudSigma
  • SoftLayer
  • ElasticHosts
  • OpenStack

Depending on the capabilities of the cloud provider, you can manage VMs, use configuration management like Chef and Ansible, manage VM images, run boostrap scripts, pass user data into VMs and configure firewalls, all through the same Abiquo interface. Even better, any integrations you build to the Abiquo API will work across ALL these cloud environments, so you don’t need to constantly redevelop in order to use another provider.

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Get user productive faster with Tutorials

The Abiquo tutorial system enables you to provide information, focus on a specific Abiquo user interface element, and require the user to perform an action in order to continue. Using tutorials, you can streamline the process of onboarding users with your own platform walkthroughs.The Tutorials feature allows you to create custom tutorials for specific user roles.

Deeper integration with Chef configuration management

One of the best ways to automate the installation of software onto a Linux VM is with a configuration manager such as Chef. Abiquo already has the ability to let your end users select their own Chef recipes, and now we support Chef attributes. Abiquo can pass configuration attributes to Chef for your recipes. You can find out what attributes are available from the Chef recipe configuration files – see the Chef web site for more information.

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Abiquo - manage workflow tasks

Manage VM activity with workflow

With Abiquo workflow, a user’s requests to deploy, reconfigure and undeploy virtual machines will be held while they are waiting to be reviewed. This can be done by another user with the appropriate privilege, or by an external workflow tool. You could even integrate to another system such as a credit control system which could check to see if a cloud tenant has too many outstanding invoices, and stop deployment if they do!

Other technical improvements

As with every version, we’ve added features and improvements requested by our customers. These include:

  • Accounting improvements: new options for datastore tier metering
  • Docker improvements: Support for Docker 1.9.0, better resource management and resource allocation
  • VMware: Support for ESX6 and NSX for software defined networking
  • Templates: we’ve added the ability to set variables in VM templates and container definitions, which can be accessed from inside the VM/container

You can read the full list of improvements in the release notes.