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_NIMBUS_HEADER(2.7 Bird's Eye View)
<h2>Nimbus 2.7 - Bird's Eye View</h2>
In a nutshell,
Nimbus allows a client to <b>lease remote resources</b> by deploying virtual
machines (VMs) on those resources and configuring them to represent
an environment desired by the user. This is known casually as <i>cloud
computing</i> (one definition of it), a little more specifically as an
"infrastructure-as-a-service" (IaaS) solution.
Also included in a Nimbus installation is a storage cloud
implementation called Cumulus that has been tightly integrated with the
other central services (but it can also be used standalone). Cumulus is
compatible with the Amazon Web Services S3 REST API, but extends it as
well (to include quota management, for example).
A set of software needs to be installed to one <i>service node</i> in
a non-root account and a separate piece of software needs to be
installed on any number of <i>virtual machine monitor</i> (VMM) nodes
(some root permissions are required).
There is also a separate download for a client called the <i>cloud
client</i> that makes life very easy for users.
Clients interact with the service using credentials over multiple
protocols. The easiest client to use is the <i>cloud client</i>
(<a href="clouds/cloudquickstart.html">details</a>) which
is geared towards getting users up and running in minutes. The service
must be configured in the <a href="admin/z2c/">cloud configuration</a>
to serve requests from the cloud client. These clients implement web
services messaging (specifically
<a href="">WSRF</a> based).
But Nimbus also provides an implementation of Amazon's Elastic
Compute Cloud (EC2) that allows you to use clients developed for the real
EC2 system against Nimbus based clouds. See the <a href="elclients.html">EC2 Clients</a> page.
You can examine the web services based interface details in the
<a href="interfaces/index.html">WS interfaces</a> section.
Nimbus also allows clients to create <b>auto-configuring clusters</b>.
Starting one VM is somewhat straightforward, but launching 10s or 100s
together can become laborious without heavily customized scripts. Nimbus
provides a general solution to this problem, one that allows you to even
store VMs with no private credentials on-board. For more information,
see <a href="clouds/clusters.html#features">here</a>.
<hr />
Download the software from the
<a href="_NIMBUS_WEBSITE/downloads/">downloads</a> page, peruse the
<a href="changelog.html">changelog</a>.
If you want to learn more about the concepts underlying Nimbus, see the
<a href="faq.html">FAQ</a> and <a href="_NIMBUS_WEBSITE/papers/">Publications</a>
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