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What is Cumulus?
----------------
Cumulus is an open source implementation of the S3 REST API. Some features
such as versioning are not yet implemented, but some additional
features are added, such as file system usage quotas.
What clients can I use with Cumulus?
------------------------------------
Cumulus is compliant with the S3 REST network API, therefore clients
that work against the S3 REST API should work with Cumulus. Some
of the more popular ones are boto and s3cmd.
How are Nimbus and Cumulus related?
-----------------------------------
Cumulus is the front end to the Nimbus VM image repository. In order to
boot an image on a given Nimbus cloud, that image must first be put into
that same clouds Cumulus repository (advanced use cases can by pass this).
Can Cumulus be installed without Nimbus?
----------------------------------------
Yes. Cumulus does not rely on any higher level Nimbus libraries and thus
users who wish to install it as a stand alone front end to their storage
system may do so.
Can Nimbus be installed without Cumulus?
----------------------------------------
No. Nimbus version 2.5 and higher is packaged with Cumulus and is intimately
aware of it. Nimbus must be installed with the version of Cumulus with
which it is packages.
Does the Nimbus IaaS system directly use Cumulus for image propagation?
--------------------------------------------------------------
Not necessarily. While Cumulus is the primary interface for transfer
images in and out of the cloud, it is not the mechanism by which images
are propagated from the repository to the virtual machine monitors.
Propagation is done in a variety of different ways, many of which we
are still developing and researching in order to find the best solution
for scientific users.
How reliable is Cumulus?
------------------------
The reliability of Cumulus depends entirely on the storage system that
is backing it. In order to achieve S3 levels of reliability you need S3
levels of hardware investment but with our system even small providers
can still be S3 protocol compliant while making an independent choice on
cost/reliability.
What type of storage system backs the Cumulus repository?
---------------------------------------------------------
In the first release of Cumulus we are only providing a posix filesystem
backend storage system. However this is a very powerful plugin. It
can be used against a variety of storage systems including PVFS, GFS, and
HDFS (under a FUSE module). We have prototyped HDFS and BlobSeer plugins
and we will be releasing them soon.
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