To install the platform, see Installation.
As a true hybrid cloud system, Abiquo manages private and public clouds through a single user interface. It enables cloud administrators to manage the complexity of dealing with resources in multiple private datacenters and public cloud regions, and to control their use by policies. Cloud Administrators deliver simplicity to cloud consumers by granting them resources and allowing self-service in the cloud. This way, administrators remain in control of the physical resources, and consumers are abstracted from the location of the resources.
Cloud resources are allocated to Abiquo enterprises, which are the basic cloud tenant. Enterprises consume the cloud resources through virtual datacenters (VDCs), which are logical units bound to a single Abiquo datacenter and virtualization backend. By using different technology stacks in each VDC, the Cloud Administrator can provide different service levels.
Policies can be applied to VDCs to impose resource allocation limits (controlling compute, network and storage resources) or define which users within an enterprise can use a particular VDC. Users take advantage of self-service by creating their own virtual appliances (VApps) within the VDCs. VApps are containers consisting of one or more virtual machines (VMs). The resources a consumer can use are controlled by the administrator using policy and privileges that can be grouped into roles. For example, privileges determine whether consumers can change CPU and memory resources for VMs or create additional storage volumes.
Simplicity is delivered through the Apps Library. The Apps library provides virtual machine templates to users to consume the cloud resources in the virtual datacenters. It also provides application blueprints for a group of virtual machines to make it easy for users to create new applications. Access to virtual machine templates and blueprints is controlled by resource scopes, which are tenant access control lists defined by cloud administrators. This enables the platform to provide Software as a Service (SaaS) on top of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Enterprise administrators may upload their own images to the Apps Library, allowing them to bring their own software onto the Infrastructure platform.
The entire platform is controlled by policy that enables the cloud administrator to maintain control of the physical infrastructure whilst delivering controlled self-service to the consumers. Policy controls the amount of resources that are allocated to Enterprises and VDCs, where the resources are located, and how they can be used. Abiquo provides governance through dashboards in UI as well as reports showing how the infrastructure is being used and where virtual machines exist on the platform.
Finally all operations on the Abiquo platform are metered, meaning that all resources allocated or consumed are measured and tracked. This allows for accounting and billing of the cloud service usage. Pricing information enables charge-forward notifications to users of how much they are likely to be charged for the vApps they create through self-service.
Abiquo offers the building blocks for a customized cloud service, with functionality delivered through the Abiquo UI and integration points. However, Abiquo depends on the cloud infrastructure and it is important to understand where Abiquo sits in the overall environment. The platform manages resources in public cloud and private datacenters, which may be distinct physical locations or logical groups of infrastructure within the same location.
The cloud management platform itself consists of an Abiquo Server (providing central management) and a Remote Services Server for each Datacenter. The platform presents a number of services to the cloud consumers to provide cloud services, and enable the use of integration and automation solutions on top of them:
The Server manages the platform and delivers service as defined by cloud administrators
The API provides access to the platform functionality, allowing integration or automation
The Apps library provides VM templates to run on the platform and use its resources
The UI allows cloud consumers to use the platform through the Abiquo Server
Reporting, Accounting and Metering show how the platform is being used
Next page: Starting Abiquo for the First Time