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The Abiquo platform is a true hybrid cloud system that manages private and public clouds through a single user interface. It enables Cloud Administrators to manage resources in multiple private data centers and public cloud regions, and to control their use through policy. Cloud Administrators grant resources to users and allow them controlled self-service in the cloud. Administrators remain in control of the physical resources and public cloud services, and they can offer cloud resources with abstracted resource locations.
Cloud Administrators allocate resources to Abiquo enterprises, which are the basic cloud tenants. Enterprises consume the cloud resources through virtual datacenters (VDCs), which are logical units bound to a single Abiquo datacenter and virtualization backend, or public cloud provider. The Cloud Administrator can provide different service levels by using different technology stacks for different VDCs.
Administrators can apply policies to VDCs using allocation limits (controlling compute, network and storage) or defining the users within an enterprise who can work with each VDC. Users take advantage of self-service to create their own virtual appliances (VApps) within the VDCs. VApps are groups (like folders) with one or more virtual machines (VMs). Administrators can control user resources with policy, and privileges that are grouped into roles. For example, privileges determine if consumers can change CPU and memory for VMs, or create additional storage volumes.
The key to self-service is the Apps library, where Administrators provide VM templates and application blueprints to users so they can easily consume the cloud resources in the VDCs. Administrators control access to VM templates and VApp spec blueprints using resource scopes, which are tenant access control lists. This enables the platform to provide Software as a Service (SaaS) on top of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Enterprise administrators may be allowed to upload their own images to the Apps library, in order to bring their own software onto the platform.
In summary, the entire platform is controlled by policy that enables the Cloud Administrator to maintain control of the physical infrastructure and public cloud services, 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. And Abiquo provides governance through dashboards in the UI, as well as reports showing how the infrastructure is being used and where VMs exist on the platform.
Finally, the platform meters all operations, which means that it measures and tracks all resources allocated or consumed. This enables accounting and billing of the cloud service usage. Administrators enter pricing information for billing that also enables them to offer users charge-forward notifications of the cost of their VApps.
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 data centers, 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