On the Abiquo multi-cloud IaaS platform, the basic tasks of Administrators are as follows.
Cloud Administrators register physical resources and public cloud services in the platform. Administrators grant virtual resources to users, allowing 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 create Enterprises, which are the basic cloud tenants. Cloud Administrators allocate resources to Abiquo enterprises. Administrators can control user access to resources with policy, and with privileges that are grouped into roles. For example, privileges determine if users can change CPU and memory for VMs, or create additional hard disks. Cloud Administrators can automate and delegate tasks to manage the platform to reseller administrators, tenant administrators, and other administrators with custom roles.
Administrators create the Apps library, which contains VM templates and applications blueprints. The Apps library is the key to self-service on the platform, enabling users to 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.
Administrators create Virtual Datacenters (VDCs) where users will consume their cloud resources. VDCs are logical groups of resources 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, and their level of access.
Administrators create pricing models, entering pricing information for billing that also enables them to offer pricing estimates to users.
Abiquo users can log in to the user interface and easily consume virtual resources through their virtual datacenters. 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). Users can build their own configurations or take advantage of application blueprints to deploy ready-made configurations. They can then automate and scale their VM configurations.
Users have controlled self-service because the entire platform is controlled by policy that enables the Cloud Administrator to maintain control of the physical infrastructure and public cloud services. Policy controls the amount of resources that are allocated to Enterprises and VDCs, where the resources are located, and how they can be used.
Users can obtain 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. Abiquo is a thin unintrusive management layer to the existing infrastructure and there is no impact on any VMs that are already running. The Cloud Admins can add the physical and virtual infrastructure to Abiquo in a controlled way on their own timescales.
The cloud management platform itself consists of an Abiquo Server (providing central management) and a set of Remote Services 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