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Technology Stack

HybridCluster is the first enterprise hosting stack to combine distributed storage (HCFS) and a network abstraction layer (AwesomeProxy) specifically designed to deliver a Container-as-a-Service cloud for public or private applications.

This delivers a far smarter application-aware bare metal performance on low-cost commodity hardware, network and local storage.

It’s cloud: simplified, smarter, and easier to use.

Network abstraction layer (AwesomeProxy)

AwesomeProxy turns a bunch of dumb servers into a true distributed system.  By being application- and protocol-aware, AwesomeProxy allows you to send any request for any application running in a FlexContainer to any machine in the cluster.  Addressing then becomes a much simpler issue.  Because HybridCluster has addressing built in at the SDN layer in a protocol-aware way, you can send any request to any machine in the cluster and it will be internally reverse-proxied to the correct backend for the application the request was intended for. AwesomeProxy also integrates directly into our SiteJuggler orchestration and cluster management layer to pull of live migration of containers at the filesystem and protocol layer orders of magnitude more efficiently than vMotion that functions over unreliable high latency and low throughput network connections. And because AwesomeProxy handles addressing, you can move an application from one IP to another without any special networking.

Container based virtualization layer (FlexContainers)

Everyone knows that virtual machines are an inefficient way of running userland processes.  Simulating the whole damn universe 32 times on a box just to run a web server or database made sense in the 90s before we had operating systems which could efficiently and securely provide multi-tenancy for applications. But now that the OS-level multi-tenancy has caught up, containers are a fundamentally more efficient way to deploy web applications, databases, and email, and HybridCluster embraces that whole-heartedly.  What’s more, we bring to the table efficient live migration of containers. Admins can manage container templates (called FlexTemplates) and we have seeded the community with a top-class set of application templates for Apache, PHP, MySQL and IMAP mail containers.

Orchestration, heartbeat & cluster management (SiteJuggler)

SiteJuggler uses a mesh group communication network based on the Virtual Synchrony membership and messaging model to achieve consensus in its distributed algorithms. These algorithms were built on the model of Communicating Sequential Processes. Building robust distributed systems is in our DNA.  HybridCluster also allows customers to customize their CAP configuration (consistency or availability) on a per-container basis while remaining partition-tolerant – imperative when deploying applications across different physical geographies.

Storage abstraction layer (SDS = HCFS = ZFS + SnapshotGraph)

Unlike most storage abstraction layers today (OnApp’s SANity or Parallels Cloud Storage just to pick two examples) which expose block level storage for VMs, HCFS exposes a POSIX filesystem at the container layer. This means no more IOPS storms as hundreds of VMs fsck simultaneously; instead after a failure or a restart, thousands of containers just pop back online, and start serving application content immediately.

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