CoreStack released its v1.5 last month which is now available in our hosted version. You can review the same at https://cloud.corestack.io . As part of this release, CoreStack has a range of exciting new features and enhancements. The focus area for this release has been on extending the Orchestration Engine to provide a Cloud Lab Solution which can be used in Enterprises and Universities. The Cloud Lab solution aims to provide a user-friendly self-service portal for developers in an Enterprise as well as Students & Researchers in a University. The underlying Orchestration Engine does all the complex orchestration tasks, while the end users have a simple business application to request for and manage their cloud infrastructure and application environments. The admin users can continue to make use of the base features of executing Templates and Scripts across multiple cloud platforms, configuration management and other IT Lifecycle management tools.
Enhanced Security with Active Directory/LDAP integration
For enterprise users we have some good news. We can now integrate CoreStack with your LDAP or Active Directory server. End users can now use their existing enterprise user-id to login to CoreStack. The user groups in Active Directory will be mapped to the respective roles within CoreStack. Additionally, access controls can be set for these roles which will provide for administration of users from Active Directory itself. Apparently, this is available only in on-premise installations and not in the hosted version.
Additional Authentication Options for Compute
So far we only had password based authentication for the compute resources. With CoreStack 1.5 we have an additional capability of keypair based authentication. This only provides additional security for those who feel more secured with keypair based authentication.
All new Self Service Portal
Now it’s all too easy for even non-technical users to request for cloud infrastructure along with the desired applications. There is support for both Public / Private cloud across multiple Cloud Platforms such as AWS, Azure, OpenStack (Public / Private), CloudStack (Public / Private). There are a host of apps available in the catalog and your admin has the provision to add more apps including your custom applications into the catalog. CoreStack can now acts as your platform team that provides the required application development environments to developers in a click of a button.
Additionally, desktop users can now request for applications to be installed in their PC / Laptop. Their credentials are authenticated via AD/LDAP and their system details are captured as well. Requests go thru a level of approval and once the approver provides the go ahead, provisioning is done automatically.
So no more raising requests and waiting for the system admin to get a bunch of CD’s and follow the installation steps. Does it not sound like getting an injection administered to you while you are enjoying your favorite movie? The icing of the cake is the addition of features like automated monitoring of your infrastructure, automated termination of the instances at pre-defined times for effective resource utilization, email notifications at all stages of the request lifecycle.
CloudLab as a Service
Gone are the days where you had to go through cumbersome installation steps to set-up a private cloud for yourself. Much like the Self Service Portal for requesting infrastructure and applications, specific set of users can also request for a Private Cloud to be installed for them. The Private Cloud also gets installed on approval. CoreStack currently supports one click installation for OpenStack, OpenNebula, OpenShift (PaaS platform) and recommends using a Physical Server for such installations. Just click once, sit back and relax.
What good is a release of a software without something for the administrator. We believe in making the life of not just the end users but also the administrators easy.
So far we only had password based authentication for the compute resources in Inventory and while executing scripts. With this release we have an additional capability of keypair based authentication as well for adding Compute Servers to CoreStack Inventory and to execute scripts.
The admins can now create and manage Resource Catalogs from various clouds such as OpenStack, CloudStack, AWS, Azure. The management of resource catalogs can be done from the User Interface where the admin can choose Images and Flavors (VM Size) and assign a cost and other attributes to these catalogs.
While approving any infrastructure requests from the Self Service Portal, admins would want to check the available quota within that Cloud Account / Tenant. We understand that it is important to have a view of the quota utilization before the admin can approve the request. Hence a quick view of the quota utilization is provided right in the approver work list to make this easy.
There is more good news for the admins. We have included the capability to include custom scripts as part of deployment in the target cloud infrastructure or even in the user desktops. The custom scripts can be created as script components, which are essentially the app catalog that is included as part of the Self Service Portal.
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