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Zeus aims Cloud Traffic Manager at hybrid cloud

Software maker Zeus has announced a new product that will bridge application traffic management across private and public clouds.

Software maker Zeus Technology, a longtime player in web traffic management for large enterprise and public hosting providers, will be offering a new product designed to scale and load balance applications across a variety of cloud providers. The Zeus Cloud Traffic Manager is intended to help companies span private data centers and public clouds and will be available in beta early next year.

Zeus touts its software-only approach to managing application and web traffic workloads as an advantage for customers, which range from big media firms to managed hosting providers. The company says that rather than selling hardware appliances, it can gain market share by selling software that will run on commodity hardware, reducing its imprint in the datacenter. Customer Tom Kiblin, CEO of Virtacore, agrees.

"I'm a big advocate of decoupling hardware from software," he said. Virtacore sells virtualized server resources from its data center operations and helps enterprises develop their own internal compute clouds. Kiblin said his firm is in the process of standardizing all of his load balancing and traffic management needs around Zeus Traffic Manager 6 (ZXTM), which supports virtual machine formats and solid-state drives (SSD) as of last week.

Enterprises want the sort of capabilities they're used to having in their data center in the cloud.
Paul Brennan, CEO of Zeus,
This is primarily because he can run Zeus software on any old machine in a variety of formats, said Kiblin. He's gradually replaced dedicated hardware with ZXTM and sees it as the way forward, since he considers it more bulletproof -- a machine failure will simply shift the software load balancer to another machine, instead of waiting for a hardware replacement.

Kiblin said he is looking forward to the Cloud Traffic Manager. He said it will be attractive to clients because of its claims to link IT infrastructures together at the application level. He expects to be able to bridge running applications -- the part that his customers care about -- between their infrastructure and his, which is what they are paying him for.

"What we see in the marketplace is that CIOs are looking across the cloud for hybrid solutions," said Zeus CEO Paul Brennan. He said his customers like the elastic capabilities and the wide geophysical availability in public clouds, but they want to manage workloads and applications themselves. The Cloud Traffic Manager will let users link applications and financial transactions that are time and distance-sensitive across broad areas, as well as bring up and scale down resources across two private infrastructures: private and public cloud hybrids or other hosted operations.

Brennan believes the marketplace is headed in this direction. He also thinks enterprises are wise to the benefits of virtualization and automation, but they're not moving out into the cloud until they can get everything they can enjoy at home.

He cited company surveys that showed 87% of CIOs polled had used or tested public cloud resources, but only 27% were satisfied. Zeus Technology is hoping customers will spring for Cloud Traffic Manager as an extra line-item to help get that satisfaction.

"[Enterprises] want the sort of capabilities they're used to having in their data center in the cloud," he said.

Most sophisticated traffic managment tools are hardware appliances, such as F5 Network's BIG-IP Local Traffic Monitor, or open source projects without much traction that require a high degree of 'do-it-yourself' spirit, such as HAProxy.

Carl Brooks is the Technology Writer for SearchCloudComputing.com. Contact him at cbrooks@techtarget.com.

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