Warning: This document describes an old release. Check here for the current version.
Nimbus 2.4 - Bird's Eye View
In a nutshell, Nimbus allows a client to lease remote resources by deploying virtual machines (VMs) on those resources and configuring them to represent an environment desired by the user. This is known casually as cloud computing (one definition of it), a little more specifically as an "infrastructure-as-a-service" (IaaS) solution.
Nimbus 2.4 consists of a piece of software for one service node and a separate piece of software to install on any number of virtual machine monitor (VMM) nodes.
There is also a separate download for a special client called the cloud client that makes life very easy for clients. And another separate download, a special packaging of a remote service container, to make life easier for administrators.
Clients interact with the service using X509 credentials over multiple protocols. The easiest client to use is the cloud client (details) which is geared towards getting users up and running in minutes. The service must be configured in the cloud configuration (details) to serve requests from the cloud client. These clients implement web services messaging (specifically WSRF based).
But Nimbus 2.4 also provides an implementation of the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) web services description (WSDL) that allows you to use clients developed for the real EC2 system against Nimbus based clouds.
You can examine the 2.4 WSRF based interfaces in detail in the WSRF interfaces section.
Nimbus also allows clients to create auto-configuring clusters. Starting one VM is somewhat straightforward, but launching 10s or 100s together can become laborious without heavily customized scripts. Nimbus provides a general solution to this problem, one that allows you to even store VMs with no private credentials on-board. For more information, see here.
And see the links on the left for more information.