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I was recently given 3 dual opteron 2400 servers with 4GB of RAM and 120GB hard drives. I am interested in setting up something similar to Amazon's EC2 for my own personal web development use. Basically, I would like to spin up instances from an ISO or other disk images and have them available to test and develop software.

Are there open source solutions I can use to accomplish this? I am assuming one of the machines will need to act as a controller of some sort for the other two.

I use Sun's VirtualBox on my local development machine to virtualize various versions of Microsoft Windows. However, I'm not sure if that's the best tool for what I am trying to achieve.

I apologize in advance if this question is to vague to get meaningful responses. I am new to cloud computing and fairly new at server administration.

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I guess the question is why do you consider virtualisation alone to not meet your needs? What is it about the "cloud" thing that attracts you and makes you think you need it at home? –  RobM Jan 3 '11 at 8:51
    
@Robert: Cloud. –  hobodave Jan 3 '11 at 9:05
    
There is also the private cloud stack that emulates Google App Engine: - AppScale See also stackoverflow.com/questions/153721/… –  David d C e Freitas Nov 10 '11 at 13:01

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you just want an introduction to the cloud concept and run your own EC2-like cloud I would strongly recommend trying Ubuntu cloud. It works pretty well, and the API is identical to EC2.

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What you are asking for is Eucalyptus: http://www.eucalyptus.com/

This seems like a lot of effort though. Have fun with it.

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OpenStack is also worth a look, I think.

What OpenStack is: OpenStack is a collection of open source technologies delivering a massively scalable cloud operating system. OpenStack is currently developing two interrelated projects: OpenStack Compute and OpenStack Object Storage. OpenStack Compute is software to provision and manage large groups of virtual private servers, and OpenStack Object Storage is software for creating redundant, scalable object storage using clusters of commodity servers to store terabytes or even petabytes of data.

Just my 2 cents.

Fran

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CloudStack and OpenStack are two emerging, open cloud platforms. OpenStack has a bigger following and is deployed already by the likes of RackSpace. The only prob might be your HDD and RAM if you look to one of those two. CloudStack has a lower hardware requirement, and is slightly "easier" to install, from my experience.

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