Deutsche Telekom spawns cloud vendor Zimory

The German open-source start-up aims to be a market maker in cloud computing by providing a "marketplace that matches buyers and sellers of distributed computing power."

Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst has issued a plea for more enterprises to contribute to open-source communities. Deutsche Telekom Laboratories has gone one step further: it has spun off its own open-source cloud-computing start-up called Zimory.

Based in Berlin, Zimory aims to help bring the benefits of cloud computing to private enterprises, but with a twist that calls out: enabling "a cloud-computing marketplace that matches buyers and sellers of distributed computing power."

In other words, Zimory's open-source code enables not only private clouds, but also the ability to profit from under-utilized cloud resources in much the same way that Amazon has opened up its excess computing capacity through services like its Elastic Compute Cloud, or EC2.


The code powering the service is "completely open source," according to the company's chief technology officer. This is critical to making the service work:

"The Zimory Agent needs to be widely distributed, as many organizations that run the open-source hypervisors do not have sophisticated management frameworks," (Zimory CTO Maximilian) Ahrens said. "Therefore, it is key for us that we can distribute our Agent through the open-source community."

Part distribution strategy, part software development strategy (Zimory uses an array of third-party open-source code to build its service), open source is fundamental to Zimory. However, the model's magic is in connecting disparate computing needs and resources, which is a "proprietary" service that only Zimory will be able to manage through its cloud infrastructure. It's a very smart idea.

Even Microsoft agrees. It named Zimory to its select German incubator program.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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