We've just recently announced the first official release of OpenBD 1.0. It has taken us over 6 months to get to that stage, but it was worth it, with oodles of fixes and enhancements included.
One of the question areas we continually get asked is all about deployment. Its the one area that will always cause problems, as most people want to use their own flavor of Linux, or their own database etc.
We've been talking with the CohesiveFT chaps now for a number of months as they provide some fascinating tools to help with deployment and provisioning within the cloud. I was lucky enough to have their CTO to come along to our *hugely* successful cloud boot camp a couple of weeks ago.
One of their real exciting projects is their main Elastic Server offering. This is a community site that lets you basically build virtual servers from a wide variety of components and packages. You pick and choose much the same way you would on any online shop - except here, there is no checkout, the checkout is when you provision or build your server image.
This is where the real technology kicks in. Once you have your shopping cart of items, you then choose what format your server will take. Do you want a downloadable VMWare image? Or maybe a XEN or Parallels image? Or how about an Amazon EC2 image (which they will also deploy and run up for you at the same time)? More cloud providers are coming in the very near future, including GoGrid and Flexiscale.
But the fun doesn't stop there.
Once you have the image all built and run up, they will also help you manage it, providing a very sweet and slick on-instance management console that lets you control the high level operations. There is even a web-based SSH client so you can drop straight into the shell without messing around your private/public keys.
All in all a very rounded package.
So I decided to take it for a real test run, and create a specialised portal for OpenBlueDragon. This portal would bundle as standard JDK1.5 and OpenBD1.0, and then prompt the user to decide on their J2EE application server and then optionally the database they want to use.
After that, they get prompted for server format they want built. It really couldn't be any easier.
I urge you to check it out and sign-up for a free account with them as this gives you the ability to deploy to Amazon EC2. Otherwise you will be able to only download the virtual images.
To create your own OpenBD virtual server then head over to http://www.elasticserver.com/site/open-blue-dragon