In a nod to the need for more efficient resource management for public and private cloud computing, IBM (IBM) has unveiled a new product for its OpenStack platforms. Called the Platform Resource Scheduler, the resource provides a virtualized programmable interface for automating the allocation of cloud resources.

IBM announced the Platform Resource Scheduler Jan. 6, billing it as "a dynamic resource management tool for the private and public OpenStack cloud, which automatically allocates the right resources to the right job, balances workload demand with infrastructure supply and ensures adherence to service level agreements."

The resource allows users to define policies that regulate how OpenStack allocates resources to different workloads. It takes advantage of virtualization live migration features to optimize resource scheduling in real time, and provides extensions to the Nova scheduler that is part of OpenStack itself.

In addition, "a versatile SQL-like query language" is available through the Platform Resource Scheduler "that allows cloud administrators to match workloads to resources in a more precise manner, presenting the opportunity to improve hardware utilization and service levels," according to IBM.

The product is compatible with all of IBM's OpenStack-based cloud-computing platforms, including IBM SmartCloud Entry and IBM SmartCloud Orchestrator.

IBM is pitching the solution as a way for systems administrators to "improve quality of service for cloud tenants by avoiding scenarios where hypervisor resources become oversubscribed; manage complex, heterogeneous cloud environments more effectively; and reduce management efforts by better automating cloud operations." That makes sense today, when OpenStack is already in widespread use within the enterprise, and the future of innovation in this space will have to do, in part, with optimizing OpenStack performance to maximize the efficiencies that cloud computing can provide over traditional infrastructure.

Of course, the developers of OpenStack itself are also keen to improve the platform's efficiency as it continues to evolve, an effort that was clear when the project released the latest version of the software, Havana, in October 2013. IBM seems to see opportunities for selling value-added resource-management features that go above and beyond the offerings of the core OpenStack code.