Introduction

SlipStream, developed by SixSq, is a multi-cloud, coordinated provisioning and image factory engine. In other words, it is an engineering Platform as a Service (PaaS) solution, supporting production deployment in the cloud, as well as development, testing, certification and deployment processes using Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud infrastructures.

Main Features

Multi-machine Provisioning System: SlipStream allows users to define and execute deployments, based on high-level recipes that are independent of the cloud on which the deployment will run. SlipStream coordinates the provisioning of virtual machines, synchonizing the deployment and configuration of individual machines as defined in the deployment recipe.

For example, users can deploy entire multi-tier software systems on-demand and in a single action. With SlipStream, this operation takes a few minutes, compared to hours (or days!) for manual installations.

Multi-cloud Provisioning: SlipStream supports multiple cloud providers and multi-cloud deployments, through a plug-in connector design. (See supported connectors below.) Users select the cloud service providers and technologies when deploying virtual machines, from within a single SlipStream service. Furthermore, users can place parts of a deployment on different cloud services or regions, automating redundant and error-resistent deployments.

To illustrate, users can deploy computing clusters, load-balanced applications, and multi-media processing pipelines, for example, across several cloud providers to improve the resilience of the service and to reduce latencies by co-locating data and computing resources, while reducing costs.

Support continuous integration processes with continuous deployment: SlipStream encourages users to parameterise image creation and deployment recipes, such that key parameters (e.g. software version, package location, dependencies, inter-relationships) can be provided at runtime. This means that it is easy to integrate SlipStream with continuous integration servers to provide a full deployment chain.

For instance, users can provision complete server-side systems in a single action in order to test and certify a specific version of the system.

Independence from specific IaaS interfaces and hypervisors: the SlipStream recipes are independent of specific IaaS interfaces, avoiding vendor lock-in and allowing you to focus on configuration and deployment of your application, instead of the specifics of each IaaS.

For example, users can seamlessly apply the same image construction recipes and multi-machine deployments to different cloud providers, yielding the same results every time.

Community sharing platform: the SlipStream data model permits users to share their image and deployment recipes with other users, encouraging collaboration within a community, something dear to agile and DevOps principles.

Supported Clouds

SlipStream communicates to IaaS clouds services via a connector architecture. In general, the connectors for open source IaaS implementations are released under the same license (Apache 2) as the SlipStream core; connectors for proprietary solutions are closed source and available via a commercial license.

The following table shows the availability of the cloud connectors.

Connector Type Availability
Amazon EC2 proprietary available
CloudSigma proprietary available
CloudStack proprietary available
IBM Smart Cloud Entry proprietary coming soon
Microsoft IaaS Azure proprietary coming soon
OCCI open source available
OpenStack open source available
Physical/Fixed open source available
StratusLab open source available
VMWare vCloud proprietary available

SlipStream Edition

SlipStream is available in two editions, the Community one and the Enterprise one.

Proprietary connectors (see above) are only available on the Enterprise edition.

For each edition we maintain three repositories:

  • Snapshots (most recent code base but may be unstable)
  • Candidates (possibly stable releases but not yet validated for production)
  • Releases (stable releases for production)