Nimbula - which was called Benguela when the company was in stealth - was founded in late 2008 by Pinkham and Willem van Biljon, who was part of the team that built EC2.
The company has $5.75 million in funding from Sequoia Capital and the virtualization vendor VMware. Former VMware CEO Greene is one of Nimbula's four board members, along with Pinkham, van Biljon, and Sequoia investor Roelof Botha.
The software is called Nimbula Director, and is in beta with about six "large international customers in the financial services, technology and healthcare industries," with general availability planned for the fall of 2010, Nimbula says.
Nimbula Director automatically discovers servers, lays down the virtualization technology and control pane software, automatically organizing the nodes into an EC2-style cloud.
"The build process is ongoing. As new nodes are introduced or retired, those resources are automatically discovered," Pinkham says.
Although Nimbula Director initially integrates with Xen and KVM, the technology is "fundamentally agnostic" and the company is working on integrating with VMware deployments, Pinkham says.
Businesses that use Nimbula Director will be able to offer virtual machine instances in any flavor they like, from Linux to Windows, while setting policies that determine how much compute and storage capacity VMs can consume. Unauthorized access is prevented with a built-in identity and permission system.
Nimbula's announcement explains that the "cloud control software isolates customers from the operational and hardware complexity associated with deploying compute in a static private data center. A RESTful HTTP API provides a simple and comprehensive interface to all aspects of cloud resource control. Cloud resources can also be managed via a command line interface (CLI) and web control panel, built on top of the API. Beneath the virtual data center abstraction sits a physical layer of storage, network and compute hardware managed by multilayer control software. Nimbula integrates a hypervisor (KVM and/or Xen) with node management software on each node to achieve automated deployment and configuration."
Naturally, workloads that run on Nimbula Director can be moved into the Amazon EC2 cloud if overflow capacity is needed, according to Pinkham. Companies that have large populations of Web developers are Nimbula's most likely customers, he says.
One early customer is CIO Joubert Steyn of the Metropolitan Health Group, a health insurance company in South Africa.
MHG has installed Nimbula on just five physical servers so far, but intends to use the software on its VMware deployment. The company is testing the software out with some of its light healthcare applications and middleware products.