Eucalyptus Systems and Dell tout cloud-in-a-box

Looking toward a totally seamless public/private cloud hybrid.

Amid a slew of much higher-profile partnership announcements at Dell World in Austin, Texas, this week, cloud platform provider Eucalyptus Systems joined the Dell Technology Partner Program to provide a “cloud-in-a-Box” product running Eucalyptus’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service private cloud software on Dell hardware.

Even though Dell CEO MIchael Dell touted the cloud-in-box concept in general at his Dell World keynote on Thursday, I’m not usually a fan of cloud-in-a-box solutions, because clouds don’t belong in boxes, but Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos did his best to change my mind.

Compatible with AWS

According to Mickos, the open source Eucalyptus platform is the only private cloud solution that is completely compatible with Amazon Web Services. (The companies are business partners, but Mickos wouldn’t comment on whether Amazon holds any ownership stake in Eucalyptus.) That means that you can move workloads back and forth between Eucalyptus and AWS as needed, and take advantage of any AWS innovations without having to change anything.

In fact, he said, the long-term future of cloud computing is to blur the differences between private and public clouds into hybrids so seamless “we won’t even call them hybrids.” It will be like the buildings companies work in, where most people don’t know whether they’re owned or rented, because it just doesn’t matter.

Cloud-in-a-Backpack?

On the high end, Mickos said, some Eucalyptus customers are using it for environments with up to 100,000 cores. On the small side, forget “cloud in a box.” The company has demonstrated a “cloud in a backpack."

Mickos claimed his five-year-old company has more than 100 customers, mostly small- and medium-sized technology companies using it in development and test applications. The new cloud-in-a-box is not yet shipping, but AppDynamics has bought in and Eucalyptus was running a demo on the Dell World show floor.

Finally, I have to give credit to Mickos for teaching me a new word: “Backronym.” Apparently the Eucalyptus folks have reverse-engineered their corporate name into acronym: Elastic Utility Computing Architecture Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems. It’s a bit of a stretch, but I admire the effort.

Disclosure: I am attending Dell World as invited guest of Dell, and they have covered my transportation expenses.

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