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Eucalyptus: We're the Amazon of private cloud companies

Amazon Web Services has blessed Eucalyptus' private cloud platform even though AWS remains focus on public cloud

By , Network World
November 29, 2012 11:06 AM ET
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Network World - Late last year Daniel Bozeman, a software engineer at wireless analytics firm Mosaik Solutions, wanted to build a private cloud. The company is a heavy user of Amazon Web Services public cloud resources, and Bozeman had a vision of creating a system that would allow him to seamlessly run workloads either in the company's own data center, or in Amazon's public cloud.

He looked into OpenStack, but when he was investigating in late 2011, the feature sets just weren't there -- at the time the open source cloud platform didn't have a block storage service similar to Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3), which it has since added.

Bozeman also looked at Cloud.com, which is now Citrix's CloudStack. But he wasn't too impressed with that either, particularly the price. Bozeman knew he wanted to use open source software, so VMware's vSphere and vCloud Director were out of the question.

He landed with Eucalyptus.

At Amazon Web Services' first-ever user conference this week in Las Vegas, Eucalyptus is attempting to carve outs its niche, and officials with the company have a simple message: "We're the private cloud version of Amazon Web Services," says President Marten Mickos. If you're looking for a private cloud that looks and acts like Amazon's cloud, allowing for easy connection with the public cloud, Mickos says Eucalyptus is your best bet.

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AWS even says so too, to a point at least. While OpenStack, and especially CloudStack, tout API compatibility with AWS, Eucalyptus scored somewhat of a coup earlier this year when it announced a partnership to develop AWS compatibility into its cloud product with the blessing of Amazon itself. That was enough to pique Bozeman's interest, and since then he's gone full on-board with Eucalyptus.

Mosaik now splits workloads that analyze and track mobile data usage and coverage between Amazon's public cloud and its Eucalyptus private cloud, using Chef recipes to provision resources based on certain workloads.

Mosaik is the ideal sort of customer Eucalyptus is going after: one of the thousands of customers that Amazon Web Services has attracted that is now looking for cloud-like features behind its own firewall. Mosaik tests and develops new features and products on its private cloud, then when they're ready to go into production, the company deploys them in Amazon's cloud. Because the architecture of the company's on-premise private cloud is similar to that of Amazon's cloud, Bozeman says it doesn't require massive re-engineering to redeploy applications to AWS.

Eucalyptus released the newest version of its cloud management platform, 3.2, this week, as part of an effort to make a splash at Amazon's show. Eucalyptus officials have been roaming the event this week, hosting parties, trying to get their name out to AWS users, and more broadly, looking to stake their flag in the private cloud market.

The new release

Born from a research project developed by Eucalyptus CTO Rich Wolski at the University of California Santa Barbara campus, Eucalyptus has gone through a transition during the past 18 months, says Mickos, who is former CEO of MySQL, which was sold to Sun Microsystems for $1 billion. Last year Eucalyptus only issued two official releases of its open source cloud management platform. Version 3.2 is already the third major feature release this year, and has been preceded by at least four other smaller releases.

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