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2008: Decision Year for RIAs - October 20-22, 2008 San Jose


Eucalyptus Hardened; Outpaces OpenStack
CEO Marten Mikos says he’s “amazed at the engineering cadence. It’s better than at MySQL”

Eucalyptus Systems, the open source cloud company, has been busy hardening the platform and is days away from delivering its third feature release in the last year.

CEO Marten Mikos says he's "amazed at the engineering cadence. It's better than at MySQL."

He ought to know. He's the guy who sold MySQL to Sun for a sweet billion dollars.

Out of an abundance of mock humility, he says, the widgetry has been dubbed Eucalyptus 3.2 although it's not your everyday point release. It represents significant work with key customers that should put further distance between Eucalyptus and its main open source rival, OpenStack, which Marten says is way too big.

He describes it as a loosely coupled bunch of products that offers no repeatability and no quick and easy ramp to production. In contrast the new Eucalyptus 3.2, due out around December 11, focuses on usability as well as deeper AWS storage compatibility.

Eucalyptus of course is the private cloud platform that Amazon shares its public cloud APIs with so companies can have the hybrid clouds they want.

Among 3.2's features is a new web-based cloud user console for self-service provisioning of compute, network and storage resources. That includes provisioning instances, keypair and password creation, Elastic Block Store (EBS) volume and snapshot operations, image catalog listing and registration, user group operations and elastic IP operations.

Cloud installation now reportedly takes all of seven clicks thanks to deeper automation and guided configuration of cloud components that also makes for fancier administration.

Users can install all systems from a single ISO image with multiple install modes, or choose a Cloud-in-a-Box mode that installs and configures Eucalyptus on a single system for demo and developer use.

Users also benefit from simplified cloud administration through improved logging capabilities for faster troubleshooting and issue resolution.

Eucalyptus is targeting specific markets these days, namely technology, media and telecom companies as well as the government. Its roadmap is designed to satisfy their itches - and it's getting direct feedback from them, Marten says.

As a result if external dependencies break Eucalyptus doesn't break. It can be restarted on-the-fly and applications keep running. Marten says rivals can't match that. They haven't gotten that far.

See, Eucalyptus 3.2 introduces a hardened node controller for greater cloud stability. It insulates a Eucalyptus cloud instance from any underlying issues on a Linux operating system, ensuring the node and applications remain running even if the host operating system is having problems.

Eucalyptus says managing distributed cloud environments is a daunting challenge for today's cloud administrators. As the complexity and scale of cloud deployments grow solutions that automate key processes, troubleshoot and resolve performance issues and report on cloud usage and key trends are critical for success.

It claims the innovations in Eucalyptus 3.2 provide customers with greater visibility and control over cloud environments so cloud adoption is accelerated across their organizations.

Other new features include enhanced cloud usage reporting. Customers can understand the use of cloud resources, providing chargeback for the resources consumed and facilitating capacity planning. Administrators can report on cloud compute, storage and memory usage at the user, group and cloud level, generate and export reports via the Eucalyptus Dashboard, API or command line and store usage data in an external database.

Thomas Morse, director of IT and SaaS operations at App Dynamics, said, "At any given time, our load-test harness may handle up to 6,000 concurrent connections to 20 test applications across multiple groups and phases of development. Eucalyptus enables us to quickly provision cloud resources to meet these demands using the same ecosystem of tools we're already familiar with through our work with AWS. The reliability, flexibility and control provided by Eucalyptus 3.2 sets the stage for us to more rapidly deploy and manage mission-critical development and test environments in a highly scalable and self-service manner."

Eucalyptus has also broadened its storage support with two new adapters. Its new JBOD Storage Adapter overlays Elastic Block Storage (EBS) functionality on top of raw block devices and JBODs, providing full support of AWS EBS API operations. Its EMC VNX SAN Storage Adapter expands SAN support for EMC VNX Series SANs for Elastic Block Store (EBS) storage, including high availability for the Storage Controller, failover for the EMC management port, advanced VNX snapshot support and multi-pathing support for datapath redundancy.

Marten says "Customers worldwide, including NSN, Puma, Inter-Continental Hotels Group and NASA have turned to Eucalyptus based on the agility, elasticity, and scale that our software provides for highly demanding development and test and web applications. Eucalyptus 3.2 delivers a highly reliable and robust private and hybrid cloud solution that empowers both enterprises and the open source community to confidently deploy applications and drive innovation in the cloud."

The new capabilities were build on Eucalyptus 3.1, which aligned the open source community and enterprises on the same platform to contribute, build, run and manage cloud development and deployments.

About Maureen O'Gara
Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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