Eucalyptus Anchors the Latest Cloud Software Stack

August 25, 2010 Off By Hoofer
Grazed from GigaOM.  Author: Derrick Harris.

For a long time, Eucalytpus Systems’ flagship customer was NASA, which was using the company’s open-core cloud software as the  foundation its Nebula project. When the OpenStack project launched last month, we learned that co-leader (along with Rackspace) NASA had abandoned Eucalyptus to roll its own malleable, vastly scalable cloud code. Apparently, Eucalyptus was determined to be part of an integrated cloud stack because it’s announced a technology partnership with newScale and rPath that aims to give businesses a ready-to-go cloud platform.

Technology-wise, it seems like a trio of building blocks that fit together nicely. Eucalyptus, which we’ve covered extensively, provides a foundation for turning existing resources into an Amazon EC2-style cloud computing infrastructure. rPath enables automation of both platform and application stacks via a software repository that knows which components are required for any given workload or user. newScale offers a self-service frontend for letting business users provision their own resources, with the IT department’s policies already built into the experience (i.e., users only have the option of getting what they’re approved to get).

Business-wise, it’s difficult to argue with the idea of strength through unity, but the Eucalyptus-rPath-newScale platform will find it tough going to win customers. Given Eucalyptus’ NASA connection, the most obvious comparison will be to the aforementioned — and free — open-source OpenStack.

However, as I detail in a new report on GigaOM Pro, VMware also has designs on providing a top-to-bottom cloud experience, and it has plenty of competitive advantages. Then there are the IaaS-in-a-box startups like Nimbula, which just received another $15 million, and, which announced it can run atop VMware vSphere environments. Or perhaps customers will consider lesser-known, but certainly not less-capable, options like Platform Computing, which announced a $5,000 starter version of its ISF cloud software.

Internal cloud software options and approaches appear to be growing with each passing week. Solo vendors, vendor partnerships, startups, huge vendors, proprietary, open source, open core, IaaS, PaaS, hybrid … it’s never-ending. Assuming Eucalyptus hasn’t lost too much luster after the NASA loss, its mindshare momentum and renowned CEO could help raise this new partnership’s voice above the noise. Proving its approach is the right one in such a nascent, crowded market won’t be so easy, though.