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Summary:

Apparently, Eucalyptus was determined to be part of an integrated cloud stack after getting left out of OpenStack, as it’s announced a technology partnership with newScale and rPath that gives businesses yet another option for their ready-to-go cloud platform needs.

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 Cloud.com, 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.

Image courtesy of Flicker user Budzlife.

  1. Derrick,
    I’m the CTO of newScale and I’d like to clarify a couple of points in our announcement.

    What we are seeing in the enterprise is customers wanting more completely defined reference architectures and pre-integrated solutions. This stack is slightly different from some of the others in that it’s focused not just in the infrastructure, but on the delivery of software stacks.

    Put another way, it’s not “I need a VM with 1.7G Ram,” it’s about “I need a MySQL cluster configured for dev,” or “I need a MS SQL with text indexing configured and this security/firewall set.”

    Most self-service today is focused on server admins; newScale is focused on the customers of infrastructure who are QA, Dev, and Project Managers. The issue these customers face is that while getting a VM may now take 1 hour, the whole end to end process is still 2-6 months!

    That time usually goes into the requirements, architecture, design, build, argue, change management process; then a server gets built, and then there’s a whole bunch of error-prone configuration.

    This alliance is about solving that end to end problem for the enterprise; DevOps is focused on that, but it’s not the reality in the enterprise.

    As for Openstack, I don’t believe it’s a winner takes all game. We support vCloud and Vmware and Amazon EC2. Eucalyptus supports Vmware as well as does rPath. As OpenStack matures, and if the enterprise adopts it and if they add a popular API like Amazon EC2 or vCloud, it will have a role to play. But it’s early days and those two if’s are not here yet.

    The purpose is to make it easy and safe for our tradition-bound customers to adopt self-service of whatever infrastructure they choose to use for their private cloud. But they need a cookbook and that’s what we are providing with this announcement.

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  2. Derrick,

    There are a large number of cloud management tools. I tried to list them (www.cloudsavant.com) and it just seems to grow. One vendor told me that a prospect had considered 27 options and concluded that many were vaporware. As Rodrigo points out, I am sure many address important pieces of the end to end cloud lifecycle management. Interestingly, some of the service management suites from IBM, HP and BMC could also address these needs of enterprises.

    -RKN

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