What in the world will HP do with Eucalyptus? The company’s cloud chief(s) give us a hint

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If you think of Marten Mickos as the outspoken CEO of Eucalyptus, think again. HP bought Eucalyptus, along with all its IP and its team, and made Mickos SVP and GM of HP cloud, reporting to CEO Meg Whitman. Martin Fink remains CTO and director of HP Labs.

Marten Mickos, SVP and GM of HP Cloud business.

Marten Mickos, SVP and GM of HP Cloud business.

This week, the two Martins and Bill Hilf, SVP of product and service management for HP Cloud, are our guests and fill us in a bit on what[company] HP[/company] gets in this deal. Given Mickos past digs at OpenStack — one quotable quote out of Structure 2014 was “If you have too much money, you buy [company]VMware[/company]. If you have too much time, you buy OpenStack.” The implication being is if you don’t have too much of either, buy [company]Eucalyptus[/company].

The HP company line is that its private/hybrid/public clouds are all about open-source, specifically OpenStack. Eucalyptus is an open-source alternative to OpenStack. And given that Eucalyptus supports the major Amazon APIs, it has insights into how enterprise customers use [company]Amazon Web Services,[/company] knowledge which could come in handy for HP’s own cloud push.

And in the first 15 minutes, Derrick Harris and I hash out this news as well other big-name hires — [company]Google[/company] snapped up former [company]Red Hat[/company] CTO Brian Stevens to head up Google Cloud Platform,and give it more enterprise cred and [company]Amazon Web Services[/company] hired Bill Vass, former CEO of [company]Liquid Robotics.[/company]

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Hosts: Barb Darrow and Derrick Harris

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3 Comments

juha-maenpaa

“Week of Cloud Implosion” – and that was only before RackSpace changed their strategy abt. 180 degree. Cloud marketplace is not the same it was 96 hours ago, now there’s plenty of room for innovation and agile companies.

Barb Darrow

yes we all had a #of questions including yours — podcast was recorded weds it went up late bec. of reasons. Details on this deal are pending but you did a better job than i did in framing them @bmccallion

bmccallion

Looking forward to the podcast Barb. I have a number of questions, which I don’t expect to find answers to, but I’ll write them down here as I share your “What in the World” view of the media / analyst reception of the acquisition press release.

1. The price of the acquisition attributed to “sources familiar with the deal” seems vague. It’s difficult to believe a company that raised $55.5MM would sell in the neighborhood of $100MM. In contrast, Citrix reportedly purchased Cloudstack in July 2011 for between $200-250MM, only to subsequently “donate” the code to the Open Source community. It seems odd that after selling MySQL to Sun for ~ $1B that Mr. Mickos would consider selling Eucalyptus to HP for what would essentially result in each founder and equity stakeholder receiving the equivalent of a bag of popcorn in return for their hard work.

2. My assessment of the late in life conversion to OpenStack by Mr. Mickos is that in order to “get the deal done” some overtures needed to be made to appease some of the stakeholders at HP. Perhaps more significantly, HP needed a “bridge” between what I’ve read described as a highly customized “fork” of OpenStack, and something that could be easily provisioned and managed by enterprise corporate IT.

3. While nice to have, areas of AWS API compatibility is secondary for a few reasons a) Enterprise developers today do not make significant use of the API. Certainly this will change, but today it’s at best a box to check. In my opinion any copyright questions that may be lurking are non-issues as AWS is already the market leader and has no reason to offer competitors and bells to ring or clang.

4. My assessment of Eucalyptus is that it provide a simple to install, coherent, and feasible solution for enterprise. Where we find an interesting degree of disruption is in the lesser known capability of Eucalyptus to manage VMWare virtual machines, Xen virtual machines, and KVM virtual machines and to migrate machine images between the three. For VMWare this is a new wrinkle. And this capability paired with a credible enterprise vendor suggests to me the primary objective of HP in making this acquisition.

By acquiring Eucalyptus HP gains a foothold in the enterprise virtualization space and a Stalking Horse that corporate IT managers can use to negotiate better license deals with VMWare, or at least loosen the lock-in VMWare presently holds over the enterprise virtualization space. And it’s also an opportunity for HP to develop a heterogeneous virtualization solution for “virtually” every enterprise today. Even if we set the Cloud aside for a moment, HP made an interesting move.

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