Wolski isn't hung up on nomenclature
HEADQUARTERS: Goleta, Calif.
PRODUCT: Eucalyptus, open source software for building private and hybrid cloud computing environments
PRINCIPALS: Woody Rollins, CEO and co-founder; Rich Wolski, CTO and co-founder
INVESTORS: Benchmark Capital, BV Capital
EARLY CUSTOMERS: Eli Lilly, companies in the financial, technology, and telecom industries
BACKGROUND: Software was hatched as a research project in the Computer Science Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara, where Wolski is a professor. The Eucalyptus engineering team joined the startup.
Eucalyptus makes it possible to manage existing data center resources--servers, storage, networking--as unified resources that can be doled out through self-service provisioning by developers, end users, and business units. Eucalyptus has the added benefit of supporting Amazon.com's Web Services APIs, making it possible to move data and applications between private Eucalyptus clouds and Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and Simple Storage Service. These hybrid environments can be used for "cloud bursting"--a way of accommodating traffic spikes--and for short-term IT resource requirements.
Eucalyptus is comprised of open source technologies, including the Apache Axis2 Web services engine, Mule enterprise service bus, Rampart security, and LibVert for virtualization. Eucalyptus runs on Linux and a recent release, version 1.5, was tuned for the Jaunty Jackalope (9.04) release of Ubuntu. The platform is capable of supporting other cloud service APIs, but for now the Amazon API remains the focus.
A minor upgrade, Eucalyptus 1.5.1, came out in May, and another, 1.5.2, is planned. Both include bug fixes and other tweaks. A more substantive release, 1.6, is due this summer. Longer term, the Eucalyptus core may be reengineered in a 2.0 release, but Wolski says, "We haven't gotten there yet."
In its first few months as a company, Eucalyptus Systems has focused on working with a handful of early adopters. In the months ahead, the company plans to publish tiered pricing for customers that want subscription-based services. Eucalyptus Systems will also develop and license software add-ons that layer enterprise-class capabilities on top of the open source cloud platform.
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