Eucalyptus: Another Cloud Effort Worth Watching
We've already conceded that most MSPmentor readers have yet to try major clouds like Amazon Web Services. But if you're just starting to give Amazon a look you might also want to keep one eye on Eucalyptus Systems Inc. — an open source system for private and hybrid clouds. Here's why.
In the open source world, Eucalyptus is turning heads because the cloud system supports Amazon's APIs (application programming interfaces). Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu, has bet a portion of its cloud strategy on Eucalyptus.
But for MSPmentor readers, keep an eye on Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition (EEE). As I've noted, EEE is somewhat different from other on-premises cloud options because it's compatible with Amazon Web Services and their Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), a potential boon to developers since applications can likely be moved between Eucalyptus and Amazon. In theory, the Amazon cloud can serve as a backup to a Eucalyptus cloud (or vice versa). And Amazon compatibility may help grow the market for cloud developers who work on Eucalyptus private clouds. Eucalyptus also supports VMware virtualized machines, including vSphere.
Eucalyptus isn't the only open source approach to cloud computing. Plenty of projects are starting up. But success isn't guaranteed. An example: GroundOS, a similar project, seems to have stalled out some time during mid-2009.
Again, we realize it's very early in the cloud market. Most MSPs are just getting started with cloud and SaaS (software as a service) strategies. Companies like 6fusion and Channel Cloud (stay tuned…) are trying to help MSPs sort out their strategies. And peer groups like HTG are brainstorming about cloud strategies during their regular meetings.