Knowing that it couldn't avoid supporting Windows virtual machines for much longer, open source private cloud provider Eucalyptus Systems this week added support for the popular Microsoft operating system and a host of other new features and functions in its first major update since September.
And along with the massive update, Eucalyptus is also building out its partner ecosystem with the expected launch of a full-fledged channel and partner program later this month. Eucalyptus has gained traction in the market as open source cloud offerings have gathered steam.
Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos, who joined Eucalyptus in March, said the addition of Windows support to the new Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition 2.0 was a much needed update.
"We knew all along it needed to be done," he said, adding that Eucalyptus already supported Linux, so now the two major operating systems are covered. Windows virtual machine support allows users to integrate any application or workload running on the Windows operating system into a Eucalyptus private cloud. Enterprise Edition 2.0 users can deploy images running on Windows Server 2003 and 2008 and on Windows 7. Users can also remotely connect to their Windows virtual machines via RDP and use Amazon get-password semantics.
"If you have a private cloud, you want to have both," Mickos added. "Most of the data center servers today run Linux … but at the same time, most applications and most development happens on Windows. Most companies have a mixed environment and we need to fit into existing infrastructure and existing data centers."
Mickos said the Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition upgrade also improves scalability and Eucalyptus is currently testing and working to set benchmarks.
The update also adds new accounting and user group management to provide new levels of permissions control and cost tracking for different user groups in an enterprise. The new capabilities let an administrator define a group of users by department or group and allocate different levels of access based on that group's needs. Mickos said groups can be associated with specific server clusters and cloud usage and costs can be tracked per group.
Additionally, Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition 2.0 boosts its support for VMware's vSphere ESX and ESXi, meaning Eucalyptus supports the three major hypervisors typically found in a datacenter: Xen, KVM and VMware. And, lastly, version 2.0 users can leverage its SAN adapter to connect a Eucalyptus cloud directly to a storage area network (SAN), increasing I/O performance and scalability for larger clouds.
Overall, Mickos said, Eucalyptus Enterprise Edition 2.0 picks up where the previous version, 1.6, left off.
"The cloud is a place where you can run anything at any time and at any scale," he said. "It's our desire to fit into existing environments so they can more quickly get the benefits of cloud computing."
With version 2.0 available now, Eucalyptus is also looking to round out its partner base, adding a host of partners including platform players, ISVs, systems integrators and resellers. According to Mickos, exact partner program details are still being hammered out, but Eucalyptus is hosting its first ever partner event later this month and 75 prospective partners are expected to attend.
"The interest from partners is immense," he said.
Mickos said Eucalyptus expects to unveil an official partner program soon and is still hashing out the details around materials, training and other programmatic components.