Eucalyptus 3.3 Brings Amazon Web Services Features To Private Clouds

Eucalyptus Systems, a private cloud infrastructure startup that has become a sort of open source satellite of Amazon Web Services, on Monday unveiled version 3.3 of its private cloud platform, its first major update since December.

Eucalyptus 3.3 adds new features that enable Eucalyptus on-premise private clouds to work better with Amazon's public cloud IaaS. One of these is auto-scaling, which lets developers set rules for when a cloud should expand on its own, for example when workloads reach a certain level of resource consumption.

Auto-scaling takes the guesswork out of building scalable Web services, Marten Mickos, CEO at Eucalyptus, Santa Barbara, Calif., said in an interview with CRN.

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"When building a Web app, you don't know how much usage it will have at particular time and moment. This will let the app right-size itself to ensure great performance," he said.

Another new addition called elastic load balancing, which is also supported by AWS, ensures that all Eucalyptus instances using auto-scaling have a consistent level of application traffic. Also new in Eucalyptus 3.3 is CloudWatch, a monitoring and management service for private clouds similar to Amazon's CloudWatch service for AWS.

Eucalyptus started out as a research project at the University Of California, Santa Barbara, the goal of which was to build Amazon-like features without working with Amazon. So the idea behind all the new additions to Eucalyptus 3.3 is to more closely mimic the look and feel of Amazon Web Services, Mickos said.

"We're making sure that the Eucalyptus user experience is the same as Amazon," Mickos said.

Mickos sees Eucalyptus' partnership with Amazon, formed last March as a way for Amazon to help Eucalyptus fine-tune its implementation of the AWS API, as a formidable competitive differentiator.

"We are the only provider of a private cloud platform that has a business relationship with Amazon," Mickos said.

Eucalyptus 3.3 also supports Netflix open source tools such as Chaos Monkey, Asgard and Edda, said Adrian Cockcroft, cloud architect at Netflix, in a statement. Eucalyptus 3.3 will be available in May and is priced at $2,500 per node per year.

Amazon's position has long been that the public cloud is enterprise-ready and that private clouds are over-hyped and unnecessary. But its partnership with Eucalyptus shows that Amazon does see a need for hybrid clouds, where workloads can be moved back and forth between the AWS public cloud and an organization's private cloud.

Hybrid cloud is fast becoming the hottest segment of the cloud market -- it's a central part of Microsoft's marketing for Windows Azure, and VMware is planning to unveil its vCloud Hybrid Service next month, which will include a public cloud component that it owns and operates.