Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos Cozies Up to OpenStack

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 12, 2014

All the way back in 2008, before it was a commercial product, OStatic broke the news about an open source project at U.C. Santa Barbara called Eucalyptus, which we described as "for implementing 'cloud computing' on clusters." Of course, fast-forward to today, and Eucalyptus Systems is one of the most discussed companies on the cloud computing scene.

When it comes to cloud computing and open source, though, OpenStack tends to grab the most headlines. That's why it's interesting that Eucalyptus Systems CEO Marten Mickos is keynoting at the upcoming OpenStack Silicon Valley conference, and he has put up a blog post saying that he wants to be a contributor to OpenStack. 

Mickos writes:

"Back in the early days of private cloud, Eucalyptus worked closely with the folks at NASA who later developed Nova, figuring out together what open-source IaaS clouds need to look like. To this day Eucalyptus contributes Euca2ools to the entire world of cloud users. And I have been joking (while meaning it in earnest) that Eucalyptus is a big contributor to OpenStack because we contribute competition."

"Now I would like to become a stronger contributor – a contributor to the success of OpenStack. That's why I jumped on the invitation to keynote at the upcoming OpenStack Silicon Valley event. Kudos to Mirantis, for being such an open-minded, fearless and positive player in this space. Thanks to you, the world of open source is better."

Eucalyptus, of course, has spent the last couple of years  staying very focused on being what Mickos refers to as "the AWS-compatible private cloud platform that just works." Under the hood, though, the Eucalyptus platfofm works with many tools that are also key to the OpenStack ecosystem, ranging from Ceph to Midonet.

Mickos takes a very large minded and admirable stance toward how Eucalyptus and OpenStack share synergies. He writes:

"OpenStack, in my view, is the all-embracing cloud project that various large and small vendors package for complex and highly customized deployments. These are deployments where AWS compatibility is not a vital requirement. For instance, eBay is running a production deployment of OpenStack. They know how to tweak the software to fit their needs and they have the manpower to do so. In fact, they very much need a platform that is meant to be tweaked...I want OpenStack to succeed. When that happens, Eucalyptus can also succeed."

That's smart. When you look at some of the big companies focused on cloud computing, such as Microsoft, you don't get quite the same ecumenical view of things as you get from Mickos. 

Notably, Mickos concludes his post by expressing concern that just as Unix and other open tools faced challenges because too many big companies had governance over them, OpenStack is in a similar position. Mickos worries about fragmentation, for example. In any case, his post is well worth reading for a glimpse into how competition and interdependencies really play out in a world of open technology platforms.