In Buying Eucalyptus, HP Strengthens its Growing Cloud Muscle

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 12, 2014

It was all the way back in 2008 when OStatic broke the story about a cloud computing project at U.C. Santa Barbara called Eucalyptus. At the time, Rich Wolski and a team of university folks were focusing on creating a cloud computing framework that would be open source but include the feature set and feel of AWS. That was long before the project gave rise to Eucalyptus Systems.

Now, Hewlett-Packard has agreed to buy Eucalyptus, and it will retain Marten Mickos as a cloud computing lead. With HP's backing, Eucalyptus could become a bigger player in the cloud.

Mickos will report directly to Meg Whitman and is going to expand HP's Helion portfolio, a group of software products that run internal and external cloud services on the OpenStack platform. Mickos will be senior vice president and general manager of HP Cloud.

Mickos, of course, is famous from his time working with MySQL, and is a well-known figure in the open source community. 

Eucalyptus is underestimated by some in the cloud community. Early on, the Eucalyptus project was focused on implementing infrastructure for cloud computing on clusters that duplicated the functionality of Amazon's EC2, using the Amazon command-line tools directly. 

Even the name Eucalyptus has a university feel to it. It stands for Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems. Say that ten times fast.

Martin Fink, who has other responsibilities at HP, will stay in place, but HP has gained a powerful open source advocate in Mickos, and a flexible platform in Eucalyptus.

Meg Whitman has pledged to pour $1 billion into HP's cloud business, and buying Eucalyptus is a shrewd move from the former chief of eBay.

"The addition of Marten to HP's world-class Cloud leadership team will strengthen and accelerate the strategy we've had in place for more than three years, which is to help businesses build, consume and manage open source hybrid clouds," said Whitman, in a statement. "Marten will enhance HP's outstanding bench of Cloud executives and expand HP Helion capabilities, giving customers more choice and greater control of private and hybrid cloud solutions."

"Eucalyptus and HP share a common vision for the future of cloud in the enterprise," said Mickos. "Enterprises are demanding open source cloud solutions, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to grow the HP Helion portfolio and lead a world-class business that delivers private, hybrid, managed and public clouds to enterprise customers worldwide."

 Terms of the Eucalyptus acquisition were not disclosed.