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Ecalyptus Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Roger Strukhoff, Liz McMillan

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Ecalyptus: Article

Eucalyptus Goes Commercial

Eucalyptus Systems Inc has kicked off with a $5.5 million A round from Benchmark Capital

Eucalyptus, the open source private cloud makings - and the widgetry underneath Ubuntu's newfangled cloud - is getting a VC-backed commercial company to run alongside it.

Eucalyptus Systems Inc has kicked off with a $5.5 million A round from Benchmark Capital.

The start-up is supposed to build and service - think SLAs - enterprise-grade products - like management tools - based on the Eucalyptus private cloud software developed at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The company is also supposed to take over the Eucalyptus project from the school, promising to keep it open source.

Eucalyptus is an acronym for "Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking You Programs to Useful Systems" - a little mouthful that explains why it's simply called Eucalyptus.

It offers companies the widgetry to turn their own data centers into clouds - in five steps or less - without modification, special-purpose hardware or reconfiguration.

The data center does however have to be x86- and Linux-based, fancy one gigE communications and network-attached storage and use Xen, KVM or Sun's xVM for virtualization.

Eucalyptus does not support VMware and currently only supports CentOS, Debian and OpenSUSE.

Eucalyptus' promoters say it avoids the lock-in, security ambiguity and unexpected storage costs associated with public clouds, one of which is of course Amazon.

Eucalyptus supports many APIs including Amazon AWS'. It can export and import to Amazon.

The company's management team includes CEO Woody Rollins, brought in for the purpose, CTO Rich Wolski - the computer science prof responsible for the Eucalyptus project - VP of sales and marketing Matt Reid and a team of five PhD students who led the Eucalyptus project at UCSB.

Andreas von Blottnitz, the former CEO of AOL Europe and Citrix Online, is chairman.

Eucalyptus has reportedly been downloaded 13,000 times and there are 650 registered users representing 350 companies in 72 countries, including Eli Lilly.

A copy of Eucalyptus is now shipping with every copy of Jaunty Jackalope, the new Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition released last week. Eucalyptus says the arrangement represents a potential 10 million downloads.

The next Ubuntu release, due in October, has been code named Karmic Koala in honor of Eucalyptus.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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