The cloud computing world is boiling. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is expected to double their revenues this year, to nearly $4 billion.
What’s behind the enormous growth? It’s the rapidly expanding web and cloud infrastructure companies who run their production workloads on AWS. Netflix is the largest and perhaps most innovative of them. Others include Pinterest, DropBox, SmugMug, The Climate Corporation, and AppDynamics.
They are the powerhouses of the expanding online world. Some of them are still called “startups”. Soon they'll disrupt the old IT guard and be crowned the leaders of consumer and enterprise IT services.
The new cloud innovators run a majority of their compute and storage needs on the public cloud. They use Linux and other open source software without support. For their on-premises environments, they buy commodity hardware. They proudly call it “crappy hardware”, because they design their software to deal with hardware failures, just as they deploy on the public cloud knowing that an instance can die at any moment without warning. They know exactly what they are doing. They know what they can expect from the public cloud and from commodity infrastructure. By designing for failure, they build massive success.
These cloud innovators go to extreme lengths to automate their environments, using Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Jenkins, Vagrant and many other infrastructure management solutions. Some write their own, like Netflix did to create Chaos Monkey, Asgard, Edda and other tools. It’s because they need to do more with less, and they need to move fast. Time to value (TTV) is critically important. It’s a world in which the pace of evolution is several times faster than it is in the regular IT world. It's also why DevOps is gaining such momentum to enable continuous integration and continuous delivery.
In today’s IT world, there is a rapidly growing rift between the old and the new. When such divisions happen, it’s a sure sign that a big shift is underway in the industry. The old world feels the pain so concretely that old competitors start to collaborate with each other. The devil you know is easier to deal with than the devil you don’t. They take their old solutions and call them “cloud”. And if they have more than one solution (often incompatible), they label it as “hybrid”:
Server vendors are being disrupted by self-assembly and no-name entrants from Asia. Storage vendors are being disrupted by modern SSD vendors. Communications equipment vendors are being disrupted by software-defined networking (SDN). ISVs are being disrupted by SaaS companies. Database vendors are being disrupted by NoSQL and big data. And the list is getting longer. Everything is up for grabs. Up to a trillion dollars in market cap of legacy IT vendors is at stake.
In this turbulent world of innovation and disruption, Eucalyptus has a simple focus:
We build cloud infrastructure management solutions that allows you to build your cloud applications.
Our software is infrastructure management software, yours is application software. We make it easy for you to run them on whatever hardware you have – crappy or not. And we make sure you can take your apps to the dominant public cloud unchanged. We follow the same design paradigm and we provide the same APIs and services as AWS. Our mission is to liberate the applications of the world to run wherever it’s best for them at any given moment.
Version 3.3 brings important AWS services to the realm of private cloud: Auto Scaling, Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) and CloudWatch. With this feature triplet you can build production applications that do their load balancing and scaling themselves.
Some people have called Eucalyptus 3.3 the Netflix release. Early this year, Netflix opensourced the advanced infrastructure management solutions that they had built for their own use to manage AWS deployments. Turns out that those tools – Chaos Monkey, Asgard and Edda – run on Eucalyptus as well. Talk about cloud compatibility!