It is important times for Eucalyptus and private cloud computing, as we proudly announce the next generation of Eucalyptus software: Eucalyptus 3. Known worldwide as cloud pioneers from our times as an advanced research project at UC Santa Barbara, we are again coming out with an industry first: a private cloud platform with built-in High Availability.
In the IT industry, technology and the usage evolves faster than in perhaps any other industry. As a rule of thumb, systems can grow 10 times under their current architecture or paradigm, then they must be re-architected. This 10X effect causes old technologies to become obsolete and new ones to emerge. It also underlies the massive shift to cloud computing.
The last major computing infrastructure paradigm shift happened in the '80s when "client/server" was introduced as the new way to design business applications. Those applications typically ran on x86 computers – aka PCs.
Last week Eucalyptus participated in the Red Hat Summit in Boston. This week we are at the Ubuntu Developer Summit (UDS) in Budapest. At UDS Canonical formalized the decision to make OpenStack what they call foundation technology in Ubuntu Cloud. What are the likely impacts of this decision?
As John Pugh of Canonical states it in his tweet (@zoopster): "no real change there it's about choice."
We have been aware of this for some time, and we understand Canonical's decision. Sure, it would have been great to continue as the one and only cloud platform in Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC). But we have embraced openness and open source exactly because it creates choice and reduces lock-in. OpenStack is a welcome colleague in the Ubuntu world.
Eucalyptus will continue to fully support Ubuntu Linux. The UEC is a set of extensions to Eucalyptus that Canonical maintains as add-ons to the baseline set of Eucalyptus Ubuntu packages. We plan to continue to package Eucalyptus for Ubuntu; it is the set of add-ons that will no longer be supported by Canonical.
The world is becoming a massive computational machine. Soon we will have 10 billion connected devices on this planet - phones, pads, laptops, servers, GPSs and vehicles, medical devices, meters and recorders, and so on. And then there will be more. These connected devices, which are advancing the speed and quality of our communication and access to information at an extraordinary rate, are also democratizing the use of technology - between humans and among the devices themselves! The only way to effectively handle the varied, unpredictable and massive workload resulting from this expanding connected world is with compute clouds. We must rapidly build public clouds, private (on-premise) clouds, and hybrid clouds. If we don't, we'll quickly run into a number of walls: lack of compute resources, lack of space for the computers, and lack of energy to power them.
We are barely into the beginning of cloud computing, so any prediction of what its future will be prone to error. Massive shifts in IT, such as the shift away from client/server into cloud architectures, are a function not only of winning technologies but also of users' behavioral patterns and of leading vendors' strategic decisions. That's one reason why prediction is so difficult. The biggest shifts in IT so far have been characterized by a technological break-through yielding a 10x improvement in efficiency or reduction in overall cost.
What a difference time makes! Back in 2001 when I took the job as CEO of MySQL AB, free and open source software (FOSS) was an exciting escapade for the brave ones only. The FOSS movement had been around for some time already, and the communities were not insignificant. But from a perspective of industry, business and common citizens, open source was the brave new thing that many people admired but few were ready to support.
An open source company is naturally a company that produces open source code for others to consume. But how does the notion of producing software code in the open affect company culture?
Today Canonical and Dell made an important announcement: Dell is shipping servers with Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC) pre-installed. This is great news for any business interested in private cloud computing. UEC consists of the Ubuntu Linux distro combined with the Eucalyptus open source cloud platform. UEC is a robust and production-ready software product that has been shipping for over a year now, with a huge number of deployments all over the world. Now, all of that is available in the USA as a simple and single purchase from Dell.