Cloud News Recap: April 14, 2014

By Colby Dyess | April 15, 2014

This week we will be rounding up news mostly about Eucalyptus, hybrid cloud, open source software and the ways in which economical, scalable and high-performing cloud computing solutions enable efficient business operations. Organizations are continually looking for ways to pair remotely hosted resources with on-premises infrastructure so that they can minimize the cost of each workload while still having the public cloud as a spillover option.

An AWS hybrid cloud via Eucalyptus lets them achieve this goal and much more. Industry watchers such as Ben Kepes have touted the strong links between Eucalyptus and Amazon Web Services, and others have pointed out that Eucalyptus provides a better range of options than OpenStack. We will get to that in short order as part of this week's Eucalyptus and cloud news recap.

More Than Half of Enterprises Will Adopt and/or Contribute to Open Source Software in 2014

Open source software looks primed for a banner year in 2014. North Bridge Venture Partners and Black Duck Software released the results of their eighth annual Future of Open Source Survey this month, and the findings are encouraging for open source fans.

Fifty-six percent of respondents stated that they would contribute to open source projects this year, with the primary motivations being savings and competitive advantage. More than 70 percent said that they used open source for security reasons, while 80 percent stated that open source products have higher quality than proprietary solutions.

"Open source is enjoying a proliferation that starts with a growing number of new developers at the grassroots," stated North Bridge Venture Partners general partner Michael Skok. "Many then go on to join enterprises who themselves are engaging in open source projects. Further news in the survey shows enterprises now organizing to contribute back more actively; as they realize the importance of open source innovation to jumpstart careers and kickstart projects

TechTarget Identifies Eucalyptus as a Flexible, Economical Platform Enabling Hybrid Cloud

Writing for TechTarget, Stuart Burns took an in-depth look at Eucalyptus, comparing it to OpenStack. Through deep AWS API compatibility, Eucalyptus enables a combination of private and public cloud environments that is ideal for application development, testing and deployment., and Burns noted Eucalyptus' unique ability to leverage AWS.

Burns provides very useful step-by-step processes for testing out a Eucalyptus instance and creating a security key pair. Assessing Eucalyptus and OpenStack, he argued that OpenStack is not really suited for small IT environments and has high technical requirements that make it difficult to implement. Accordingly, he positioned Eucalyptus as the better option for a "low-cost, open source and inexpensive private cloud."

"Eucalyptus and AWS are compatible, allowing Eucalyptus to be plugged directly into AWS so that it is possible to have a true hybrid cloud that can really go elastic using the Amazon infrastructure," wrote Burns. "Eucalyptus is the base infrastructure upon which Amazon Web Services (AWS) built its cloud offering, albeit a heavily modified, nonpublic version of the code. What makes Eucalyptus stand out compared to other products is that a test installation for Eucalyptus is included in one single page."

Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos Comments on the Ideal of Seamless Cloud Bursting

Robert Scheier looked at the promise of seamless cloud bursting - easily and automatically moving workloads between different clouds while consistently maintaining state - and how so far no solution has fully lived up to this ideal. Instead, hybrid cloud platforms have emerged to mostly fulfill this need, although they can still require significant configuration and manual labor.

Mickos was quoted in the story, noting that maintaining state across two clouds is still a problem in search of a solution. However, the issue of handling workloads in different environments can be simplified by relying on a single public cloud provider such as AWS. Eucalyptus's API compatibility reduces the time it takes to migrate compute, storage and networking resources from one setup to another.

Cloud Computing Could Require New Ways to Measure ROI

Writing for Forbes, cloud industry expert Joe McKendrick looked at the trend of companies caring less about ROI on cloud implementations. Only 16 percent of the 350 senior IT executives surveyed by IDG Research and Unisys this year cited ROI as a hurdle for cloud projects.

The shift could be the result of old ROI models - which focus on hard monetary returns - being unsuited for the broad benefits of cloud computing. On the other hand, organizations may just be focusing on improving other metrics such as speed of deployment and response time to changing business requirements.

To those ends, the Unisys-IDG respondents reported moving more data into a private cloud. Twenty-six percent of their information was in such an environment, with the amount expected to climb to 32 percent within the next 18 months.

RightScale State of the Cloud Report Finds Widespread Adoption of AWS and Hybrid Cloud

This month, software-as-a-service vendor RightScale released results of a survey of over 1,000 IT professionals, finding that 94 percent of respondents were using the cloud in some way. Public adoption was similarly strong at 89 percent, but hybrid cloud may be the real winner, with well over half (58 percent) of companies using some combination of public and private resources.

InfoWorld's Serdar Yegulalp summarized the findings, pointing out that AWS enjoyed a comfortable lead over both OpenStack and VMware vCloud Hybrid Service, with Google App Engine and Microsoft Azure further behind. The survey also discovered rising uptake of automated DevOps and self-service IT. Overall, DevOps adoption reached 62 percent, up from 52 percent last year.

DevOps, Self-service on the Rise, Especially for Heavy Cloud Users

McKendrick took up this point for ZDNet, noting the increased collaboration between development and IT teams. DevOps has risen to meet the requirements of around-the-clock management of software and data centers.

In addition to growing adoption of DevOps among all organizations, the RightScale survey noted that the longer an organization had been working with the cloud, the more likely it was to take up DevOps. More than two-thirds of companies that heavily use the cloud had initiated DevOps.

"The path to cloud also leads to IT self-service as well," wrote McKendrick. "Enterprises that have been working with cloud for some time are more likely to have a self-service portal for cloud services and enable fast provisioning of cloud resources."

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