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New Eucalyptus Features Boost Hybrid Clouds for AWS

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Eucalyptus Systems continues its laser-focus on enterprises using Amazon Web Services in need of private cloud software, adding three of the most anticipated capabilities in version 3.3. Support for Auto-Scaling, Elastic Load Balancing, and CloudWatch have been added, making Eucalyptus more ideal for testing applications built for AWS in a private environment. The company has also added resource tagging, expanded instance types and a new maintenance mode, as well as support for Netflix’ OSS tools Chaos Monkey, Asgard, and Edda.

With each subsequent release, Eucalyptus is building on its existing EC2, S3, EBS, and IAM features so it maintains compatibility with Amazon, positioning itself as the private cloud option in a hybrid setup.

“We’re focused on three principles,” said Andy Knosp, Vice President of Product at Eucalyptus. “The first is increasing agility, allowing an organization to be much more responsive. The second is cost effective control – over time, doing dev and testing can be quite expensive. Eucalyptus is a low-cost alternative to test and development on private platform (the customer) controls. The third, is that the future is hybrid, and we will continue to develop and enable capabilities around Hybrid.”

What The Feature Additions Mean

Auto Scaling: Auto Scaling allows application developers to scale Eucalyptus resources up or down based on policies defined using Amazon EC2-compatible APIs and tools. With Auto Scaling, cloud resources can be seamlessly increased or decreased to maintain performance and meet SLAs.

Elastic Load Balancing: Elastic Load Balancing is an AWS-compatible service that distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Eucalyptus instances to provide greater fault tolerance for applications.

CloudWatch: CloudWatch is AWS-compatible service that monitors cloud resources and applications running on Eucalyptus clouds. It provides a reliable and flexible monitoring solution which allows application developers and cloud administrators to programmatically collect metrics, set alarms, identify trends, and take action to ensure applications run smoothly.

Leveraging Netflix Tools

Additionally, the company has added support for Netflix OSS tools, including Chaos Monkey, Asgard, and Edda, through its API fidelity with AWS. Chaos Monkey is an important testing tool that introduces random errors to identify potential problem points. Asgard is Netflix’s open-sourced management console for AWS, which makes it easier to work with the service through additional functionality that isn’t accessible in the normal AWS web interface, removing a lot of the command line tools required to do certain things. Edda tracks changes in the cloud. The three all come out of a company that has had its share of experience with AWS, and offers its software as open source.

“Eucalyptus was the first private cloud platform to support Netflix OSS tools, including Chaos Monkey, Asgard and Edda, through its API fidelity with AWS,”” said Adrian Cockcroft, cloud architect at Netflix. “Thanks to this integration, those tools can now be used in both private and public cloud environments.”

The goal is to make Eucalyptus as AWS-compatible as possible to provide a standardized and consistent environment that spans both a private and public cloud. It alleviates some budget and resource-strapped teams of developers, test engineers and QA teams test and get things running quicker.

Some examples of sophisticated engineering organizations leveraging Eucalyptus include MemSQL, AppDynamics, Mosaik Solutions and Nokia-Siemens Networks. All have already deployed Eucalyptus private clouds for continuous high-volume, large-scale testing of their applications built for AWS.

Eucalyptus has also released resource tagging that allows the assignment of customizable metadata to resources in Eucalyptus, and goes a long way in helping categorize cloud resources in different ways. The expanded instance types align closely to the new instances Amazon has released for EC2, making it easy to go back and forth; and a new maintenance mode allows administrators to perform maintenance with zero downtime to instances or apps running in the cloud.

“This will lead into the ability to do live upgrades,” said Knosp. “We hadn’t really leveraged the live migration features. Many customers were designing with failure in mind, (so) there wasn’t a huge demand. But we’re increasingly seeing more customers as they move, and demand is coming from the administrator side.”

“Before Eucalyptus, our engineers had to manually configure each set of nodes for distributed testing, which was incredibly slow and painful,” said Eric Frenkiel, CEO ofMemSQL. “Now, we can set up and run new instances in just 30 seconds. This allows our engineers to quickly run thousands of tests, and deliver the highest quality product.”

“The ability to automate infrastructure across hybrid environments is becoming increasingly important for IT organizations tasked with accelerating development cycles and achieving greater efficiencies,” said Bryan Hale, VP of Online Services, Opscode.”Like AWS, Eucalyptus utilizes Opscode Chef as an automation engine, which helps ensure consistency across cloud environments. With this release, Eucalyptus is driving even deeper compatibility between public and private clouds to meet customer demand for hybrid cloud computing.”

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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