Eucalyptus has been keeping a vigorous update schedule with this week’s version 3.4 of its open source private cloud software.
“The focus for 3.4 is recognizing that we now have customers that have deployed at scale,” said Andy Knosp, Vice President, Product at Eucalyptus. “In many cases they’re running thousands of cores.”
In addition to accommodating users of scale, the focus remains on compatibility with Amazon Web Services. “Our strategy is to be the best on-premise version of cloud,” said Knosp. “This release is part of our continued strategy of targeting hybrid use cases, mainly with Amazon Web Services.”
The big upgrades in Eucalyptus 3.4 are:
- Warm Upgrades: “Warm upgrades allow cloud administrators to perform upgrades with minimal to no downtime,” said Knosp. “In the last upgrade, we introduced maintenance mode. Maintenance mode was a first step. You’d have to take down the cloud. Warm upgrades allow those folks to perform performance upgrades more easily. This is particularly important for customers at scale.”
- Hybrid User Console: now there’s a single interface for dealing with Eucalyptus and AWS cloud resources.. “The big change here, is in the past, when you logged in, it with only connect to Eucalyptus,” said Knosp. “While you could take that source code and modify it to see an AWS region, it wasn’t explicit. Now we’ve made it really straightforward. Now you can see and manage the resources.”
- Image management: 3.4 introduces tools that reduce errors and simplify creation of images. There’s new utilities to convert Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) into Eucalyptus Machine Images (EMIs) and back. Once again another feature that will appeal to those that are using both Eucalyptus and AWS, as the company continues to ensure compatibility. “The image management experience is greatly improved,” said Knosp. “We are really trying to make it dead simple from moving from public cloud, and making it easy to move formats. This is critical in achieving time to value. How quickly can you get it up and running? We view this as table stakes. Moving images is very important.”
In terms of security, Eucalyptus added instance support for roles. It enables cloud administers to delegate access to resources, avoiding risk associated with shared credentials. This makes it easier to assign roles to consultants and users for short term work such as debugging, for example.
AWS compatibility has been enhanced with API fidelity imprvements. The motto at Eucalyptus is to make it “just work” with all cloud management tools. This eliminates the need for cloud administrators to modify or switch toolsets.
“In nearly every release there’s been continued improvement with AWS API compatibility,” said Knosp. “We’ve extended our support for identity and access management API. We’ve furthered support for AWS produced SDKs”
Eucalyptus continues to stay close to AWS, acting as private cloud counterpart to the world’s biggest cloud.
“We’ve had the partnership with Amazon for about a year and a half,” said Knosp. “There’s good relationships both on the business side, but also on the field side. What we try to do on the release by release basis is getting some sense on what features are being most adopted. In terms of making those decisions, we look at the adoption of features and services, both from AWS and users. We maintain a high frequency release cadence.”