Open Source and Cloud Computing: A Powerful Combination

June 20, 2011 No Comments


During the four years or so, cloud computing has expanded from being only a public computing utility model to also including private clouds. New technologies and innovations have emerged to make this evolution possible.

“Although public clouds continue to be an important technological breakthrough, private clouds have emerged as being almost equally as important,” said Rich Wolksi, cofounder and CTO at Eucalyptus Systems (NewsAlert), in a TMCnet video interview with TMC’s (NewsAlert) CEO Rich Tehrani during Cloud Expo 2011.

Some of the innovations making this transformation possible came from a University of California Santa Barbara research group Wolksi was part of – and which led to the formation of Eucalyptus.

When UCSB research group began its work in 2007, the goal was to build its own version of cloud computing using open source components. The cloud had to run on the computer science department’s data centers, and consequently needed to be compatible with technologies of varying vintages.

The group was successful in building a private infrastructure capable of public cloud functionality, yet it wasn’t clear that such technology would be of interest outside the research field.

“But, as soon as we released the software as open source, there was tremendous commercial interest,” Wolksi recalled.

Initial customers were Fortune 10 companies. Over time, this grew to also include Web 2.0 firms, media companies, and software developers.

Open source technology plays a big role in Eucalyptus’ success as a provider of technologies allowing companies to use cloud paradigms under private control, with IT processes already in place.

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