While there is a plethora of cloud computing, hosting, storage and other related services, it is still Amazon that is the major player in this field. And when any technology becomes so immensely popular and widespread, there is a chance of lock-in, and a dependence on that platform that makes it difficult to move to another. It happened with Windows, and the effects persist to this day; it happened with Internet Explorer, and it is still a pain; it is happening with WebKit, and how that plays out we are yet to see. In each case there are attempts to break the cycle, Wine tries to make Linux capable of running Windows applications, and browser vendors made their browsers compatible with IE.
Eucalyptus isn’t exactly like any of the above, but that is just because this situation itself is quite different. Amazon offers APIs to manage its services and the applications / websites running on it. For those who have built their businesses on Amazon Web Services, moving to another platform can be difficult and expensive.
For those new to the game, there are efforts such as DeltaCloud which offer a unified API across multiple services. You can launch your at Amazon, move to Rackspace, or finally host it yourself, all with one API and codebase. For those who are stuck with AWS, there is Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus adopts the Amazon APIs, however allows hosting it in other places than Amazon.
Under the new agreement between Eucalyptus and Amazon Web Services, the latter will continue to support the set of APIs implemented by Eucalyptus even as they improve their own APIs and implement new ones.
The announcement post boasts of the following benefits to customers:
- Access the ecosystem of tools designed for AWS, including monitoring, cloud service management, and image management
- Deploy and manage AWS-compatible applications on-premise using Eucalyptus
- Move your applications between on-premise Eucalyptus environments and the AWS Cloud
- Leverage hybrid cloud deployments with your VMware or alternative virtualization investment by overlaying an AWS-compatible IaaS cloud
- Use Eucalyptus as the open source reference implementation for AWS-compatibility to support new developments, tools, and continuous innovation
- Take advantage of a common web services platform between AWS and Eucalyptus Web Services supporting EC2, EBS, S3, and IAM
- Standardize application and usage policies using IAM for both Amazon and Eucalyptus
- Satisfy regulatory and compliance requirements by using AWS and on-premise Eucalyptus to keep private data in your own data center
Eucalyptus is open source software that is also offered in a premium version that offers a number of additional features. You can find out more about Eucalyptus, and download it, from its website.