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Amazon and Eucalyptus Forge API Sharing Pact

Looking to provide tighter integration between its public cloud services and enterprise datacenters, Amazon Web Services has inked an agreement with Eucalyptus Systems to support its platform.

While Eucalyptus already offers APIs designed to provide compatibility between private clouds running its platform and Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Simple Storage Service (S3), the deal will provide interoperability blessed and co-developed by both companies.

The move, announced last week, is Amazon's latest effort to tie its popular cloud infrastructure services to private clouds. Amazon in January released the AWS Storage Gateway, an appliance that allows customers to mirror their local storage with Amazon's cloud service.

For Eucalyptus, it can now assure customers that connecting to Amazon will work with the company's consent. "You should expect us to deliver more API interoperability faster, and with higher accuracy and fidelity," said Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mikos in an e-mail. "Customers can run applications in their existing datacenters that are compatible with popular Amazon Web Services such EC2 and S3."

Enterprises will be able to "take advantage of a common set of APIs that work with both AWS and Eucalyptus, enabling the use of scripts and other management tools across both platforms without the need to rewrite or maintain environment-specific versions," said Terry Wise, director of the AWS partner ecosystem, in a statement. "Additionally, customers can leverage their existing skills and knowledge of the AWS platform by using the same, familiar AWS SDKs and command line tools in their existing data centers."

While the companies have not specified what deliverables will come from the agreement or any timeframe, Mikos said they are both working closely. Although Eucalyptus does not disclose how many of its customers link their datacenters to Amazon, that is one of Eucalyptus' key selling points.

Eucalyptus claims it is enabling 25,000 cloud starts each year and that it is working with 20 percent of the Fortune 100 and counts among its customers the U.S. Department of Defense, the Intercontinental Hotel Group, Puma, Raytheon, Sony and a number of other federal government agencies.

While Eucalyptus bills its software as open source, critics say it didn't develop a significant community, an problem the company has started to remedy with the hiring of Red Hat veteran Greg DeKoenigsberg as Eucalyptus's VP of Community.

Eucalyptus faces a strong challenge from other open source private cloud efforts, including the VMware-led CloudFoundry effort and the OpenStack effort led by Rackspace Hosting and NASA and supported by the likes of Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and more than 100 other players.

These open source efforts, along with other widely marketed cloud services such as Microsoft's Windows Azure, are all gunning to challenge Amazon's dominance in providing public cloud infrastructure. And they are doing so by forging interoperability with private clouds.

Since Amazon and Eucalyptus have shown no interest in any of those open source efforts to date, this marriage of convenience could benefit both providers and customers who are committed to their respective offerings.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/28/2012 at 1:14 PM


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