Amazon Web Services Goes After Private Cloud Market By Supporting Eucalyptus AWS API

This week, Amazon Web Services inked a deal with Eucalyptus Systems of Santa Barbara, California whereby customers can migrate data between their data centers and the Amazon Web Services platform by using Eucalyptus APIs that are compatible with Amazon Web Services products such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3). Although Eucalyptus APIs have always been compatible with the Amazon EC2 platform, the March 22 announcement by the two companies means that AWS has officially committed to professionally supporting compatibility between the Eucalyptus AWS API and its own suite of products and services. The press release underscored Amazon Web Services’s professional commitment to Eucalyptus Systems as follows:

As part of this agreement, AWS will support Eucalyptus as they continue to extend compatibility with AWS APIs and customer use cases. Customers can run applications in their existing datacenters that are compatible with popular Amazon Web Services such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3).

The agreement means that Amazon Web Services, which has been dismissive of the private cloud for years, is officially embracing private clouds such as those within enterprise data centers. Eucalytpus Systems represented precisely the partner Amazon Web Services was seeking to gain greater penetration in the enterprise private cloud market. Amazon Web Services’s Terry Wise, Director of Amazon Web Services Partner Ecosystem, commented on the synergies between the two companies by noting:

“We’re pleased to provide customers with the added flexibility to more freely move workloads between their existing IT environments and the AWS cloud. Enterprises can now 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. 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.”

As Wise remarks, one of salient benefits of the agreement is the ability for enterprise customers to take advantage of “scripts and other management tools across both platforms” that absolve IT staff of the need to train themselves on cloud management in two different ecosystems. On one hand, customers familiar with AWS can use “AWS SDKs and command line tools in their existing data centers” while leveraging “a common set of APIs that work with both AWS and Eucalyptus.”

Financial details about the partnership between Eucalyptus and Amazon Web Services have not been made public, but rest assured that the agreement represents a huge coup for both parties. Eucalyptus, on one hand, stands to gain traction in the wake of the proliferation of enterprise-grade OpenStack deployments and the huge upsurge of momentum and commercial interest in OpenStack more generally. Amazon Web Services, meanwhile, finds in Eucalyptus a viable partner that can take it directly to enterprise deployments and gain more traction in the market for ancillary cloud services related to enterprise private clouds such as backup, storage and disaster recovery. Enterprise Eucalyptus customers that were once leery of signing up with Amazon Web Services will now find little reason not to experiment with the Seattle-based cloud giant.

Precisely when OpenStack’s fortunes seemed virtually meteoric (no pun intended), Amazon Web Services responded with an astute strategic play designed to consolidate its stranglehold on IaaS cloud computing market share. The agreement furthers the dominance of the Amazon Web Services API as the standard for cloud APIs and thereby jeopardizes OpenStack’s claim to fame as the inter-operable platform of choice for cloud deployments. Last September, Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth wrote in a blog post that “the hackers and funders and leaders and advocates of OpenStack, and any number of other cloud infrastructure projects both open source and proprietary, would be better off figuring out how to leverage [the AWS API’s] standardisation than trying to compete with it, simply because no other API is likely to gain the sort of ecosystem we see around AWS today.” Amazon Web Services’s agreement with Eucalyptus just boosted the AWS API even further. The only question now is how OpenStack and Rackspace and the open source cloud computing community more generally will respond to the AWS-Eucalyptus alliance.


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