Heroes Of The Cloud – Part 4
Cloud has been a metaphor for the Internet for almost as long as there has been an Internet. As early as 1961 there were predictions “computing may someday be organized as a public utility just as the telephone system is a public utility…”
MIT/Standford Professor John McCarthy had predicted eight years before the ARPAnet began laying the foundations of the Information Super Highway, and thirteen years before Tim Berners-Lee established the World Wide Web at CERN.
As ancient as the prediction seems, it sounds a lot like what is happening today in the “Cloud Computing Revolution”. The technology we recognize as the Cloud can be traced to the giant servers developed for the on line retailer Amazon. While modernizing their data centers in the wake of the “Dot Com Bubble”, Amazon began to realize that there was income potential in the vast server farms developed for the Amazon Store. Amazon Web Services officially launched in 2006 to provide cloud computing to external customers, or a “public cloud”.
Eucalyptus Systems founder Rich Wolski was a lead researcher at UC Santa Barbara on the Virtual Grid Application Software Project (VGrADS). VgraDS, with funding from the National Science Foundation, investigated large scale computational grid applications, with real world applications in the field of weather prediction, among others. In the fall of 2007, as VgrADS entered its last year, Wolski realized that the project needed to investigate ways to combine the NSF Supercomputers, with the commercial public Clouds. Wolski recognized that Amazon Web Services was the most appealing public cloud for his needs. The open source Eucalyptus software was developed using AWS APIs (Application Programming Interface) as an industry standard.
One of the most attractive elements of Eucalyptus is its Open Source nature, using elements which are freely available as part of Linux distributions. Eucalyptus is designed to be used as a “Linux tool” rather than a separate platform. The Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (powered by Eucalyptus) was part of the Ubuntu 09.04 release.
Earlier in 2009, Eucalyptus began commercializing as an Open Source Company. Eucalyptus is a leading software platform for Infrastructure as a Service private cloud applications. Founder Rich Wolski has garnered praise from Cisco Cloud CTO and OpenStack senior director Lew Tucker, not as a competitor, but as a “passionate Cloud enthusiast who can work out magic in the essentials of cloud computing.”
By Peter Knight