The Cloud is a marathon — Marten Mickos, Eucalyptus CEO

June 24, 2010

Yesterday at the GigaOM Structure conference here in San Francisco, I ran into Marten Mickos, the recently appointed CEO of Eucalyptus systems.  Eucalyptus is one of the key ingredients in the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud that is being certified to run on Dell’s PowerEdge C systems as part of our cloud ISV program.

Marten, the former CEO of MySQL took the helm of Eucalyptus about three months ago, and was at Structure both as an attendee and participant, sitting on two panels at this two-day cloud-a-polooza.  At the end of the day-one I got some time with Marten and asked him about his new gig.

Some of the topics Marten tackles:

  • How he made the decision to go to Eucalyptus. (Hint: he asked the question, what’s bigger than Open Source)
  • What is Eucalyptus and whats it based on?
  • How will Marten’s experience at MySQL and Sun help him in his new role at Eucalyptus?
    • MySQL was a disrupter of the old whereas Eucalyptus is an innovator of the new.
    • Sun’s company culture was phenomenal, the technology was phenomenal, the business…um…
  • What Eucalyptus is doing with Canonical and the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.
  • What Eucalyptus is focusing on for the next year.

Extra-credit reading:

Pau for now…

Talkin’ to Eucalyptus Founder & CTO — Rich Wolski

April 19, 2010

Last month when I was out in the Bay Area for our launch, I was able to catch up with Rich Wolski, founder and CTO of Eucalyptus.  Eucalyptus is one of the key ingredients in the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud that is being certified to run on Dell’s PowerEdge C systems as part of our cloud ISV program.  Here is what Rich had to say:

Some of the topics Rich tackles:

  • How Eucalyptus started at the University of California at Santa Barbara.  They wanted to show how old-style large scale computing (NSF super computer centers) could be combined with new large-scale computing (in the form of Amazon)  in the service of science.  Wanted to also include 4-6 university data centers.
  • They put the code out as open source and got deluged by science and commercial industry about potential applications.  Grew too big to continue as a research project so they brought it outside.
  • Marten Mickos coming on board as CEO.  How it came about.
  • Working with Canonical and Ubuntu and how the relationship began.   UEC and what part Eucalyptus makes up.
  • How NASA is offering a production Eucalyptus cloud to NASA researchers and other governmental agencies.
  • Where Rich sees Eucalyptus going in the next two years.  The importance of the open source community and their continued focus on private clouds in the enterprise.

Pau for now…

RightScale part 1: Mickos joins and control moves up the stack

June 17, 2009

Yesterday I attended a webinar that RightScale put on entitled: How to Build Scalable Websites in the Cloud.  It was basically a welcome to RightScale, welcome to the cloud presentation but overall interesting and credible.

The presenters were their CEO, their head of marketing and a mini team of techies.  Below is part one of some of my thoughts and takeaways.  But first a slight digression…

Enter the Dolphin Master

One thing I noticed during the presentation and which warmed my heart was that MySQL played prominently in a bunch of the slides.  It was only today when I was poking around the RightScale site that I saw the press release from a few weeks ago announcing that Marten Mickos, former MySQL CEO and Sun employee joined the RightScale board of directors.  Its interesting but not surprising to note in the release that Marten calls out Sun and Canonical (the commercial sponsor behind Ubuntu) as two strategic partners helping to expand the RightScale ecosystem.

Where Right Scale fits within the tri-sected cloud.

Where Right Scale fits within the tri-sected cloud.

Where they play in the Cloud(s)

RightScale positions themselves as a cloud management platform or as I like to think of it “a cloud tamer.”  If you split the cloud in three — software as a service, platform as a service and infrastructure as a service — they play in the last space. Basically Right Scale sits on top of Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) and can handle all the tricky bits so you don’t have to.

Choose or choose not to choose

For those who want more control over their infrastructure RightScale will allow you to “choose among a variety of development languages, software stacks, data stores and cloud providers.” For those less intrepid in the cloud they have server templates that you can start off with.

One of the key benefits they stressed was getting rid of vendor lock-in, “so that you never get locked in to a single provider.”  You’ll notice on the X axis above they show lock-in decreasing and portability increasing as you move to the right.  My question however is that with Right Scale aren’t you simply locked in to a different layer of the cloud?  Doesn’t the control point simply move up the stack?  Just wondering…

Tune in tomorrow for part deux!

Extra Credit Reading/Listening

  • What is MySQL founder Monty Widenius up to post MySQL/post Sun? The Open Database Alliance and his MariaDB – May ’09
  • An interview with Marten Mickos, the day the MySQL deal with Sun closed — Feb ’08.
  • An interview with Marten Mickos after he keynoted Canonical’s first (and last) Ubuntu Live — Aug ’07.

Pau for now…

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