The makers of Eucalyptus, the Linux-based open source cloud computing platform that now ships with Ubuntu, are targeting enterprise cloud computing with the launch of Eucalyptus Systems Inc.

With $5.5 million in financing led by Benchmark Capital, the private company will develop enterprise-grade products and services built on the freeware platform, starting with consulting and support.

The Eucalyptus infrastructure, which began as a University of California Santa Barbara project in 2007, allows enterprises to deploy large-scale on-premise private clouds as well as hybrid clouds that use both private and public resources.

Eucalyptus also powers the Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, which was announced last week by Ubuntu sponsor Canonical Ltd., and will ship with every copy from Ubuntu 9.04 Server Edition forward.

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