Terracotta Inc. and Eucalyptus Systems Inc. have announced a partnership that promises to solve two key challenges enterprises face with private clouds – scalable data management and elastic provisioning.
“Working together, we will be able to simplify things for customers with a joint go-to-market strategy,” said Jeff Hartley, vice-president of marketing and products for San Francisco, CA-based Terracotta.
As part of the agreement, Terracotta’s scalable data management infrastructure software for Java applications will integrate with Eucalyptus’ open source private cloud platform. The two companies are also planning to develop joint sales and marketing activities.
“We will both be able to recommend to customers a combined solution that’s going to simplify their search for private cloud infrastructure software that can deploy clouds quickly and easily,” said Hartley.
Eucalyptus has received a lot of attention for its ability to deploy clouds and its compatibility with Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (Amazon EC2), which reduces the learning curve for operators and developers, he said.
Meanwhile, Terracotta enables applications to scale better by allowing data to reside in the application tier instead of in the database tier, he explained.
“You want to be able to scale up and down elastically based upon how conditions change. The key to doing that is to pull in the data that an application consumes up into a tier than can scale in and out horizontally and that’s the application tier. That’s where Terracotta resides,” said Hartley.
The combined solution will “dramatically simplify the provisioning and management as well as the scalability of the data tier within those clouds,” said Hartley. “The end result is going to be private clouds that are a lot easier to build and a lot easier to scale.”
“The partnership is really focused on making sure that what we do with Eucalyptus and what Terracotta does with its offerings are tightly aligned and essentially built going forward to work well together,” said Rich Wolski, CTO of Santa Barbara, CA-based Eucalyptus Systems.
Scalable Web services are “the first mover application for clouds,” according to Wolski.
“You can do other things with clouds, but what has really captured people’s imaginations and driven a lot of engineering into the cloud is the idea that you can host these very flexible and dynamically scalable Web services, and clearly, Terracotta’s technology makes that possible,” he said.
The Eucalyptus platform, which supports the same APIs as the Amazon AWS public cloud infrastructure, provides the means for hosting of these services on-premise, he pointed out. “The real advantage, given the way that Eucalyptus and Amazon share an API, is that you can write one software base that can run in either venue,” he said.
“It can either run on-premise on top of Eucalyptus and do this very scalable data management in your data centre or … in Amazon or a little of both. You can essentially build a hybrid solution with a common API underneath,” said Wolski.
“The great thing about Terracotta and Eucalyptus is we have a very similar business model with an open source core platform. We sell additional products built on top of that platform, which is nice because our marketing sales efforts can coincide,” said Matt Reid, vice-president of sales and marketing at Eucalyptus.
External cloud providers have traditionally based their services on an open source hypervisor like Xen and then sold their own “secret sauce” to managing that virtualized environment, said John Sloan, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group Ltd.
“What’s interesting with Eucalyptus is that they have taken the next step and have looked at creating a virtual framework, or management tools for managing a virtual infrastructure. So open source has sort of traveled up the stack,” said Sloan.
The partnership is an “example of the coming together of various parts of the equation that are all provided by open source, which, depending on the company and their attitude towards open source, could be a significant opportunity,” he said.
Open source cloud computing is an area that can see a lot of growth as cloud computing options continue to become popular, said Sloan.
But the first question for software of any kind is always, “How does it meet the needs of the business?” Sloan pointed out. “The fact that it is open source or has cloud in the name is still secondary really to the efficiency of the software,” he said.
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