Eucalyptus Systems Inc. began as a research project at the University of California, Santa Barbara, led by Dr. Rich Wolski and funded by an exploratory grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The NSF grant was given to Dr. Wolski to allow him to explore novel programming and techniques for large-scale computational grid applications. By fall of 2007, his work had already produced new systems for the LEAD weather forecasting system and promised to revolutionize the world of “cloud computing.”
In cloud computing, users access a pool of computing resources (machines, networks, storage, operating systems and programs) through the Internet as-needed and on-demand, similar to the electricity grid. Cloud computing promises to be one of the most significant IT shifts of this decade by removing the need for users to invest in and maintain expensive infrastructure and security systems. Clouds can either be public, which provide resources to everyone, or private, which are developed for a particular organization to meet specific needs.
Eucalyptus Systems Inc., located in Santa Barbara, California, was formed in 2009 based on Dr. Wolski’s groundbreaking research. After two years, it had already attracted $25 million of investment capital and has swelled to sixty (60) employees, many of which are graduates of UC Santa Barbara. The Eucalyptus system builds both private clouds and “hybrid” clouds, where public clouds and private clouds to work together for the maximum benefit of the user. Although Eucalyptus is headquartered in Santa Barbara, it has operations in China and India and a truly global reach.
NASA became the company’s first customer, using the Eucalyptus platform in a new cloud computing facility launched in July 2010 at its Moffett Air Field in Sunnyvale, California. There have been over 25,000 Eucalyptus clouds started across the globe, including clouds at more than 20% of Fortune 100 companies, and over 100,000 downloads of their open source software. Eucalyptus has caught the eye of Aneesh Chopra, former chief technology officer of the United States under the Obama administration, who cited Eucalyptus Systems’ evolution as an example of “decreasing the cycle time between the university ecosystem to the commercial marketplace,” and the company received the prestigious “Game Changer Award” from the California Governor’s Office of Economic Development in 2010.
In September 2014, Eucalyptus was acquired by HP to accelerate hybrid cloud adoption within the enterprise. As part of the merger, Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos joined HP as senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud business. He stated in a press release: “Eucalyptus and HP share a common vision for the future of cloud in the enterprise. Enterprises are demanding open source cloud solutions, and I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to grow the HP Helion portfolio and lead a world-class business that delivers private, hybrid, managed and public clouds to enterprise customers worldwide.”
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