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Cloud Expo: Interview

Marten Mickos on Beer & Cloud Computing

Eucalyptus CEO Offers Profound Insight on Hybrid and Multi-Cloud

Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos (pictured below) continues to be a profound analyst as well as industry executive, especially when he talks about beer and cloud computing. He'll be speaking at the upcoming @CloudExpo in November in Santa Clara.

We asked him a few questions about the state of cloud computing today, and here's what he had to say:

Cloud Computing Journal: You've said public and private cloud are "two dimensions of the same world." Are you in essence saying "all the world's a hybrid?"

Story: Marten Mickos Joins Cloud Expo Silicon Valley Faculty


CEO Marten Mickos taking questions from audience following his Cloud Expo Silicon Valley 2013 presentation.

Marten Mickos: I am not saying that all the world is or will be hybrid. I am saying that most application workloads will not know whether they run on public or private clouds. The workload will see uniform APIs with uniform behavior.

Perhaps beer could serve as an analogy. You have beer on tap (public cloud) and beer in a bottle (private cloud). If you pour beer into glasses, most people won't know the difference. Even if they know, they won't mind the difference, as long as they get cold beer.

You can say that draught beer and bottled beer are two dimensions of the same thing. The most discerning consumers will care a lot. But many will be happy with just a glass of cold beer. As the one providing beer, you must have both draught and bottled. If one delivery fails, you always have the other. And some customers are very particular on that topic.

It's the same with cloud.

CCJ: Yes, I see. I think we can all drink that in.

Now, what are the challenges for IT execs and managers who find themselves in not only a hybrid environment, but a multi-cloud environment? That is, maybe AWS here, GCE there, with Eucalyptus in a private cloud somewhere else? It seems this can happen when one company is acquired by another.

Marten: Multi-cloud environments are tricky, because they're so much is different. If you have AWS, GCE and Azure in use in your company, you will essentially need three different teams to work with those clouds. And you won't be able to move workloads easily between them.

It's conceptually not unlike the situation where you have Windows laptops, Linux laptops and MacBooks in use in a corporation. People and workloads will gravitate towards one of those camps, with little exchange of thoughts or innovation between the groups.

If you have AWS and Euca, however, you just need one set of training and one set of skill and design paradigms. You can use the same tools on both environments. And applications can run on either, irrespective of which environment (AWS or Euca) they were originally developed for.

CCJ: And now an evergreen we always need to ask: what's your view of OpenStack and Apache CloudStack these days?

Marten: CloudStack is wonderful technology that I have always respected.

OpenStack is hugely popular, still struggling to get its design cleaned up and the code hardened. I wrote about OpenStack in two blog postings:

OpenStack love by Eucalyptus

OpenStack critical analysis

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More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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