The hybrid cloud: HP acquires former OpenStack rival Eucalyptus
Fri 12 Sep 2014
HP has acquired the open-source cloud software company Eucalyptus, in what appears to be a grab for the company’s governing talent rather than its flagship product. Under the terms of the acquisition, rumoured to have taken place for less than $100mn, Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos will become SVP and general manager of HP’s Helion hybrid cloud program, reporting to CEO Meg Whitman – but the announcement makes no mention of any future for the Eucalyptus product itself.
Whitman said that Marten “will enhance HP’s outstanding bench of Cloud executives and expand HP Helion capabilities, giving customers more choice and greater control of private and hybrid cloud solutions”; but the Eucalyptus product – whose customers include Nokia, FSecure and Cornell University – seems to be a collateral casualty of the deal, which will see Mickos and 70 Eucalyptus employees absorbed into Helion’s array of hybrid cloud offerings.
HP has not made an acquisition since its purchase of Cambridge-based ‘Big Data’ software house Autonomy Plc in 2011, so the surprise purchase of Eucalyptus is arguably further evidence of gathering consolidation and brush-clearing among major OpenStack cloud players such as Red Hat, IBM and Metacloud.
The groundwork for the acquisition has been in evidence for a while. Mickos compared OpenStack to the “Soviet Union of cloud” at Structure 2012, citing its corporate bureaucracy as an obstacle to any real accomplishments, but has recently softened towards his company’s erstwhile rival – even to the point of attending an OpenStack event in August as a speaker.
It’s a familiar path to the 52-year-old Finnish entrepreneur, who was CEO of MySQL when Sun Microsystems acquired the open source database system in 2008 for $1 billion.
HP launched Helion’s ‘portfolio of cloud products and services’ in May of this year, committing $1bn of investment to help organisations to create, develop and utilise hybrid IT environments.