Marten Mickos move to become CEO of Eucalyptus Systems puts more shine on open-source cloud efforts. In particular, it drives discussion around open-source efforts such as Reservoir, Nimbus and Open Nebula.
But most of all, the attention of the market is now on Eucalyptus, the cloud fabric technology created in the labs at the University of California at Santa Barbara. It has since been adopted to create what we now know as private clouds.
Mickos has a storied past in the world of open-source. He played a lead role at MySQL, helping grow to a company that reached $65 million in sales before being sold to Sun Microsystems for $1 billion.
Krishnan Subramananian makes a good point in his analysis of Mickos move. Mickos proved to the world how giving away its software could be a business model that works. Mickos steered MySQL into the enterprise. Its push into the enterprise made MySQL a threat to companies such as Oracle and IBM, which considered it a threat to their long-term hegemony.
For its part, Eucalyptus Systems has done very well with a simple free, plus services model. Eucalyptus gives away its software and then charges to integrate proprietary systems. The company garners additional revenue through support. Last September, Eucalyptus began offering an enterprise service in September, 2009 by offering integration with VMware and other hypervisors typically found in a data center, such as Xen and KVM.
Eucalyptus supports a number of third-party tools including RightScale. They partnered with Canonical to support Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud.
What will Mickos do with Eucalyptus? He will likely help steer the company deeper into the enterprise. And perhaps even finding a buyer for Eucalyptus, much like he did for MySQL.