Eucalyptus Systems is expanding the features of its open source software for building Amazon (AMZN) Web Services-compatible private and hybrid clouds. Eucalyptus 3.4 was designed to enable devops to reduce cloud costs while also increasing agility and strengthening control over performance, scale and security.

The new and enhanced features in Eucalyptus 3.4 were introduced because of increased pressure on businesses to innovate rapidly, the company noted in the 3.4 release announcement, adding that cloud spending has outpacing the associated value while business agility is being made difficult by internal processes and tools.

"With Eucalyptus 3.4, customers have the power to reduce cloud costs while gaining greater control over cloud performance, scale and security," said Andy Knosp, vice president of product at Eucalyptus, in a prepared statement. "A single Eucalyptus private cloud can pay for itself in as little as three months. For organizations that need to dynamically scale their workloads to the public cloud, our compatibility with AWS allows companies to leverage this approach when it makes the most business sense."

Some of the key features in Eucalyptus 3.4 include:

  • A "warm upgrade" feature that Eucalyptus claims eliminates unnecessary impact to critical development and test activities. It does this by simplifying the upgrade process and enabling cloud administrators to perform software upgrades on Eucalyptus clouds with no downtime.
  • An enhanced image management and migration system that simplifies the process of moving development and test workloads to a private cloud. The 3.4 release includes utilities for converting Amazon Machine Images to Eucalyptus Machine Images, as well as improved support for VMware (VMW) VMDK-to-EMI to help with onboarding existing virtualized applications. It can also lower or cap VMware licensing costs based on Eucalyptus support for KVM.
  • The new Eucalyptus Hybrid Cloud User Console enables users to easily provision, monitor and manage cloud resources from a single interface.
  • Identity and access management (IAM) roles enable users to adopt cloud security best practices in private and public cloud environments. Cloud admins also can gain better control over Eucalyptus cloud resources.
  • Improved high-availability features that enable cloud admins to control the physical placement of cloud management services and manually failover components should they wish to do so. The end goal is to make Eucalyptus clouds easily to maintain.

Many businesses are turning to private clouds for some of their workloads, and the easier it is for developers and cloud builders to make them easy and secure, the faster the uptake of private clouds will be.