Stated politely, Canonical is transitioning the Ubuntu Cloud to OpenStack -- an open source cloud standard -- as a foundation technology. Stated bluntly, Ubuntu is de-emphasizing Eucalyptus, another open source cloud standard. The obvious question: Is the open source cloud industry's balance of power shifting from Eucalyptus to OpenStack?

According to an official statement from Canonical:
"Today, the Ubuntu project announced that future versions of the Ubuntu Cloud will use OpenStack as a foundation technology. OpenStack, the rapidly growing, open-source, cloud platform effort founded by Rackspace and NASA in 2010, has secured more than 53 commercial companies including Dell, Internap, Intel and Cisco to join the IaaS cloud computing initiative since launching. Ubuntu officially joined the OpenStack initiative in February of this year, but it is not currently providing commercial services for it as part of the releases of its most recent Linux-based operating system, Ubuntu Server and Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. However, with this announcement, OpenStack will become a core part of future releases. While no longer the foundation technology for the Ubuntu Cloud, Eucalyptus will remain within Ubuntu and will be available for users who prefer this technology."

TalkinCloud has often wondered if OpenStack and Eucalyptus would emerge as open source cloud rivals. But Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mikos has always downplayed such as scenario, stating that the two open source offerings could live in harmony.

But Canonical's decision to emphasize OpenStack over Eucalyptus raises questions about such harmony. Canonical went on to state:
"The current releases of Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud (UEC), which is based on Eucalyptus, are not impacted: Eucalyptus will continue to be a available for download and will be supported by Canonical. This means that customers who have deployed private clouds based on existing Ubuntu releases will continue to receive maintenance, and in the case of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS this will continue through to April 2015. Eucalyptus will remain within Ubuntu and will be available for users who prefer this technology. For customers with existing private cloud deployments, Ubuntu will provide tools to automate the migration process to the Ubuntu Server 11.10 release when it is released in October 2011.

To Canonical's credit, the company is trying to be tactful with its statements about OpenStack and Eucalyptus support. But the reality is as follows: OpenStack is now Canonical's preferred open source cloud standard. That's a setback for Eucalyptus.

Of course, it's important to give Eucalyptus equal time on this subject. Canonical is only one company in the much broader cloud ecosystem. Eucalyptus has partnerships with a range of IT companies. TalkinCloud is pursuing Eucalyptus perspectives now.

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