Eucalyptus is an open source software platform for implementing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in a private or hybrid cloud computing environment.

The Eucalyptus cloud platform pools together existing virtualized infrastructure to create cloud resources for infrastructure as a service, network as a service and storage as a service. The name Eucalyptus is an acronym for Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems.

Eucalyptus was founded out of a research project in the Computer Science Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and became a for-profit business called Eucalyptus Systems in 2009. Eucalyptus Systems announced a formal agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in March 2012, allowing administrators to move instances between a Eucalyptus private cloud and the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to create a hybrid cloud. The partnership also allows Eucalyptus to work with Amazon’s product teams to develop unique AWS-compatible features.

Eucalyptus features include:

  • Supports both Linux and Windows virtual machines (VMs).
  • Application program interface- (API) compatible with Amazon EC2 platform.
  • Compatible with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Simple Storage Service (S3).
  • Works with multiple hypervisors including VMware, Xen and KVM.
  • Can be installed and deployed from source code or DEB and RPM packages.
  • Internal processes communications are secured through SOAP and WS-Security.
  • Multiple clusters can be virtualized as a single cloud.
  • Administrative features such as user and group management and reports.

Version 3.3, which became generally available in June 2013, adds the following features:

  • Auto Scaling: Allows application developers to scale Eucalyptus resources up or down based on policies defined using Amazon EC2-compatible APIs and tools 
  • Elastic Load Balancing: AWS-compatible service that provides greater fault tolerance for applications
  • CloudWatch: An AWS-compatible service that allows users to collect metrics, set alarms, identify trends, and take action to ensure applications run smoothly
  • Resource Tagging: Fine-grained reporting for showback and chargeback scenarios; allows IT/ DevOps to build reports that show cloud utilization by application, department or user
  • Expanded Instance Types: Expanded set of instance types to more closely align to those available in Amazon EC2. Was 5 before, now up to 15 instance types.
  • Maintenance Mode: Allows for replication of a virtual machine’s hard drive, evacuation of the server node and provides a maintenance window.


This was last updated in June 2013

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