NASA Leaving The Eucalyptus Cloud For Real Open-Source

NASA is leaving its Eucalyptus based cloud in favor of “real” open-source alternative for its Nebula infrastructure. According to NASA, not only are Eucalyptus clouds unable to achieve the scale they require, they are also not entirely open-source. NASA engineers were unable to contribute codes in Eucalyptus to improve its scalability because of conflict with Eucalyptus System Inc., who maintains a partially closed version of the platform.

So, they are leaving Eucalyptus based clouds and building their own platform which has been licensed with the Apache 2.0 license. NASA is building this new cloud platform, called Nova, with Rackspace as part of Rackspace’s recently announced OpenStack project.

It has been reported that the scale NASA is aiming Nebula to span one million physical machines and 60 million servers. According to NASA chief technology officer Chris Kemp, Eucalyptus cannot even get close to such scale. So they have to develop their won platform, Nova, to power Nebula.

This is what Kemp said:

Nebula is designed to be both massively scalable and incredibly cheap. You cannot certify commercial software in Nebula. We’re not even going to think about that.


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