HP buys Eucalyptus, puts Marten Mickos in charge of cloud unit

In a deal that makes strategic sense and buys HP a lot of open source credibility, the company acquires Eucalyptus to round out its private and hybrid cloud plans.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor on

Hewlett-Packard said Thursday that it has acquired Eucalyptus, an open source software vendor for hybrid cloud deployments, in a deal that gives the company a leader for its Helion business unit.

The move is strategic on a few levels. To wit:

  • Eucalyptus CEO Marten Mickos will be the general manager of HP's cloud business and report to HP chief Meg Whitman.
  • HP has doubled down on OpenStack as an architecture and Eucalyptus has based its business on it.
  • Open source credibility and the ability to be seen as an agnostic data center player matters and Mickos, former CEO of MySQL, helps HP sell that narrative much better.

Terms of the deal weren't disclosed and that's good for HP since it indicates the price tag wasn't material. HP has just recovered from the acquisition of Autonomy, a deal that nuked the balance sheet and hampered Whitman's retooling of the company.

More: HP offers OpenStack services offerings | HP's R&D spending back to 2008 levels | HP invests $50 million in Hortonworks, forges big data partnership | HP recruits partners for Helion cloud distribution

Here's a look at the Eucalyptus architecture:


In a statement, Whitman said Mickos will accelerate HP's cloud strategy and fortify its management bench. Mickos said that he shares HP's vision for the cloud.

Martin Fink, who runs HP's cloud business today, will remain CTO and director of HP Labs. Given HP is spending more on R&D that's a good gig. Fink will also oversee HP's networking functions virtualization business.

There are a few odds and ends Eucalyptus may have to resolve. The biggest one is that the company is in Dell's partner program. Another item is that the Eucalyptus has been heavily involved with Amazon Web Services connections. HP most likely won't be thrilled with Dell, but will have to stick with the AWS compatibility to keep its open cloud mojo. 

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