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CloudBeat Marten Mickos

Eucalyptus Systems CEO Marten Mickos really likes metaphors, and when you’re talking about something as complex as cloud-based app platforms, they seriously come in handy.

While talking onstage at CloudBeat 2011, Mickos compared Eucalyptus’ open-source cloud software platform to an espresso machine because it gives clients the tools to make their coffee (in this case, cloud software) at home. He said a company like Amazon, however, provides the cloud in a much more commercialized fashion like Starbucks provides coffee.

“We make the best espresso machines,” Mickos said. “We give you the power of the cloud on your own servers. We love Amazon and we support their API, but if another big API comes along, we will support that as well.”

When it comes to differentiation, Eucalyptus’ open-source nature separates itself from competitor VMWare, which does well with its closed approach to virtualization.

“We have a different mindset than the others,” Mickos said. “It’s hard to challenge the closed-source companies, but we do with a strong business-model.”

Mickos also talked about how companies, generally speaking, are adopting cloud services. He said that conservative companies shouldn’t take the plunge to the cloud just yet because standards are still being figured out. However, he noted that some “old-fashioned” organizations are adopting the cloud.

“The cloud is for early movers, but sometimes those organizations can be seen as old-fashioned,” Mickos said. “The U.S.D.A., for example, uses a Eucalyptus cloud to help and connect farmers. And other government agencies are going for it as well.”

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