In The Vapor

To the Cloud and Beyond – a view of cloud computing from within


Eucalyptus “EucaNUC” compared to public cloud

In an earlier article (, I provided details of how to build a low-cost private cloud alternative to a “public cloud” that is small enough to sit on your desk, called EucaNUC.

Why EucaNUC? Having your own “private cloud” is complementary (think hybrid) to “public cloud“, Eucalyptus is API compatible with Amazon AWS core services (see below). For instance, you could develop on EucaNUC and move (think burst) into Amazon AWS for production. Same tools, same scripts, no changes.

Let’s compare the one-time cost of $1650 for EucaNUC to monthly public cloud usage.

$1,650 buys you a month or two on a “Public Cloud” or a lifetime of private cloud on your desk.

AWS calculator showing m1.small cost: (


Cost of EucaNUC (Amazon pricing as of Aug 12, 2013):


Editor note: I know this is not a direct apples-to-apples comparison, but for simple cloud usage, it’s close enough.

If Eucalyptus VMTypes are configured similar to Amazon AWS m1.small (1 ECU, 1.7 GB Ram) you could run 18 instances on EucaNUC simultaneously.

Not only does EucaNUC look cool on your desk, it runs cool and quietly too. To expand capacity of EucaNUC, you simply add another Intel NUC node controller to the cloud.

Amazon AWS Feature Compatibility:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute (EC2)
  • Amazon Elastic Block Storage (EBS)
  • Amazon Machine Image (AMI)
  •  Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)
  • Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Auto Scaling
  • Elastic Load Balancing
  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • Resource Tagging
  • Web Based User GUI

For a complete list please visit:

Eucalyptus is complementary to Amazon AWS, sometimes you need a “private cloud”, sometimes you need “public cloud”, sometimes “both” and how cool would it be to have a Amazon AWS API compatible private cloud that sits on your desk! EucaNUC delivers this!


EucaNUC – Building a Eucalyptus Cloud Lab and More!

As a Eucalyptus Technical Marketing Manager I need to understand all aspects of Eucalyptus and test and compare our competitors products, such as OpenStack, CloudStack and VMware vCloud Director. The requirements of a lab to support all of these different environments can be demanding.

Prior to this posting, what we’ve discussed was virtualizing cloud environments in the lab. Now we will demonstrate a physical lab. These cloud testing environments are used to test installation, configuration and functionality not performance. Trying to replicate a physical environment can be expensive, noisy, hot and take a considerable power.

The goal of this lab write up is to show that with few compromises we can meet and exceed the physical demands, while being cost effective, taking up less space, less power, be cooler and run quieter than my previous lab. This lab is also home office friendly (mine sits on my desk).


The main component is the Intel NUC. This small but very powerful machine is perfect for a cloud testing lab.

Below are two examples of how to build a simple, very effective cloud testing lab.

Basic components:

A Cloud of 12 CORES, 48GB RAM and 384GB Flash Storage for less than $1650

*Note: Amazon pricing as of Aug 5, 2013 – Links below:


Intel NUC Setup – Low Cost

Note: This is a great setup to get started using a home lab. The laptop is the “Control Center” for the lab, gateway to the Internet and any VPN the laptop is connected to. Running Cobbler in a virtual machine is very effective and can be shutdown when not in use.

Note: This can be very portable and used at trade shows and on the road demo’s.

Home Lab - Low Cost

Parts Needed

  • Laptop
    • Whatever OS your laptop has
    • VirtualBox/VMW Workstation/VMW Player/VMW Fusion/KVM etc.
    • VM1 – Cobbler (see below for setup instructions)
    • VM2 – MicroQA
    • VM3 – Windows for VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client (Opt.)
  • 3 Intel NUC
  • 4 port ethernet switch
  • 4 ethernet cables
  • HDMI Monitor
  • HDMI Cable
  • USB Keyboard
  • Power Strip – minimum 6 outlets
    • Laptop
    • 3x Intel NUCs
    • Switch
    • Monitor

Intel NUC Setup – Extreme

Home Lab - Extreme

Parts Needed:

  • Lab Control Center Machine
    • Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x64
    • Cobbler installed (see below for instructions)
    • VMW Workstation
    • VM1 – MicroQA
    • VM2 – Windows for VMware Virtual Infrastructure Client (Opt.)
    • Vagrant – VMware paid provider
  • 3 Intel NUC
  • Shared Storage capable of NFS/iSCSI
  • 8 port ethernet switch
  • 5 ethernet cables
  • HDMI Monitor
  • HDMI switch – 3 ports
  • 4 HDMI Cables
  • USB Keyboard
  • USB Mouse
  • 4 port USB KVM
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) – 8 ports or Power Strip – minimum 8 outlets
    • Lab Control Center Machine
    • Router
    • 3x Intel NUCs
    • Shared Storage
    • Monitor

Using the Intel NUC we can build a small, very powerful, cost effective and quiet cloud computing testing lab. This lab has provided me the ability to install, configure and test various cloud products. It’s quiet and takes up very little room on my desk. This lab has met and exceeded all of my cloud lab needs.


Sneak Peak – Eucalyptus 3.3 Maintenance Mode

Wow, Eucalyptus 3.3 is coming along nicely, seems like we just released 3.2. Eucalyptus 3.3 is due out in Q2 2013. Check out the roadmap for all of the awesome features.

I’ve had the rare opportunity to see development from the inside, working with the backend team as they create “Maintenance Mode”.

Maintenance Mode allows Cloud Administrators to perform maintenance on a node controller without interrupting applications or services running on the the cloud.

Sneak Peak – Eucalyptus 3.3 Maintenance Mode:


Please let me know if you like the format of “sneak peaks”.


3 Simple Steps to install Eucalyptus Cloud – Cloud in a Box

It doesn’t get much easier than this. Press Enter 7 times and have a complete Eucalyptus cloud installed and configured. Follow along as we explore this new installation option available with Eucalyptus FastStart 3.1.2 called “Cloud-in-a-Box”.

3 Simple Steps to install Eucalyptus Cloud

  1. Download installation media – burn to CD/DVD
  2. Boot installation media – choose language and configure network – system will reboot
  3. Press “Enter” 7 times

Cloud-in-a-Box installs all of the required Eucalyptus Cloud components on a single machine. This is a great way to test Eucalyptus without the overhead of procuring extra hardware.

We will install our cloud-in-a-box on our VMware Workstation Virtual Cloud Sandbox we built in an earlier post.

Cloud-in-a-Box Installation (6:21 mins)


Installing Eucalyptus 3.1 using FastStart 3.1.2 in under 30 minutes!

Today, October 26, 2012 Eucalyptus launched a new / updated version of the FastStart installer. FastStart is a self-contained installer for Eucalyptus. You download a single ISO, burn to a CD or DVD and have everything needed to install Eucalyptus in various configurations.

The standard installation would include 2 machines, one “Front-End” machine and 1 or more node controllers. This is a great way to do a simple POC or proof of concept.

Also supported is a “Cloud-in-a-Box” or a configuration that is completely installed on a single machine. Cloud-in-a-Box can even be installed in a single virtual machine. Blog post coming shortly.

Download here:

Also please view the documentation here:

Note: Total installation time for CLC and NC is about 25 minutes

In the following 2 part video series we will install Eucalyptus using FastStart. A “Front-End” or CLC and a “Node Controller” or NC will be installed.

Install Eucalyptus 3.1 using FastStart – Part 1 – NC Install  (4:21 mins)


Install Eucalyptus 3.1 using FastStart – Part 2 – CLC Install  (6:47 mins)


Launching your first Eucalyptus Cloud Instance – CLI

In this video we will demonstrate the minimal tasks required to launch your first Eucalyptus Cloud Instance via the command line. This is the next step from the previous post where we installed Eucalyptus 3.1 using SilverEye.

Note: This video assumes the Eucalyptus Cloud was installed using SilverEye. If your cloud was installed using another method, please review the Eucalyptus Documentation.

Launching your first Instance (4 mins)


Commands used in the video:

  • # euca-describe-availability-zones verbose
  • # euca-authorize -P tcp -p 22 -s default
  • # euca-describe-images
  • # euca-run-instances emi-12345 -k admin
  • # euca-describe-instances
  • # watch -n5 euca-describe-instances
  • # ssh -i ~/credentials/admin/admin.private root@
  • # euca-terminate-instances i-54321


Install Eucalyptus 3.1 using SilverEye in our virtualized sandbox lab

IaaS cloud computing software is very complex and usually requires many resources like multiple servers, it’s own network and storage. With the virtual sandbox lab, we built in the previous post, we can remove all of the hardware requirements and install Eucalyptus on a single system and not loose any functionality.

This is a great learning tool. We can build a complete Eucalyptus IaaS cloud, learn how to install Eucalyptus, practice cloud computing tasks, and how Eucalyptus might fit in your business. Since Eucalyptus is API compliant with Amazon AWS (EC2, S3, EBS and IAM) you can learn work with a hybrid cloud.

Let’s get started installing Eucalyptus in our sandbox.

Note: This configuration is only supported by our awesome community.

First we need to download the Eucalyptus SilverEye installer ISO: and save it on the lab machine. This ISO is all we will need to build the complete Eucalyptus cloud.


  • Hostname: nc.vlab.local
  • IP:
  • Netmask:
  • Gateway:
  • DNS:,


  • Hostname: clc.vlab.local
  • IP:
  • Netmask:
  • Gateway:
  • DNS:,
  • Public IP Address Range:


Note: The video runs quickly, please pause as needed to review any input thats required.

Install Node Controller (6 mins)


Install Cloud Controller (6:30 mins)


My VMware Workstation Virtual Cloud Sandbox

How I virtuallize my entire lab to test and evalute IaaS Cloud Computing software using VMware Workstation.

Fully virtualized Eucalyptus 3.1.1 installed from FastStart. This configuration is unsupported.

As a technologist and evangelist working at Eucalyptus I am lucky enough to install and test Eucalyptus along side our competitors products. As you can imagine this can really tax a lab environment. Eucalyptus provides me with a massive test/lab environment with awesome capabilities but I wanted something that I would have control over and take advantage of virtualization technologies that I learned while working at VMware.

While at VMware, everyone ran VMware Workstation to virtualize ESX, along with running a small vSphere environment on our laptops. The goal of this virtual sandbox was to build a lab that could virtualize anything and everything I needed. This would not be a lab where I would test performance…I have an environment at Eucalyptus for that, but something that I could use to spin up any IaaS cloud platform, control all aspects of the network and store the virtual machines in case I need to spin them up later.

I have two such sandbox machines. One is an HP DL380 G6 with 32GB RAM and 8x 73GB 15K RPM SAS drives. The second machine is a Lenovo Thinkpad X201 which makes a ideal portable sandbox. Let’s look at what makes up this portable sandbox.

Host OS: Windows 7 Professional x64 – VMware Workstation supports Windows and Linux, I would prefer Linux, but in testing VMware Workstation 9 support is more complete and easier to use while running on Windows.

Processor: To allow nested/nested 64-bit virtualization we need to test the processor to be sure Intel VT and EPT are supported. CoreInfo by Mark Russinovich is a quick easy tool to run to verify the processor capabilities.

Memory: As much memory as the machine will allow. The Lenovo X201 maximum is 8GB.

Disk: The largest SSD the machine allows, two would be best to split the load. On this machine there is 1x 120GB SSD. Notice there is also a 1TB D:\ on this system. This is a USB 3.0 portable drive for storage of ISO’s, VM’s that are not needed and extra software. Only the most current ISO’s and VM’s are stored on C:\.

VMware Workstation: This is the core application to build a virtual lab. Besides the core functionality of virtualizing guests, this includes nested/nested 64-bit virtualization. VMware Workstation provides a lab platform allowing the creation of snapshots, easy capturing of videos of the virtual machine and portability of the virtual machines across not only Workstation but also other VMware technologies.

When not portable, the X201 is docked which provides an additonal 120GB SSD for even better performance and the virtual machines are backed up to a 2TB NAS to be shared across the lab.

Fully virtualized Eucalyptus 3.1.1 installed from FastStart. This configuration is unsupported.

VMware Workstation 9 Nested / Nested Virtualization: Workstation 9 makes it easy to do nested/nested virtualization, therefore, no more editing VMX files. Create a virtual machine and edit the Virtual Machine Settings > Hardware > Processros > Check the box next to “Virtualize Intel VT-x/EPT or AMD-V/RVI” this adds capabilities to virtualize hypervisors like Xen and KVM and run nested 64-bit virtual machines in those hypervisors. To virtualize VMware ESXi, during the creation of the virtual machine, select ESXi.

Fully virtualized Eucalyptus 3.1.1 installed from FastStart. This configuration is unsupported.

VMware Workstation Networking: Using the VMware Workstation Network Editor allows for the customization of the networking for the lab. VMware Workstation 9 supports up to ten virtual switches on a Windows host system. These can be Bridged, Host Only or NAT, and also supports an internal DHCP server. Below on VMnet8, I’ve turned DHCP off to support a configuration in the lab that I was working on.

Anti-Virus Protection: I recommend always using an anti-virus program and for Windows 7 I use Microsoft Security Essentials. I exclude the “Virtual Machine” folder from virus scanning to help performance.

This lab is easily created on most current machines with Intel i5 or i7 processors, 8GB of RAM and the addition of an SSD running Windows 7 x64. Adding VMware Workstation and some simple configuration changes, this lab can support almost anything I can throw at it.

In the next few posts we will explore using the lab to learn about cloud computing. Next up….Install Eucalyptus