Amazon Web Services (AWS) may use Eucalyptus to build CIAs private cloud

More and more rumors appear that Amazon is building a private cloud for the CIA for espionage activities. The first question that arises here is why for an intelligence? Second, why Amazon AWS as a public cloud provider, because they are a service provider and not a software company. But, if we think a little further, Eucalyptus immediately comes into play.

The Amazon deal with the CIA

According to Federal Computer Week, the CIA and the Amazon Web Services (AWS) have signed a $ 600 million contract with a term of 10 years. The background is that Amazon AWS should build a private cloud for the CIA on the governments infrastructure. More information are not available yet.

However, the question is why the CIA has asked Amazon. Is there more behind the $$$? Amazon is one of the few companies that have the knowledge and staff to successfully operate a cloud infrastructure. Despite some preventable injuries, the infrastructure is designed to be extremely rugged and smart. However, Amazon has a downside. They are a service provider, not a software vendor. That means they do not have the experience on how to unroll software, provides customers with updates and more. Moreover, they are likely or hopefully not use the same source code for the cloud of the CIA.

Now a cooperation might come into play, which Amazon received some time ago with Eucalyptus. This could solve the problem of the lack of software for on-premise clouds and experience with maintenance, software fixes etc. for customers.

The cooperation between Amazon AWS and Eucalyptus

In short, Eucalyptus is a stand-alone fork of the Amazon cloud. With that you are able to build your own cloud with the basic features and functions of the Amazon cloud.

Amazon Web Services and the private cloud infrastructure software provider Eucalyptus announced in March 2012, to work more closely in the future to support the better migration of data between the Amazon cloud and private clouds. Initially, developers from both companies will focus on creating solutions to help enterprise customers to migrate data between existing data centers and the AWS cloud. Furthermore, and even more important is that the customer should be able to use the same management tools and their knowledge for both platforms. In addition, the Amazon Web Services will provide Eucalyptus with further information to improve the compatibility with the AWS APIs.

Amazon Eucalyptus private cloud for the CIA

Such cooperation could now bear fruits for both Amazon and Eucalyptus. Because of the very close similarity of Eucalyptus to the Amazon cloud, there is already a ready and directly usable cloud software that Amazon knows and can bring his knowledge with. Services that Eucalyptus supports not yet but needed by the CIA can be reproduced successively. This in turn could help Eucalyptus in their development by either flow back knowledge from the development or even parts of services in the general product.


I have my problems with the seemingly official cooperation between Amazon and the CIA. A keyword here is trust what Amazon through the cooperation with an intelligence not further promotes.

By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Gartner Analyst covering Infrastructure Services & Digital Operations. Prior to that he was Director of Technology Research at Arago, Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. Rene is considered as top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he is one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore Rene Buest is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

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