What if you’re a sysadmin that supports a large development community, or a large systems research facility, or something else that requires you to provision systems that, perhaps, *aren’t* cookie-cutter machines? A lot of different solutions actually exist for doing this, with varying degrees of complexity and usefulness. However, in order to give people the highest level of flexibility without making your own life onerous, why not run your own EC2-like cloud?
If you’ve ever used the ROCKS beowulf cluster OS, you know how easy it can be to get a fully-functioning cluster installed in a matter of just a couple of hours, or perhaps even minutes (assuming the hardware is there and working and connected and all of that). If you don’t know, trust me, it’s easy. Really easy. If you’ve installed a linux distro from a CD, you can install a cluster with ROCKS, I promise.
Taking that a step further, Eucalyptus allows you to take your ROCKS cluster and make it into an EC2-like compute cloud. It installs as a ROCKS “roll”.