OpenStack Supporters Downplay Citrix Defection

On April 4th, 2012, posted in: News & Events by Comments Off

Network World

Top coordinators of the OpenStack project shot back at Citrix for dropping its support for the open-source cloud development platform in favor of starting a separate open source project based on an Apache license.

With the change, Citrix’s CloudStack platform for building clouds will now be an open-source project in the Apache Software Foundation that will accept input from a community of developers. Some have viewed the move as the first shots being fired in “the war for open-source clouds” as Gartner Analyst Lydia Leong put it in her blog, CloudPundit, calling Citrix’s news a “bombshell.” Today, OpenStack officials are firing back.

EARLIER TODAY: Citrix ditches OpenStack for Apache

Joshua McKenty, one of the co-founders of the OpenStack movement and founder of Piston Cloud Computing, which is an enterprise cloud offering based on the OpenStack platform, says Citrix’s move is a “marketing play.” Ever since Citrix’s reported $200 million acquisition of last year, which developed the CloudStack platform, the company “has been under a lot of pressure to do something with it,” McKenty says. He adds that he’s not surprised by the move because Citrix has been offering dwindling support for OpenStack since the purchase, and since the company’s former CTO for its cloud division, Simon Crosby, left last year.

The larger issue, though, he says, is about the difference in philosophies between the two projects. Citrix officials said during a conference call yesterday they wanted a platform that would embrace Amazon Web Services, the market-leading IaaS provider, and they did not believe OpenStack does that.

But Jonathan Bryce, chairman of the policy government board of OpenStack, and another co-founder from Rackspace, says there has been a misperception that OpenStack does not support AWS. Amazon APIs are compatible in both the compute and object storage projects of OpenStack, he says. In the Essex release, which comes out on Thursday, Bryce noted that there were more than 140 code contributions from more than two dozen developers, many of which were related to improving integrations between hypervisors and other platforms, such as AWS. Bryce says compatibility is a feature of OpenStack, but not a defining tenant. “We’re not trying to be an Amazon clone,” he says.

Another of Citrix’s main reasons for giving CloudStack an Apache license was that officials said they wanted a product that would be go-to-market ready faster. OpenStack officials say they’re happy with the progress of the movement.

McKenty says there’s “no way OpenStack could be moving faster.” He points to the development of a virtual networking project, code-named Quantum, in less than a year’s time, as well as advancements in the Essex release.

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