Citrix Cloud Leadership Changes May Be a Reaction to OpenStack's Momentum
When Citrix bought Cloud.com in 2011, it became the primary sponsor of the CloudStack cloud computing platform, and Citrix has had a remarkable level of success in the cloud. It also deserves credit for contributing the CloudStack platform to the Apache Software Foundation, and in this post, I took note of the fact that Citrix officials touted CloudStack as far and away the most widely deployed open source platform in the cloud.
However, the success of OpenStack has changed things, and there are some reports going around that significant leadership changes at Citrix focused on the cloud computing group may signal trouble.
As InfoWorld reports:
"In what appears to be a huge disruption, some key Citrix cloud executives (including General Manager Sameer Dholakia) have left the company, and company veteran Klaus Oestermann will lead a newly formed cloud group. Citrix made a change last week when it combined its Cloud Platforms Group and Cloud Networking team into a single unit under the Networking, Cloud & Service Provider Group (NCSP). The company says newly combined group will 'optimize' Citrix cloud and networking delivery infrastructure for enterprise and service provider customers."
To be clear, the open source CloudStack platform that Apache now oversees is a different branch from the commercial one that Citrix oversees. The open source version from Apache is moving forward, but it's unclear what Citrix may be making of the momentum that OpenStack has.
As Forbes notes:
"There’s a few aspects to this news – the first is that, despite CloudStack actually having pretty good penetration within service providers, OpenStack has garnered the lion’s share of attention. What the long term potential for CloudStack is comes down to ones assessment of the importance of awareness versus actual enterprise usage."
OpenStack may be the reason behind the cloud leadership changes at Citrix, or we could just be seeing the inevitable departure of leaders following Citrix's acquisition of Cloud.com. With enterprises everywhere focusing on OpenStack, though, Citrix has to make its strategy very clear.