Despite Controversy, CloudStack is Alive and Healthy

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 15, 2014

In a post last week, I took note of a big shakeup at Citrix, surrounding its cloud platform tools and the leadership behind them. Specifically, some important Citrix cloud executives (including General Manager Sameer Dholakia) left the company, and Citrix veteran Klaus Oestermann is now in charge of a newly formed cloud group. The the success of OpenStack has been cited as part of the reason for the shakeup, as Citrix officials have been questioned about touting CloudStack as far and away the most widely deployed open source platform in the cloud.

Now, though, there are signs that the open source arm of CloudStack overseen by Apache is healthy, and the project is unlikely to be disrupted by a shift in strategy at Citrix.  

According to an InfoWorld post last week:

"CloudStack is a clear alternative to OpenStack, which has won the market for open source cloud platforms. Of course, "won" is a relative term: OpenStack adoption remains low in a market largely dominated by commercial public cloud providers such as Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services, none of which is pushing either OpenStack or CloudStack. But at least OpenStack has the support of Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Red Hat -- by contrast, CloudStack has been left out in the cloud computing cold."

But a follow-up post notes this:

"As several CloudStack project contributors explained to me in a Twitter thread, the project is unlikely to even notice a change of strategy at Citrix. Just because the company donated the original code to open source, it doesn't mean it's still in control. Giles Sirett of cloud integrator ShapeBlue, a PMC member in the Apache Cloudstack project, explained, 'Seriously -- they have no 'role.' CloudStack is driven mainly by its users."

"In fact, it's doubtful that Citrix has ever controlled CloudStack. Granted, it's a huge organization, and there have certainly been projects at Apache effectively under the control of one company, but the Incubator process usually weeds out the worst examples. Those that remain are either tolerated for political reasons or have failed post-graduation. Either way, they eventually end up in Apache's "attic." But CloudStack does not seem to be in that category. Rather, it's a great example of the strengths of Apache's ideology."

What we're really looking at here is a classic example of how it can be very healthy for a commercial arm of an open source project--and the project itself--to go separate ways. Citrix is definitely shifting its cloud strategy, but the open branch of CloudStack overseen by Apache remains healthy, and we've seen steady upgrades to it.

If you need evidence, just take a look at the huge list of CloudStack users shown here.  That list aggregates users of the commercial arm with the open source users, but it's clear that the CloudStack community is far from folding.