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Citrix ditches OpenStack for Apache

By Brandon Butler
April 3, 2012 09:43 AM ET

Network World - Citrix is giving its cloud deployment platform an Apache license, marking a migration away from the evolving OpenStack project and an embrace of Amazon Web Services offerings.

CloudStack is a platform for building public or private cloud deployments that Citrix acquired last year when it purchased Cloud.com. Citrix has been one of the more than 150 companies contributing to the OpenStack project, which is an open-source project dedicated to building clouds. Today, however, Citrix announced that it is giving CloudStack an Apache license, effectively creating a competing model for open source cloud deployments.

Citrix officials said the move was made because it needs a model that fully embraces Amazon Web Service compatibility - which it says OpenStack does not do - and because it wanted to bring cloud development offerings to market as soon as possible. With an Apache license, CloudStack will now be an open source project, backed by a community of developers who will provide input and recommend changes to the software.

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During a conference call discussing the embargoed news on Monday, officials at Citrix said their cloud development platform needs four qualities: It must be designed from the ground up for the cloud; it must have proven ability to scale in real production environments; it must be compatible with Amazon Web Services offerings, and it must be open source.

Working within the parameters of the OpenStack project did not meet those criteria, says Sameer Dholakia, Group vice president and general manager of Cloud Platforms for Citrix. The OpenStack platform, he says, does not fully embrace Amazon's Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) offerings, nor has it been proven in the market yet. So, Citrix officials wanted to create their own ecosystem of developers that would help advance the open source cloud development model with those qualities in mind.

"Based on challenges of the technical maturity and where we are with CloudStack, (OpenStack) became a path not viable," he says. "The reason we have taken this approach of doubling down on CloudStack, is that we are very much looking for a market solution today."

Citrix has been one of more than 150 companies that have backed the OpenStack project, which was started two years ago by NASA and Rackspace. Dholakia says Citrix will still be involved with the OpenStack project and will use and contribute code to the project where applicable with the CloudStack platform.

The news of Citrix migrating away from OpenStack also comes a few weeks after Amazon Web Services announced a partnership with Eucalyptus, which is an open-source private cloud development model. AWS announced that it would work with Eucalyptus by sharing its APIs, to make connections between Eucalyptus private clouds and AWS's public clouds easier. Citrix officials say they have a "great relationship" with Amazon, but there has been no public commitment from AWS to Citrix's CloudStack.

Originally published on www.networkworld.com. Click here to read the original story.
Reprinted with permission from NetworkWorld.com. Story copyright 2012 Network World, Inc. All rights reserved.
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