Today, Xen.org announced the availability of Xen Cloud Platform (XCP) 1.0.

First, let me congratulate the open source Xen community, including all of the contributors to Xen and XCP (not just at Citrix, but representing dozens of organizations) for attaining this milestone. An enterprise- and provider-ready platform for cloud deployment, XCP defines a new baseline for innovation and collaborative development.

While XCP was originally derived from Citrix XenServer — when, as a follow-on to the launch of free XenServer almost two years ago, we migrated more of the Citrix-developed agent and integration bits above the hypervisor itself to the same GPL2 license — with this release it begins to add a somewhat different role, one that involves both inbound and outbound openness — as a proving ground for new features that will also be delivered and enhanced in our commercial XenServer products.

One of the most interesting of these — especially since the project’s middle name is “Cloud” – is seamless integration with the Bexar release of OpenStack. Developed by a community that includes RackSpace, NASA, Citrix, and dozens of other organizations, RackSpace is well on its way to being a comprehensive, free, hypervisor-independent engine for orchestrating compute and storage resources in provider and enterprise clouds. XCP now joins XenServer and others — including Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere — in the ranks of hypervisors that providers and enterprises will be able to orchestrate using OpenStack.

The same openness characterizes the hypervisor-agnostic approach of Citrix OpenCloud. Taking this approach makes it possible for providers and enterprises to exercise choice — for enterprises to choose providers based not on their use of specific technologies but on the expertise and specialized services they offer. Advanced capabilities such as the transparent network bridging of OpenCloud Bridge and the identity federation of OpenCloud Access help extend the enterprise into the cloud.

XCP and OpenStack each provide greater opportunity for service providers to innovate and differentiate their offerings. Now they can not only build their own solutions for such challenges as business continuity, compliance, and dev/test delivery — they can also add value and bring their own skills to the virtualization platform (via XCP) and the cloud orchestration toolstack (via OpenStack) as well, as contributors to those projects.

The release of XCP 1.0, plus the release of OpenStack Bexar, make it a great time to be in the (Open)Cloud.