[This is] the biggest day for the internet since Tim Berners-Lee decided to give the World Wide Web to the masses…It means more people can use cloud services using more devices in more ways…[Citrix contributing CloudStack to Apache is] massive. And it could be a very pivotal moment in the story of the internet. In a nutshell: cloud just went mainstream. (British Telecom)

Wow.  That is just some of the many words of support for our announcement earlier this week that we have received from our industry partners.  It is both exciting and rewarding to see so much support for our move, and there is a lot of fodder in the blogosphere, Twittersphere and the press.  However, I’ve noticed a couple trends in  misperceptions over the last couple days and want to clarify a couple of things:

  1. OpenStack does not have to lose for CloudStack to win – We are not offering an “either/or” choice here – this should be viewed as an “and” opportunity for anyone building a cloud.  We fully encourage you to download both products and get engaged in the respective communities to determine what works best for your needs.  Citrix does not view this as zero-sum and we don’t want OpenStack to die. In fact, we will continue to contribute to and cross-pollinate from the OpenStack project in our commercial product. The main goal for the submission of CloudStack to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is to result in a viable, production ready open source cloud platform for our customers, as well as the opportunity to work with some of the leading open source cloud projects in the market like Hadoop, Cassandra and Tomcat.
  2. It is about Proprietary vs Open –While vendors like VMware talk a good game about the cloud, they are really just adding a cloud-like management shim to their existing proprietary datacenter virtualization products.  CloudStack, on the other hand, is purpose-built for the cloud and its customers have already successfully deployed more than 100 commercial clouds using open source. These aren’t just pilots and experiments. Customers who have deployed on CloudStack are collectively generating a staggering $1 billion in cloud revenue today for some of the biggest brands in the world. No one else even comes close. Not to mention that technologies under the ASF are proven, as well:  the massive build out of cloud infrastructure taking place today is being led by technologies that were first proven at scale in large production clouds like Facebook, Netflix and Google – then made available to customers of all sizes under an Apache open source license.  This is first time in software history that open source is leading the industry and we want to seize that opportunity by working with ASF, as well as continuing to collaborate with OpenStack, in order to establish a mainstream open source cloud platform.
  3. The Cloud is Now – There are 10s of 1000s of CloudStack servers in production today, powering just about every kind of cloud imaginable. Every day, these CloudStack clouds are growing, and new ones are coming online. While some customers may have the time to sit on the sidelines during this buildout waiting for other platforms to mature, we believe those who want to get started now deserved a truly open platform to build on today.

Needless to say, I am excited to see where this will go in 2012. Be sure to join us as at our upcoming Synergy 2012 conference in May, where Citrix CEO Mark Templeton and I will be exploring the future of the cloud even further during the keynotes. The cloud has been evolving in the tech world for a long time – but as our partner BT said above, it has now gone mainstream.