OpenStack vs. CloudStack: The beginning of the open-source cloud wars

OpenStack vs. CloudStack: The beginning of the open-source cloud wars

Summary: As clouds become more important, high-tech companies, and the open-source clouds they support, are coming into conflict.


The open-source cloud conflict got started in earnest last week when Citrix, formerly an OpenStack cloud supporter, announced that it was reviving its own CloudStack cloud under the Apache Foundation. Today, OpenStack finally announced that its Foundation was really launching with industry heavy-weights AT&T, Canonical, HP, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat, and SUSE as Platinum Members, Let the open-source cloud wars begin!

So, what's the conflict here? Simple, like open-source Eucalyptus, Citrix CloudStack's application programming interface (API) provides compatibility with Amazon Web Services’ Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), the world's most popular public cloud. The OpenStack Foundation members would like businesses not to use EC2, thank you very much, but to use public clouds built by its major vendors—such as Dell, HP and IBM—instead.

For example, before the OpenStack Foundation announcement, HP had already said that it would start offering its HP Converged Cloud. This “hardened” OpenStack service targets enterprises, service providers and small- and medium-sized business (SMBs). You can expect to see similar offerings from the other big hardware/service companies.

The name of their game will be to try to offer corporate customers vertical software/hardware cloud stacks. Citrix, on the other hands, hopes that EC2 customers will use their CloudStack for their private clouds while using the EC2 APIs to integrate with Amazon's public cloud.

And, who will be the winner? It's much too early to tell. That said, I do see the cloud wars shaping up to be a battle between the OpenStack partners and Amazon and Citrix. I suspect we'll see other would-be enterprise cloud competitors, Eucalyptus and Microsoft with Azure, scrambling to stay relevant.

Related Stories:

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Amazon Web Services eyes enterprise search, launches CloudSearch

HP takes its cloud support approach public while converging its offerings around OpenStack, KVM

Citrix submits CloudStack to Apache Citrix Breaks Away From OpenStack

Topics: Open Source, Amazon, Cloud, Hewlett-Packard

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  • Competition is good

    Well, good to a point. In this case, with two slightly competing philosophies, the will probably somewhat compliment each other, and with all competitors, feed off each other's inventions.

    While 20 or 30 of these would be bad, two can compete and co-exist nicely and probably be more successful than say, Open and Libre Office.
    • RE: Competition is good

      [i]In this case, with two slightly competing philosophies, the[y] will probably somewhat compliment each other, and [as] with all competitors, [u]feed off each other's inventions[/u].[/i] [Emphasis and grammar corrections added.]

      You have stated that open-source invents. Is this progress?
      Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Not really, you don't recognize sarcasm

        as in being more successful than Open and Libre office
      • RE: Not really, you don't recognize sarcasm

        [i]as in being more successful than Open and [u]Libre office[/u][/i]

        Android-based tablets are going to bring LibreOffice to the masses (unless Microsoft ports Microsoft Office to Android).

        P.S. I'm not so sure it was all sarcasm. Me thinks that you've been hanging around Steven's blogs so long that open-source is beginning to get under your skin.
        Rabid Howler Monkey
      • Actually

        I use Open Source when I can, but the entertainment value from Steven's rants and the Open Source fan boys is worth quite a bit. You know, irritating anyone extreme left (Open Source) or extreme right (MS or Apple Fan boy) is quite enjoyable.

        Plus, when Steven intentionally fails to research his position, it's fun to get into the fray. Just shows how inane anyone can get when religious zeal takes over their mind.

        Having survived the holy wars between MS and OS/2, the holy war Steven tries to wage (though unsuccessfully) brings back good memories. OS/2 was better, but MS won with applications. History repeats itself over and over again.

        By the way, that's where Android and Apple are winning the Tablet battles, applications. Without apps, it's just a pretty bit of glass and metal.

        Ahhh, the old glory days of IT. They were fun when a single person strung the cable, wired the closet, programmed the PC, figured out the Config.Sys files and hopefully had enough memory left to actually run the software.

        Now, I just call the Service Desk and hope someone has a clue.
      • @Cynical99

        Dude, I logged on to here to say that you are such a wanker. I can't help myself. I have to start making these ad hominem comments.

        Let me say, there is far more worth in worshiping open source (if that would be the extreme of a fan boy) than worshiping say, Apple. I'm not advocating anyone worship technology, but if you must, at least don't worship those want a large portion of your worldly wealth.

        There is actual logical merit in the fields of technology to use and develop open source software. OTOH, there is logical merit in the fields of finance to use and develop proprietary closed source software. After all, if you are going to rip someone off, what better way than with software. Sounds like you're a victim. ;)
        marc van hoff
  • When did Canonical become an industry heavyweight?

    [i]Today, OpenStack finally announced that its Foundation was really launching with industry heavy-weights AT&T, [u]Canonical[/u], HP, IBM, Nebula, Rackspace, Red Hat, and SUSE as Platinum Members[/i] [Emphasis added.]
    Rabid Howler Monkey
  • EC2 API Support != Using EC2 for Infrastruture

    Stating Eucalyptus and CloudStack support EC2 APIs and then saying the OpenStack Foundation members don't want people using EC2 is a misleading statement.

    All three solutions provide excellent support for the EC2 APIs, by emulating the calls a developer would normally be making to Amazon's Elastic Cloud Compute service. This emulation allows a developer to use their existing code, which normally starts and stops instances on Amazon, on their own deployment of Ecualyptus, OpenStack or CloudStack.

    All three of the Open Source private cloud projects assume you are running your own infrastructure, or someone is hosting that infrastructure for you. Using the emulated EC2 API calls doesn't imply you are using Amazon's offerings.

    Thanks for the post. It's important everyone understand what the real battle is about. It's essentially an infrastructure land grab through the distribution of an Open Source software solution.

    I've put together a feature comparison of the different projects AND their respective EC2 API support here:
  • How much will the DOJ license cost?

    I'm not even going to consider using any cloud service until the courts decide that the DOJ can't cut me off from my data because some other tenant on the cloud is using that cloud for illegal activities. It's like kicking you out of your apartment and forcing you to move because one of the other tenants was running a booking operation out of his apartment. (Plus, they won't let you back into your place to pick up your stuff.)
  • Not all cloud stacks will survive...

    OpenStack and CloudStack are just two of dozens of cloud stacks out there in the market. If you counted them all, you would probably have around 36 cloud stacks. It also seems unlikely that all of them will be around in five years. John Treadway on did a nice job of addressing this by dividing up the various cloud stacks into four buckets. VMware vCloud gets its own bucket. OpenStack and its commercial vendors like Rackspace, Internap, Nebula and Piston Cloud comprise the second bucket. The incumbent big IT providers like IBM, HP, Microsoft, CA and Oracle occupy the third bucket. Everyone else goes into the fourth bucket...vendors like Nimbula, Eucalyptus and CloudStack. OpenStack will produce the largest number of cloud stacks because anyone is free to use it to create their own cloud stack or cloud distro. And like Linux, although there are probably over 100 distros out there, there are only a few that are quite popular, like Fedora, openSUSE, Ubuntu, Mint, Mepis and CentOS. If you were to handicap this to see who survives, you could bet on having three or four cloud stacks based on OpenStack making the cut, most of the incumbent IT providers would have a good chance because size matters in the cloud, VMware because they are VMware and a couple of the "boutique" cloud stacks like CloudStack and Eucalyptus could also survive. A lot can and will happen over the next five years to determine which cloud stacks will be the survivors but I won't be surprised if that number is a lot smaller than it is today.
  • survival the fittest

    Lets see how long it survives