It has come to pass — a free and open source cloud platform courtesy of Citrix contributing CloudStack (acquired in the Cloud.com deal) to the Apache Software Foundation.
That, of course, is in addition to the open source cloud-computing project OpenStack founded by Rackspace and NASA in July 2010. Now, there are two open source cloud platforms giving customers choice depending on their specific needs and preferences. It’s easy to see the comparison with Xen and KVM on the virtualization front – with two open source technologies to choose from.
There is so much goodness here we don’t know where to start. We applaud Citrix for its significant contribution to open source; giving the world a complete, deployment-ready, production-stable cloud platform that is as good – if not better – than any other cloud platform available. It’s not just us saying this. Have a look at this piece from Gartner analyst, Lydia Leong.
That invites the question: where does that leave all the proprietary cloud platforms? Let’s put that aside and look next at the good news from the perspective of the customer. There is a lot to like.
1.) Cloud computing is built using lots of open source technologies, for example Xen and KVM. Now, users have an open source cloud platform itself. This evolution makes perfect sense.
2.) Lowers the cost barrier to entry versus other options. That is always a good thing for buyers.
3.) Provides plenty of flexibility and removes concerns over lock-in versus proprietary cloud platforms.
What is not to like (unless you happen to be one of those proprietary cloud platforms)?
This is a clear sign of the maturing of cloud computing as the platform itself becomes commoditized. At the same time, cloud computing is becoming increasingly a heterogeneous environment, very much like the datacenter. There are and will be many options available as Joe Brockmeier writes in his ReadWriteWeb article, “There Can Be More Than One Open Source Cloud”.
Customers are looking for consolidated management for their IT infrastructure that is multi-cloud. That is where we believe ConVirt Enterprise Cloud can help.