Vendors continue to pick sides between CloudStack, OpenStack

Basho Technologies is latest to align with Citrix's CloudStack platform

Earlier this year Citrix rumbled the open source cloud industry when it ditched OpenStack, a project backed by big-name companies such as Rackspace, Red Hat, Dell and HP, and launched CloudStack, a competing open source platform for cloud deployments. Months later, vendors across the industry are strategically aligning themselves on either side of the divide between OpenStack or CloudStack, which is now an Apache Software Foundation-managed project.

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The latest company to pick a side is Basho Technology, which provided the storage components for a public or private cloud. The company announced today compatibility with Citrix's CloudStack. But Basho CTO Justin Sheehy says he's not disowning OpenStack; instead, he's expanding his company's service to be compatible with the CloudStack platform, in addition to OpenStack's.

But there is an obvious rift developing in the open source cloud world between OpenStack, Cloudstack, as well as other players such as Eucalyptus, all of whom are looking to tap into the success that Amazon Web Services has found in offering cloud computing resources for businesses.

Sheehy says Basho is reaching out to expand integrations with CloudStack because it's so early in the development of open source cloud distributions that there aren't winners or losers yet. "I think customers realize that there's no obvious one sure solution out there for them," Sheehy says. "And that's a good thing for the customer - it means they have choices."

In the open source cloud competition, OpenStack, he says, clearly has a lead in terms of marketing momentum. With some of the heaviest hitters in the tech industry backing the project, he says it's no wonder that OpenStack will have a great deal of buzz around it.

In recent weeks companies have begun to release distributions of their OpenStack powered cloud products, including Rackspace, Red Hat and Piston Cloud Computing Co. all offering free or low-cost trial versions of OpenStack powered-cloud computing platforms. But Sheehy says he hasn't seen an overwhelming slant toward OpenStack distributions being adopted in the market over CloudStack. The market is still shaking itself out, he says.

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Because it is early days, Sheehy and Basho wanted to get on board with both projects. Basho's flagship product is Riak CS, a cloud storage platform that allows users to create a multi-tenant storage system that is compatible with Amazon Web Service's Simple Storage Service (S3). The technology is based off of Riak, which is an Apache open source database project, also developed by Basho. Riak CS has already been used in some OpenStack deployments, Sheehy says, but today the company announced integration with Citrix's CloudStack product. Basho and Cloudstack are complementary, Sheehy says: CloudStack is a compute platform, while Riack can be used as the storage option.

The CloudStack folks are tickled to see more vendors hopping on their bandwagon. "I think the move is a great reflection on the fact that technology leaders, like Basho, are looking to join communities that enable them to make money with real world deployments today," says Peder Ulander, vice president of product marketing for Cloud Platforms at Citrix.

Since launching CloudStack as an Apache project in April, he says more than 250 developers from more than 100 companies have contributed code, including from companies such as Sungard, GoDaddy, Softlayer, Datapipe. Even some companies that are active in the OpenStack community as well, such as Red Hat, IBM, SUSE and Cisco. As the open source cloud market continues to shake out, vendors across the cloud industry will likely continue to align themselves on either side of this debate.

Network World staff writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing and social collaboration. He can be reached at and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.


Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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