Battle of the stacks

Apache CloudStack takes on OpenStack with first open source release

Chris Mayer

CloudStack’s fourth version set to be unveiled in September, just days from Folsom’s arrival

With OpenStack garnering much of the press attention in
recent weeks, some might have forgotten that their open source
infrastructure competitor
, Cloudstack is
in the midst of regeneration.

After original proprietors Citrix donated the project to the
open source foundation back in April (not long after the 3.0
release), CloudStack has been transitioning from a closed-doors
project to one compliant with Apache licenses.

Within the Apache Incubator, the focus has been on ensuring
the general project infrastructure is in place. This includes
things such as
new mailing
, the
obligatory wiki
and a Review Board to cast
judgement on the project.

Whilst this doesn’t seem quite enough to garner a full 4.0
release – after all, a few bugs squashed does not an integer
release make – it’s presumably designed to reflect project’s the
change of hands (or a clever PR move, depending on your level of

Something of this scale takes time and it’s not surprising to
hear that the release date for the cloud orchestrator has been
pushed back by two weeks to accommodate for the major

Joe ‘Zonker’ Brockmeier, a member of the CloudStack
evangelism team at Citrix

assured readers on his blog
that the project
was progressing in the correct manner however:

 In short, it’s pretty typical for the
first release from an incubating project to take a while to
bootstrap. Once that process is finished, the next release (and the
one after that, etc.) should happen much more quickly and on a
regular schedule.

He added in that more time is needed “testing to ensure
that upgrades from the CloudStack 3.0.2 release to the 4.0 release
work,” which is fair enough.

A new tentative schedule
for the upcoming
weeks has been released

  • Stability and bugfix work continues until Friday, August
  • 1st Release Candidate Build on Friday, August 31st.
  • Testing and additional RCs through Friday, September 14th.
  • Proposed release build on Monday, September 17th.
  • Voting on proposed release from Monday, September 17th through
    Monday, September 24th.
  • Release Announcement on Wednesday, September 26th.

It’s interesting to note that Cloudstack’s
scheduled release announcement pips OpenStack’s Folsom release by
24 hours. Intentional? Perhaps.

Whilst we’re glad that the
CloudStack community of developers (
and Citrix, who are
still playing a key part in the transition) are taking their
time over such important things, we can’t help but think that the
rapid pace of the OpenStack might overwhelm it when it finally does

Both tackle the area of building private clouds, but there’s
a fundamental difference between the two, in that CloudStack keeps
close to the plethora of Amazon options and hypervisors, whilst the
OpenStack contributors prefer to strike out alone with its own
distinct API.

As Zenoss Cloud Technical Evangelist, Floyd Strimling points
out in

our chat from a few months back
, the move
across to Apache doesn’t necessarily guarantee success for
CloudStack, but it does give them huge potential to “disrupt the
cloud market”. The real acid test comes once Apache CloudStack 4.0
hits in September – only then will we be able to see how interested
clients are. It will all come down to who puts out the most
compelling commercialised versions based on the codebases, and
currently, only OpenStack compete here. Keep your eyes peeled come
the end of September.


Image courtesy of uwdigitalcollections

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