Technology, Cloud

Do we really need another Cloud stack?

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HP Blogger

Before anyone flames me, I fully understand that HP has a horse in this race and that as an HP employee I imagine readers will interpret a considered biased, but the news of Citrix sponsoring yet-another cloud IaaS stack had me wondering if the industry is collectively losing it's mind faster than a Mark Webber's pit crew change his tyres (yup, we not only talk funny, we spell funny Down Under).

For those not up-to-speed, the guys at GigaOm provide a solid overview and opinion. The essence of the story is that we're in danger of spawning off yet another competing open-source initiative with dubious differentiation and/or benefit at a time when early adopters are confused enough by the competing commercial choices.

While I've always maintained that we're are "chapter zero" of the Cloud sagas, there's no reason to be adding in new characters when we're already struggling to remember what the plot is. There's so much more important work to get on with, let's get the basics out of the way and focus on the more challenging PaaS topic.

As I said, I might be biased, how are the rest of the Enterprise CIO Forum feeling about the profileration of choices in cloud stacks?

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John Dodge 1535 Points | Fri, 04/06/2012 - 13:54


From the GigaOm report, the rationale: does it wash?

"According to Sameer Dholakia, vice president and general manager of the Cloud Platforms Group at Citrix, the decision to make CloudStack an Apache project wasn’t easy, but was necessary. “Our very explicit public statement had been that we were going to try and build atop the OpenStack platform,” he told me during a recent call. “… [But] we can’t afford to wait a year or two for the technical maturation process that needs to happen [in order to integrate CloudStack and OpenStack].”

Citrix tried to work with OpenStack, he said — it spent the better part of a 2011 trying to do that — but CloudStack software was 12 to 24 months ahead of OpenStack in terms of development, and the gap just wasn’t closing fast enough. OpenStack just isn’t stable enough for many customers wanting to run production clouds. “[We were] left with no choice but to double down [and pursue Apache CloudStack],” Dholakia said."


Paul Muller 119 Points | Fri, 04/06/2012 - 14:01

That's my point JD, I just don't buy it, at least two public cloud providers that I know of are running viable workloads  against OpenStack today. Citrix haven't been completely clear on what more they needed that they  couldnt get either by contributing or forking the code.

Don't get me wrong, nothing is perfect, but he beauty of open-source is that imperfection=opportunity, not dis-unity.

John Dodge 1535 Points | Fri, 04/06/2012 - 14:27

What do you think their control the stack?

Standards are always slow to coalesce and lag the ability to add new features on an ad hoc basis. We've seen this happen time again with technology. 

Paul Muller 119 Points | Mon, 04/09/2012 - 23:54

Arguably we've seen this movie before. When NASA moved away from Eucalytus to launch OpenStack it was for many of the same reasons outlined by Citrix and co, so I shouldn't dismiss that as a valid rationale. The thing that I don't understand is that OpenStack is moving quickly, has developed a strong third-party community of extensions and plug-ins and is commercially viable (with more than one vendor monetising the stack in the IaaS world).

While we can only guess as the real motive, my view is that we're going to see a lot of Betamax vs VHS wars in terms of Cloud stacks and I am inclined to predict that this one might be DAT (ie: a vendor driven standard looking for a problem).

Pearl Zhu 90 Points | Thu, 04/05/2012 - 22:34

Hi, Paul, thanks for bringing up the discussion, I would say, cloud is crowd, which is good news, to let a thousand flowers bloosoms in the cloud is also good, on the other hand, I agree with you, if cloud is a industry, then each individual player need respect choice via majority , which means, standardization, governance are the key to ensure a smooth cloud orchestration

Paul Muller 119 Points | Fri, 04/06/2012 - 06:38

Thanks for the comment Pearl, I guess that means you're voting Yes, we need another flower (stack)?