Citrix Joins OpenStack Foundation
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Some of you might have noticed that Citrix joined the OpenStack Foundation yesterday and may be wondering what this means for two key technologies I've been closely involved with; Apache CloudStack and XenServer. The first, and arguably most important thing to note is that as Steve Wilson has stated, we're embracing both OpenStack and CloudStack to help further innovation. Nand Mulchandani also highlights that a culture of "anyness" is a core part of Citrix. With all the noise in the market about the various IaaS cloud solutions, supporting user choice is an important point to be clear on. So with that as backdrop, what does this really mean?
The XenServer Perspective on OpenStack
As I mentioned in my blog about OpenStack Summit, I really want XenServer to be a first class citizen within OpenStack. I tried to further that objective through submission of presentations to OpenStack Summit, but if you look at the schedule you'll note that no XenServer related talks were accepted. That's unfortunate, and really speaks to the challenge we face within a community when we're not the obvious or default choice. Obviously we can raise our profile through contributions and simply showing up at OpenStack events, but there is also a pretty important and easy thing we can change.
When a vendor evaluates a technology, they look at the ecosystem around it. OpenStack technology has a ton of buzz. If you look on job boards, you'll see many postings for OpenStack positions. If you search for cloud technologies, key supporters of OpenStack will be listed. Importantly, when selecting a technology suite, you'll look at who supports their technology with the suite and use them in your short list. Until today, it was unclear if Citrix actively supported the use of XenServer within OpenStack. Our joining the OpenStack Foundation is one way of signaling to those who prefer OpenStack that Citrix is supportive of their efforts. So if you've been quietly using XenServer in an OpenStack environment, I want to learn more about it. I want to learn what works, and where the pain points are so they might be addressed. If you've ever questioned if production support for XenServer when used with OpenStack could be supported, the answer is yes, and here's a link to buy support (hard sell over)!
The XenServer Perspective on CloudStack
For those of you who have adopted XenServer for your CloudStack clouds, nothing has changed and you should feel nothing change. XenServer will remain a first class citizen in CloudStack, and we'll continue to improve all aspects of XenServer operation within CloudStack such that XenServer remains an obvious choice. You'll continue to see XenServer content proposed to CloudStack events, and I hope you'll continue to accept those talks. I promise to continue to work on cool things like the Packer work I presented at CloudStack Day Austin which showed a method to migrate legacy infrastructure running on XenServer to a CloudStack cloud powered by XenServer; all without the users even noticing the migration happened. My hope is that the OpenStack community will want some of those same cool things, but that will take time and can't be forced.
So in the end this really isn't a commentary about which cloud solution is better, but a case of allowing customer choice. OpenStack has mindshare, and it only makes sense for Citrix and its technology suite to have a seat at the table. With Citrix openly supporting its technologies when deployed with OpenStack, everyone has the freedom to choose which solution works best.
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