OpenStack vs CloudStack: The Next Big Rivalry is in the Clouds

Citrix Systems announced last week the launch of CloudStack software to the Apache Software Foundation. This makes them the first legitimate alternative to OpenStack. The creation of Citrix was actually inspired when OpenStack failed to work with Citrix’s system. After exhausting all strategies, they decided that a defection is the best next step.

They seem hell bent on being more than an alternative though. Already, they are proving to be capable of everything OpenStack is doing. For one, they boast of approximately 30 technology partners and many of them are already working with OpenStack. They also have an API set that works with Amazon Web Services… just like OpenStack.

We don’t want to be unfair. There are fundamental differences between the two. These differences make an objective comparison almost impossible. Cloudstack, to begin with, is an existing software that was pushed to open source for no other purpose but marketing. It’s a long time strategy that’s been used [and abused] by many internet-based products. You can actually take any software in the market and it is guaranteed to have an open source counterpart.

OpenStack, on the other hand, is a based set of codes that you can take and build on. Companies can build their products using OpenStack as a foundation. Many companies have actually done that. CloudStack needs support on the distribution end for it to even make sense. It’s certainly not meant for end-users.

OpenStack is meant for very specific, high performance, and advanced computing. They have, in fact, announced their next Essex release. Over 200 developers pitched in to its development through its Apache open source license.

As early as now, the geek community is already looking at this as the next biggest rivalry. I personally doubt it. I feel that the center of the discussion should be services. A software is useless unless it serves a purpose. Right now, the goal is to lessen hardware and software requirements and move them to a cloud. The end is towards a more efficient spending and a more efficient system.

Technical details are useless unless makes business processes easier, more practical, and more efficient.

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