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Citrix CEO Disses OpenStack Over Immaturity

Mark Templeton tells TechWeekEurope OpenStack is just not mature enough

On by Thomas Brewster 0

Citrix CEO Mark Templeton has criticised the OpenStack cloud orchestration platform for its comparative lack of maturity, just months after ditching its support for the model.

The virtualisation and cloud management vendor was a big supporter of OpenStack and last year it announced plans to launch what would have been one of the first major commercial releases based on the open source framework.

Project Olympus would have tied in with XenServer to let companies set up their own Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform, and was due to start shipping in late 2011.

Then Citrix became enamoured with CloudStack, another open source project. It subsequently bought Cloud.com in July 2011, which was offering products based on CloudStack, and now uses it for its CloudPlatform.

The best laid plans of Citrix…

The original plan was to support both OpenStack and CloudStack, Templeton told TechWeekEurope at the company’s Synergy conference in Barcelona today, as the company believed it would be able to get to a time where it could merge the two platforms together.

“But after about five months it became very clear to us that merger would never take place and they would never converge,” Templeton said,

“We aren’t saying this arrogantly, but CloudStack is so far ahead in terms of its maturity. OpenStack has been slow to mature, I think everyone that is supporting OpenStack would agree with that. They would say ‘we wish it would mature faster’.”

Templeton said that OpenStack was getting a lot of attention in the upper echelons of business, but that’s not where clouds are growing – they are emerging from lower down the food chain, where CloudStack is being widely used.

According to Citrix figures, there are 30,000 members in the CloudStack community, with 500 new clouds built on the platform every month.

“OpenStack is winning the PR war, but we are winning the [production] war with real, live production clouds,” he added.

“There still aren’t any major OpenStack production clouds. RackSpace does not run on OpenStack – that’s their roadmap.”

RackSpace, one of the founders of the platform, might be a little miffed by Templeton’s comments, given it launched a slew of OpenStack-based services recently, including those catering for compute demands. It wants to move all its offerings on to OpenStack eventually and it believes many customers are ready to build clouds on the platform.

The company thinks its OpenStack offerings provide a great alternative to massively popular proprietary clouds like that of Amazon Web Services, as customers of the platform will be able to easily switch providers, distancing themselves from vendor lock-in.

TechWeekEurope asked RackSpace for a response to Templeton’s comments, but had not received one at the time of publication.

Even one of Citrix’s closest partners, Cisco, thinks OpenStack is a good bet. Padmasree Warrior, Cisco CTO, said this morning that a not insignificant number of customers were asking for it.

Cisco Edition of OpenStack was launched on Friday and is designed to be easy to deploy as one of the chief criticisms of the software has been around difficulty of integration.

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Thomas Brewster

Author: Thomas Brewster

Security Correspondent, TechWeekEurope
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