CloudStack joins Apache – a developer’s take

ImageThe CloudSphere is all gaga over Citrix’s CloudStack being offered through Apache Software Foundation. You can find views of many a analysts here, here, here and here (and I am sure more on the way). Overall, they welcome it, and are positive about the impact it is going to have in Open Cloud space. This will also help OpenStack project staying honest and innovative.

This post is my humble attempt to see through the lens of a developer who also has prior experience with OpenStack internals (but not with CloudStack internals). I am going to stay away from any market speculations.

1) Java Vs Python: This will become one of the important questions for someone who is considering using/ contributing to Open Cloud project. Developers are going to flock to either of them based on their personal biases (Oh Java is scalable, Python isn’t). It is good to have alternatives, but I would prefer this argument doesn’t end up being the deciding factor.

2) Community: Though I am a new entrant to the CloudStack community, primary difference I feel is that OpenStack community is geeky (wiki/ launchpad etc, don’t forget the ex-NASA tag:)), while CloudStack looks Enterprisy (lotta documentation, training videos etc). Both are on GitHub, so it is easy for a developer to jump in.

3) Meritocracy: I can’t comment on the CloudStack group dynamics, but OpenStack is pure meritocracy. Your karma decides your role. As a developer, I like that, and would like CloudStack to be also like that. Hopefully, the proposed organizational structure for OpenStack doesn’t affect this, else there is a good probability that some of the small players might leave the camp.

4) API: I am bummed that CloudStack decided to standardize APIs around AWS. There was a great opportunity for the Open Cloud community to standardize around OpenStack APIs (or even improve upon that), but by standardizing around AWS, CloudStack seemed to have put market share over developer experience. I personally HATE AWS APIs: SOAP, cooked up REST, no uniformity – I simply hate them. I would have loved to see some effort around non-AWS standards.

5) Partner Eco-System: CloudStack seems to have a better partner eco system – mainly due to the fact that OpenStack is still evolving and its focus has been primarily around the core projects. Again I would go back to Geeky vs Enterprisy.

6) Adoption: Adopting either one, to me, is a win for Open Source and Open Cloud. Comparison between Red Hat and Debian comes to mind – bit they both are, ultimately Linux.

Overall, I am thrilled about the announcement. It gives me another project to contribute to. I will let the stars and strategists worry about how they align.




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