By: Gigaom
October 17, 2012 at 05:48 AM EDT
CloudStack strikes back in the battle of open-source clouds
Cisco and CA are working with Citrix to support its CloudPlatform implementation of CloudStack. The news, out of Citrix Synergy in Barcelona, comes as a raft of OpenStack news hits the wire.

In case you’ve forgotten in the face of so much OpenStack news this week, there’s more than one open-source cloud in town. And, Citrix-backed CloudStack gained some key vendor support with Cisco and CA signing onto the effort this week. The news comes out of Citrix Synergy in Barcelona, halfway around the world from the OpenStack Summit in San Diego.

Citrix kicked up a ruckus six months ago when it — an OpenStack participant — offered up CloudStack to the Apache Foundation as an alternative open-source cloud.  Citrix had acquired CloudStack via its purchase of Cloud.com a year earlier.  Now, at Citrix Synergy Barcelona it’s continuing that push.

From the Citrix blog announcing the news, Cisco and Citrix are now partnering to build “integrated cloud orchestration” based on Citrix CloudPlatform – which is Citrix’ commercial CloudStack implementation. The resulting software will tie CloudPlatform into Cisco’s Nexus switches, Open Network Environment (ONE) and Unified Computing System (UCS) converged hardware.  And, CA’s Cloud Automation Suite and Nimsoft Monitor will support CloudStack.

In cloud, does maturity matter?

CloudStack is more mature than OpenStack and got early traction among service providers. Citrix says that 500 CloudStack-based clouds come online each month.

OpenStack, which is entering its third year,  has just transitioned from a Rackspace-led effort to a more multi-vendor-focused foundation.  The cloud battle is not completely black and white although proponents in both camps often make it seem so. Cisco, for example, is now in both camps — Cisco CTO Lew Tucker is vice chairman of the OpenStack Foundation.

“There isn’t as big of a rift as many make out,” Peder Ulander, VP of product marketing at Citrix told me via email.

 ”We [Citrix] are are still actively committed to making XenServer the best virtualization platform for OpenStack as well as doing a number of NetScaler integrations.  There has also been a lot of good work in the CloudStack community to bridge some of the efforts (ie. Cisco, Nicira and Shuberg Phillis working on Quantum integrations, CloudOps and the Citrix guys driving Swift integration and [Alcatel-Lucent's] cloudband solution delivering an OpenStack API support module for CloudStack).”

Citrix’s contributions to OpenStack are listed here.

With cloud computing adoption still in its early days, it will be interesting to see how these open-source efforts fare —  OpenStack, CloudStack and Eucalyptus – a third option — are all vying for customers and hoping to gain traction even as Amazon Web Services — the 800-pound gorilla in cloud computing — continues to forge ahead.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user mrs.tom

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