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Who Benefits from the CloudStack vs OpenStack Battle?

Sometimes the winners and losers are adjacent players and not the main players of the story

Citrix moving CloudStack to Apache is old news now but there are some interesting aspects about this move that have not quite been noted from an enterprise point of view.  

This post summarizes my opinion of some potential winners from this news.


There are three major points from the announcement:
  1. OpenStack is not (yet) technically mature
  2. Citrix with CloudStack and Eucalyptus seems Amazon friendly
  3. Big names already jumped on the OpenStack bandwagon with RedHat/IBM sounding they will soon climb aboard too
After this announcement, there are three biggest beneficiaries: Amazon, VMware and cloud management tool vendors like EnStratus/RightScale.
  1. Amazon: They are not entrenched in the enterprise space due to lack of a direct sales force reaching out to these customers.  However, Citrix and Eucalyptus give them a great entry into this market with their respective sales teams.  Their compatibility with Amazon is a great fit for hybrid clouds that a lot of enterprise customers would be agreeable to.

  2. VMware: If you want to compare market share domination, VMware is to data center virtualization as Windows is to desktop operating systems. VMware has a good solution in the hybrid cloud market with several data center service provider partnerships. Any confusion in the marketplace is good for VMware enterprise customers who typically are reluctant to flock to new technologies. VMware will surely gain in the short term until the open source technologies get their act together.

  3. EnStratus/RightScale/Scalr: Complexity of managing a variety of cloud capabilities becomes a challenge. Cloud management tool vendors help remove this complexity by abstracting them at a higher level.  Success of both OpenStack and CloudStack provides a great opportunity for vendors like EnStratus/RightScale/Scalr to provide interoperability, portability and governance.
Eucalyptus and Citrix are trying to make headway into the enterprise market with the huge tailwind of Amazon public cloud leadership pushing them ahead.  If they turn out to be successful, the large technology companies have an option to acquiring them.  The question is if OpenStack can mature quickly enough and slow down the momentum of Amazon (with Citrix and Eucalyptus).

Note: I expect RedHat and IBM to join as top level sponsors of OpenStack any day now - so OpenStack will have some more momentum in the enterprise.

More Stories By Larry Carvalho

Larry Carvalho runs Robust Cloud LLC, an advisory services company helping various ecosystem players develop a strategy to take advantage of cloud computing. As the 2010-12 Instructor of Cloud Expo's popular Cloud Computing Bootcamp, he has already led the bootcamp in New York, Silicon Valley, and Prague, receiving strong positive feedback from attendees about the value gained at these events. Carvalho has facilitated all-day sessions at customer locations to set a clear roadmap and gain consensus among attendees on strategy and product direction. He has participated in multiple discussion panels focused on cloud computing trends at information technology events, and he has delivered all-day cloud computing training to customers in conjunction with CloudCamps. To date, his role has taken him to clients in three continents.

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