Citrix Continues To Invest In OpenStack, For XenServer

A Citrix blog post by senior software engineer John Garbutt points out that Citrix has far from walked away from OpenStack. According to Garbutt’s post, Citrix still has two dedicated resources working on OpenStack and is looking for a third. Predictably, Citrix’s main OpenStack focus consists of optimizing its XenServer virtualization platform for OpenStack deployments. At present, Citrix can claim two flagship deployments of OpenStack with XenServer in the form of Internap and Rackspace. Internap deployed a production-grade, OpenStack cloud using XenServer and Rackspace recently launched a Beta version of its OpenStack-based cloud using XenServer instead of the KVM hypervisor traditionally used for OpenStack deployments.

Despite the backing of illustrious customers like Internap and Rackspace, Citrix is continuing to tweak the use of XenServer with OpenStack by announcing additional functionality for OpenStack’s Folsome release such as live migration and boot from volume. In addition, Citrix plans to improve the supporting documentation for OpenStack and XenServer as well as create a compatibility test suite for the Amazon EC2 platform. Cross pool live migration constitutes the main feature that Citrix promises to release in its bid to improve XenServer’s cloud optimization although the company is making no promises of its completion by the OpenStack Folsome release.

The bottom line here is that Citrix still has its fingers in the OpenStack pie and is likely to continue doing so given the relative immaturity of the market for OpenStack clouds. That said, the post indirectly confirms that Citrix has given up any idea of building a cloud infrastructure based on OpenStack in parallel with CloudStack, which it recently incubated with the Apache Software Foundation. When the web buzzed with overly-simplified news of Sony’s “defection” to OpenStack from Amazon Web Services, for example, the tech blogosphere needed an extra couple of days to fully comprehend that Sony was continuing to use Amazon Web Services in parallel with OpenStack. In the case of Citrix, however, the abandonment of OpenStack is complete save for its use as a distribution channel for the XenServer virtualization platform, even though OpenStack may well end up cannibalizing Citrix-commercialized deployments of CloudStack at some point in the future.

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