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Apache CloudStack Advances Open Source Cloud Efforts

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A year ago, Citrix walked away from its open source OpenStack effort called Project Olympus, instead putting its CloudStack technology into the Apache Software Foundation.

For the past year, CloudStack has been in the Apache Incubator, a preliminary process for new projects at the Foundation that aims to validate that a project can follow the ‘Apache Way’ of getting things done. CloudStack has now officially graduated from the Incubator and is now a Top-Level Project at Apache.

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“It’s really important to note that incubation isn’t about the maturity of the codebase, but the maturity of the community,” Joe Brockmeier, PMC Member Apache CloudStack, told Datamation. “CloudStack was already mature, code-wise, when it entered incubation.”

Brockmeier added that for CloudStack, the primary challenge was learning how to do all the work in the open, and for individuals who hadn’t done open source work before to become acclimated to working in the open and following new procedures.

The first CloudStack release under Apache came in November 2012 with the 4.0 release. The Apache CloudStack 4.0 release was built on the technology that Citrix had acquired in July of 2010.

“So the last 11 months we’re about setting up the infrastructure for the project and learning to govern ourselves,” Brockmeier said. “We’ve had the benefit of some really committed individuals from a number of different companies getting involved with the project and helping to drive it to graduation.”

While CloudStack started out as a Citrix-only effort, as part of Apache, the project has enjoyed wider participation from people outside of Citrix. In particular, Brockmeier noted that most of the KVM contributions now are coming from people outside Citrix. Additionally, non-Citrix people helped with Debian packaging as well as with translations for UI and documentation.


As part of becoming an Apache project, the CloudStack technology has also evolved in order to make it easier for developers to get into the code. Brockmeier noted that procedurally, things have changed enormously. When the project entered incubation, it was essentially all Citrix driving the project.

“That’s changed, obviously, and the way that the community works together has evolved pretty rapidly to account for a more diverse contributor base and new tools,” Brockmeier said. “We’ve had to establish procedures for best practices in filing bugs, proposing new features, merging in potentially disruptive branches, and so on.”

Looking ahead, the Apache CloudStack 4.0.2 release is due out soon as a bugfix update. The bigger update is the CloudStack 4.1.0 release currently set for April. Among the new features set to debut are new volume resizing features as well as autoscaling support.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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