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CloudStack Building “Communities of Inclusion” with Apache

When CloudStack was launched as an open source project back in 2010 our goal was to make CloudStack the leading open source cloud computing platform and to enable our users, partners, and customers to easily use, modify, and contribute to the project. We chose to license the project under the GNU Public License v3 (GPLv3) then.  The reasoning was that this was not only an OSI-approved license but also it allowed us to maintain compatibility with the Apache Software License. At the time it was the right move for the project... but times change.

Today we are announcing our move from the GPLv3 to the Apache License 2.0. We are also planning to apply contribute the CloudStack project to the Apache Software Foundation(ASF) and with their acceptance to turn CloudStack into a truly community run project but with governance provided by the Apache Foundation rather than by Citrix alone.  In addition, Citrix has stepped up its investment in the project and the open source community and decided to become a platinum sponsor of the Apache Foundation. They also will be hiring additional developers, evangelists and providing other resources to help insure the success of the CloudStack project in the long-term.

Why Switch Licenses?

Over the course of the last two years the feedback from our users and partners was that while the GPL was a fine license that it did throw up some roadblocks to their participation and use. Today Citrix has announced their intention to contribute the CloudStack code to the Apache foundation and to license CloudStack 3.0.1 and all future versions under the  Apache Software License.

This decision was not made lightly and frankly when the idea was floated I was a little skeptical as a fan of Linux I was fond of saying, “If the GPL is good enough for Linus, it’s good enough for me.” The problem is that I am only one person and while it was fine for me it was not the license that best served everyone in our community and put up barriers for others to participate.

As we talked through the process I thought back to one of the most influential talks I have heard about this subject by Opscode, co-founder, Adam Jacob.  Who noted that they chose the Apache license because his goal with their Chef project was to create a community of inclusion, and wanted to remove barriers to participate in the community. That’s the bottom line for us; we have listened to those community members who for whatever reason are more apt to participate in an Apache-licensed project than a GPLv3 project and have heeded their requests. 

Another point Adam makes is that there are stewards and governance in open source communities. In this case we are pleased to share the responsibility of stewardship with you and to hopefully partner with the Apache Foundation to provide governance of CloudStack project.

Joining the Apache Software Foundation

ASF-platinum-logoAs a first step CloudStack 3.0.1 (available today) will be released under Apache License v 2.0, and we will make our application to the “Apache Incubator” program where all Apache projects start. This phase will likely last for several months, after which with the endorsement of the Apache community we aspire for CloudStack to become a top-level project. The ASF outlines how things work in the Foundation on their website and as we transition we’ll be moving towards those procedures as quickly as practical.

What our Community is saying about the Move to the Apache License

We are also very happy to have the support of a number of partners who are collaborating with us to develop solutions based on CloudStack.  Here’s what others are saying about this move:

Luke Kanies, CEO, PuppetLabs

"CloudStack joining the Apache Foundation is an important step in building a complete, open cloud infrastructure, all under the same license and managed under the same foundation.  CloudStack is already a leader in open cloud computing, and this is a bold move and sure to solidify its position."

Thorsten von Eiken, CTO/Founder of RightScale

"RightScale is delighted by Citrix's commitment to an exciting CloudStack roadmap that builds on the proven success of the platform and expands its open source connections. CloudStack and RightScale power some of the most successful large scale private cloud deployments as well as service provider deployments to date," said Thorsten von Eicken, RightScale CTO. "The majority of our joint customers deploy CloudStack with an Amazon compatible architecture combined with RightScale cloud management for full-featured end user automation. Citrix is clearly building on what we believe to be a winning strategy."

George Reese, CTO at EnStratus

“enStratus is excited to see CloudStack joining forces with the Apache Foundation to expand the options for community governed Open Source platforms,” said George Reese, CTO of enStratus. “We’ve been delivering enterprise cloud management on top of CloudStack since the days of VMOps, and look forward to contributing to its further development as an Apache Incubator project.”

John Dillon, CEO Engine Yard

“At Engine Yard we have a strong belief that open, community-based innovation is essential to the growth and adoption of cloud computing. The selection of the Apache Foundation as the framework for governance and nurturing of the CloudStack community is an important contribution by Citrix that will further drive innovation for all developers in the cloud. Engine Yard is pleased to be participating with Citrix on the Apache CloudStack project by running our leading PaaS on CloudStack and contributing expertise and code to help the project thrive.” said John Dillon, CEO - Engine Yard

Indu Kodukula, EVP Products and CTO at SunGard

"Cloud computing is being widely adopted across all industries, geographies and sizes of organizations to align IT with business in a number of different application scenarios ranging from development and testing to big data and analytics. SunGard has a long-standing history of working with open source technologies to deliver IT innovation cost effectively to our enterprise customers," said Indu Kodukula, EVP Products and CTO at SunGard. "Apache is absolutely the right forum for driving an effort like CloudStack, and we are excited to collaborate with Citrix and the CloudStack community, contributing expertise and code to help the project thrive."

Neil Sutton Vice President, Global Portfolio, BT Global Services

"The push by Citrix to make CloudStack the Apache of the cloud, coupled with its adoption of industry standard APIs is a really good thing for customers, partners and providers in the cloud. Promoting interoperability between clouds through aproven open cloud platform will enable portability of workloads and providegreater degree of freedom for customers. BT is one of the first global service providers to join the CloudStack project and looks forward to continued contribution and participation in the community aroundcarrier standards, global interoperability and building a foundation for highly scalable cloud solutions.CloudStack’s open systems approach is enabling BT to deliver services that adapt to help customers make the cloud meaningful for their business, giving them global scale with local choice and expertise to meet their requirements.”

Ed Laczynski, VP of Cloud Strategy and Architecture, Datapipe

"The launch of the new CloudStack project provides a solid foundation for promoting the emergence of cloud standards and interoperability based on aproven open source platform that has been deployed in some of the largest clouds in production, including Datapipe,As a longtime client and technology partner with Citrix, Datapipe is an active participant in the CloudStack project and will continue collaborate closely with the community as it benefits our customers with open APIs, proven practices for cloud operations, and a broad ecosystem of solutions and services."

Dor Skuler, VP of Cloud Solutions, Alcatel-Lucent

“The move to an Apache-based project is a great thing for our developers, users and the open source cloud community as it brings a model for open collaboration, innovation and standardization under a proven framework and foundation. Our support and integration of CloudStack into our own CloudBand offerings allows communications service providers to transform their own infrastructures, operations and business models that are specifically designed for the Cloud Era.”

Frank Martinez, co-founder and CTO of ServiceMesh

CloudStack previously established itself as a reliable, high-performance, and compatible solution for building Amazon-style clouds. Citrix's announcement that it is releasing CloudStack as an official Apache project adds one more "feature" to CloudStack's already impressive list of capabilities. By embracing the Apache governance model, Citrix is helping to promote an equal balance of citizenship between CloudStack users, open source contributors, and commercial offerings, delivering maximum value to all the parties involved. ServiceMesh looks forward to contributing to and participating within the Apache CloudStack community to further the development of reliable, high-performance, compatible, and now open cloud solutions for enterprises and service providers."

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  • james
    james Friday, 10 August 2012

    reply to

    I have read the article and the information that it gives about cloudstack building and Apache is really informative and interesting. the Switching of licenses from an open source program to a paid version will bring profit to the firm but there are users who will find it difficult. so, it is better to go back to the free version. So, check out Vista problems now.

  • A K G
    A K G Monday, 13 August 2012


  • A K G
    A K G Monday, 13 August 2012



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Guest Thursday, 07 May 2015


Citrix supports the open source community via developer support and evangelism. We have a number of developers and evangelists that participate actively in the open source community in Apache Cloudstack, OpenStack, OpenDaylight, Xen Project and XenServer. We also conduct educational activities via the Build A Cloud events held all over the world.