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Building the Cloud: Notes on Apache CloudStack (incubating)

Notes on work that's going on in the Apache CloudStack (incubating) project. Event announcements, progress reports, and more.

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Why SunGard Picked CloudStack

We went to Philadelphia recently for the Platform, Infrastructure and Networking Group (PING) Meetup at the SunGard office. Aside from being a great opportunity to meet some of the Philadelphia clouderati (and have an authentic cheesesteak sandwich…), it was a chance to hear about SunGard’s work with CloudStack from a principle engineer of cloud services, Chip Childers.

SunGard’s cloud work didn’t start with CloudStack. In 2010, when the company was initially examining its options, the company decided to roll its own cloud orchestration layer. Why? At the time, Childers said that the options weren’t what SunGard was looking for – so they decied it’d be easier to start from scratch than adopt existing options.

The homebrew solution from SunGard went live in 2011, and SunGard’s homebrew was handling multiple regions and growing capacity. Its team started focusing on higher-level solutions. At the same time, SunGard noticed that the open source cloud offerings had been maturing quickly.

SunGard decided to have a “bake-off” between three of the open source IaaS platforms: CloudStack, OpenNebula, and OpenStack. The criteria? Ease of installation/setup, a code review, and licensing and governance of the projects.

Timing is Everything

Childers says that SunGard liked that CloudStack “just worked,” and found its code quality and feature quality to be high. The problem? SunGard had reservations about the GPLv3 and that the project was governed by a single corporate entity without a clear governance structure going forward. Without those red flags, CloudStack would be a clear choice.

Timing really is everything. While SunGard was still evaluating, Citrix announced its plan to re-license CloudStack under the Apache 2.0 License, and donate CloudStack to the Apache Software Foundation.

That cleared the red flags, and SunGard has been working on a test deployment as the first step to rolling out their first production CloudStack service. Naturally, we’re pretty excited about this - not only does it mean another Apache CloudStack user, but Chip has also been active on the Apache CloudStack lists and has been making strong contributions to the project.

It was really fun getting a chance to hear SunGard’s story, and to meet the PING group. As one of the first “official” trips I’ve taken since joining Citrix and getting involved with CloudStack, it was a great intro to the community and users of CloudStack.

Got a CloudStack story to tell? Get in touch! You can find me on Twitter or drop me an email. (The username is jzb, and the domain is

(Originally posted on Dissociated Press.) 

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Joe Brockmeier, known to many as "Zonker," is a member of the CloudStack evangelism team at Citrix. Prior to joining Citrix, Joe worked with Novell as the openSUSE community manager, and as Editor-in-Chief of Linux Magazine. He's also worked as a freelance technology journalist, and has written for LWN, NetworkWorld, ReadWriteWeb, and many other publications.
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Guest Friday, 18 July 2014


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