November 07, 2012, 2:43 PM — OpenStack has grabbed a lot of headlines recently, but competing cloud management platform CloudStack made some news of its own this week with the project releasing its first open source code as part of the Apache Software Foundation.
The latest advance of the CloudStack code - version 4.0 - improves support for software defined networking, natively integrates Amazon Web Service API compatibility and provides a framework for more features to be added into the code, says Chip Childers, a principal engineer with SunGard Availability Services's cloud division and a member of the CloudStack project management committee.
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Citrix shook the open source cloud world in April when the company pulled out of OpenStack and offered its CloudStack code to the ASF as its own open source project. But Childers says all that talk about "cloud wars" is over-hyped. "Within CloudStack, we're focusing on building software, continuing to evolve it, improve it and mature it, that's really our focus," he says. "We're not running around trying to pick a fight necessarily, we're just trying to improve a project most of us are using and make it something that's really truly owned by the whole community."
CloudStack vs. OpenStack isn't an apples-to-apple comparison either, he says. CloudStack is a cloud orchestration tool that allows components like compute, storage and networking to interconnect, creating the elements of a cloud platform. OpenStack, he says, is a collection of projects that are tied together by various distributions from companies. A CloudStack powered cloud, for example, could use OpenStack's Swift Storage service, for example, as a component.
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CloudStack remains an incubator project with Apache. For it to become a full-fledged Apache project, like Hadoop or HTTP, it will first need a proven track record of stable code releases and a supporting community. That's in the early stages now. He expects the next release to be in four to six months.