Cloud détente? Eucalyptus, CloudStack backers to speak at OpenStack confab

Rival open-source cloud players Marten Mickos, Chris Kemp, Sameer Dholakia hug it out at Structure 2012.

The inaugural OpenStack Silicon Valley event next month will feature speakers from the OpenStack posse: HP, Red Hat, Cloudscaling, Mirantis — the usual suspects (although IBM is mysteriously missing.)  But it will also spotlight keynoters from Eucalyptus and Citrix. That’s surprising since those companies back rival open-source clouds.

And yet Mårten Mickos, the CEO of Eucalyptus, who once likened OpenStack with its myriad backers to the Soviet Union of cloud, will be there to talk. So will Sameer Dholakia, group VP and GM of cloud computing for Citrix, a primary backer of CloudStack, another open-source cloud framework.

It seems that the détente detected when Mickos, Dholakia and Nebula CTO Chris Kemp — one of OpenStack’s founding fathers — spoke at Structure 2014 in June was no fluke. The panel was a much more copacetic do-over of their contentious appearance two years before, when one panelist said it was unlikely that all three of those private clouds would be standing in a few years time.

Clearly there’s been a rapprochement. According to a statement announcing next month’s event, Mickos said:

“I want OpenStack to succeed. When that happens, Eucalyptus can also succeed … OpenStack is a phenomenon of enormous proportions; Eucalyptus is the name of a tightly focused piece of software. There is clear opportunity for mutual collaboration and benefit. This conference drives that objective: to allow open source to completely beat closed source in the space of cloud infrastructure software.”

I asked both Mickos and Dholakia if their participation means their companies will join the OpenStack Foundation. Mickos said only that he will talk about the “mutual benefits” of OpenStack and Eucalyptus. Dholakia said that there is no sea change vis-à-vis Citrix.

“They invited Marten and [me] to talk about open cloud … In that spirit, we both said yes,” he said via email. And he reminded me that Citrix works with OpenStack to make sure it works well with XenServer, Netscalar and Citrix CloudPortal. But overall, Citrix backs Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform.

If you want to see the Structure 2014 re-enactment of an open-source cloud hug-it-out moment, check out the video below.

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