The announcement from Citrix that they are migrating CloudStack to the Apache Foundation under the ASL 2.0 license is a move indicative of what it takes to succeed in large scale cloud computing. Cloud computing isn’t like normal off the shelf software. Cloud computing requires building an ecosystem of developers around it. In essence, it requires a community of people deeply committed to the project. If anything, OpenStack has helped to prove this, as it’s one of the fastest growing Open Source projects ever. As organizations look to deploy large scale clouds on premise, they need to consider building, deploying, and managing these clouds. Ensuring your cloud software has a thriving developer community, with access to source code, ensures the engineers you are using to build your cloud have the tools they need to succeed. It also means they have places to look for help. And source code means any problem can be fixed in house if needed.
CloudStack going Apache should help it gain some traction and credibility, now it needs a large and thriving ecosystem of developers to maintain the momentum the announcment will bring with it. 2012 is shaping up to be an interesting year in the Open Source Cloud Computing world.