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Citrix Moves Away From OpenStack For Apache

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the so-long-farewell-aufwiedersehn-goodbye dept.

Cloud 29

netbuzz writes "Citrix today announced that it is turning its development attention away from the OpenStack project, started two years ago by NASA and Rackspace, in favor of its own CloudStack platform, Apache and Amazon Web Services. 'Based on challenges of the technical maturity and where we are with CloudStack, (OpenStack) became a path not viable,' says a Citrix executive. Industry analysts contend that the move says more about Citrix and its needs than it does OpenStack and its future."

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Cloudstack is more robust, proven. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39566047)

Just look at the size and quality of the clouds being built on that tech. Remember folks, design by committee rarely ends well.

Re:Cloudstack is more robust, proven. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39567649)

Different AC here. I am involved in building cloud computing infrastructure and have been deeply involved in large scale deployments of both OpenStack and CloudStack.

CloudStack, technology-wise is ugly. It is a big, ugly, stinking mess loaded with technical debt. However, it is clearly the more mature project. Unfortunately, it is also relatively stagnant on the open source development front. Being Java, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of most startups, but is welcome within the enterprise. This isn't necessarily a problem for Citrix, one needs look no further than Xen to see how they regard open source development. CloudStack as it is today, is not really scalable. There are large-scale deployments, but they're serious brittle.

OpenStack, on the other hand is horribly immature, and some ugly technology as well, but rapidly improving. The technical problems are more superficial than with CloudStack. There are a number of startups behind it, driving technology. This means there is innovation happening in this space. There are public and private deployments. There is brittleness here too, but far less than with CloudStack, in my opinion, from personal experience.

I think there is room in the market for both. This will drive innovation and will push both toward being better software, a push that is really needed in both camps.

Re:Cloudstack is more robust, proven. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39567681)

Same AC here as the immediate parent...

One HUGE problem is that Rackspace has owned and (mis)managed the OpenStack trademarks and governance. A foundation is in the process of being formed, but mismanagement continues. There are strong voices for openness, but cries do seem to be largely ignored. Hopefully the Citrix departure will push Rackspace toward a more open process in forming and managing the foundation.

Re:Cloudstack is more robust, proven. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39569539)

Are you my boss? You sound just like him... You're clearly working within the same linguistic reasoning space to drive your innovation solutions...

Re:Cloudstack is more robust, proven. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570289)

There are large Clouds built on OpenStack [hpcloud.com] , too.

Ugh, Citrix... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39566091)

Citrix is a clusterfuck. It's seriously one of the worst pieces of software ever released. It also doesn't help that companies that use it overload servers and wonder why performance is poor... 100 users on a box with 2GB of ram, single core CPU, each user running 5 apps? Sure, no problem!

Re:Ugh, Citrix... (2)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39566151)

If that's your engineering standards, then i can see why you hate Citrix. Engineered properly, however, it functions quite well.

Funny, that.

Re:Ugh, Citrix... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39567699)

picking out servers has nothing to do with engineering.

Re:Ugh, Citrix... (1)

styrotech (136124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39568425)

Let me guess... You complain about MS Terminal Services in news items about Hyper-V too? Or say things like "my microsoft just crashed!"?

Citrix's terminal server thingy is a completely unrelated product to this.

Re:Ugh, Citrix... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 2 years ago | (#39569747)

Citrix itself isn't too bad, their software is relatively robust and fairly secure, at least against external attacks...

The problem isn't citrix, so much as the underlying windows system and the applications people use... I've seen many supposedly secure citrix environments where its trivial to break out of the published application and get to the standard windows tools, which then gives you a foothold inside the network and a platform from which to attack other systems.

Another reason for poor citrix performance, is people who quote ancient performance requirements... I've seen people who quote performance specs from the 90s, when citrix was new and ran on nt4 when deciding how much ram and bandwidth is required... Not considering that modern systems are more bloated, screen resolutions are higher and with greater color depth etc..

Depends HOW you code apps on it... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39573491)

I've used it successfully as far back as 1996 Olympics in Atlanta for BellSouth, & on 32mb Windows NT 3.51 laptops with only a 133mhz single cpu Pentium onboard. Worked like a dream (in combination with Ascend gateways), & we were told "it can't be done" but the DEC boys & myself worked it out. Good team of guys, some are @ MS now iirc.

HERE'S AN EXAMPLE I WORKED ON, PER MY SUBJECT-LINE ABOVE THOUGH & HOW I SOLVED A MAJOR PROBLEM IN CITRIX + CUSTOM VB6 APPS to ORACLE ON SUN MIDRANGES:

I've also coded around it with 100's of users accessing Oracle DB devices on a Sun midrange, coding cross-platform to it from Windows 2000 systems in 1999 using VB6 to a remote campus many miles away over a fractional T1 leased line for a company I worked for then!

The only "hassle" was figuring out that instead of using DoEvents, you use the Sleep API call directly instead to avoid lockups during loops!

I.E.-> Every 6 hrs. or so into the 1st shift's workshift in the factory end (this app worked on the local campus too doing salesforce item lookups & contact mgt. also, not just shopfloor process inventory & tracking), it was locking up the single shared session when populating data display grids!

The use of Sleep Win32 API calls solved it (oddly too, because sleep is used in DoEvents calls).

Took down CPU usage from 100% lockup, down to 1% per client workstation.

The problem? Middleware drivers - they're NOT built to 'timeslice' and during single shared sessions to multiple remote campus users?? It caused that problem (we used a combination of ADO (MS db driver, faster on reads to Oracle) & OO40 (Oracle db driver, faster on writes back to Oracle on SUN system)).

* It's ALL how you code for it, to avoid the hassles you speak of...

APK

P.S.=> It is still running that companies systems (ableit much faster, since it was using Pentium II 350mhz CPU systems with 64mb RAM on them in 1999, & now uses Intel Core I7 920 machines with 2gb of RAM on them).

Done right, where it should be done, IN THE CODE OF THE APP ITSELF!

(Without having to use the "rig jobs" in the registry that Citrix &/or TS offer for "bad boy apps" (that eat too much CPU per shared session like I noted above - I call that "putting a bandaid over a bulletwound" & BAD DESIGN trying to force the OS to offset that which SHOULD BE DONE IN THE APPLICATION CODE ITSELF))... apk

"BandAid-On-A-Bulletwound" specifics... apk (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39654369)

As far as trying to MAKE Citrix handle badly coded apps (vs. doing it RIGHT, in the code itself (assuming you have source that is?) -> http://apache.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2764191&cid=39573491 [slashdot.org] )

I did a post on Arstechnica about it, circa 2000/2001 iirc, here -> http://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1011866&start=40 [arstechnica.com]

SPECIFICS ON HOW TO "HACK" CITRIX TO HANDLE 'BADBOY APPS':

---

1.Run Regedt32.exe or regedit.exe and locate the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\Current Version\TerminalServer\Compatibility\Applications

NOTE: The above registry key is one path; it has been wrapped for readability.

2.Double-click the Applications subkey to reveal several pre-defined settings. Select SETUP under the Applications subkey. The following values are displayed on the right side of the Registry Editor window:

FirstCountMsgQPeeksSleepBadApp:REG_DWORD:0xf

Flags:REG_DWORD:0x8

MsgQBadAppSleepTimeInMillisec:REG_DWORD:0

NthCountMsgQPeeksSleepBadApp:REG_DWORD:0x5

---

This was VERY KEY to my research in it... & you MAY wish to refer to CITRIX documentations in current models (or for Terminal Server, which is largely based off CITRIX licensed code).

Except I kept the attack in code where it SHOULD be done, saving this fix for issues in programs where the source is not available...

The OS was not at fault, but the middleware, client load, citrix session, and Grids we used, WERE!

Again - For me, the "proof was in the pudding" of that project, & success of it going from 100% cpu use & freezeups, to 2% & client loads of 500-1000 folks on it at once on a WAN with Citrix Session galore to the warehouses in remote campus locations.

HOWEVER - On the registry hack?

No guarantee this is the RIGHT thing to do, this OS level Reg hack, taxing an already taxed out server either! Probably would work, but only as a last resort in my book at least, here's why:

Correct the code first if you can! Not the OS... it's NOT at fault usually!

Hacking the registry for this fix, is Bad Business, Bad Logic unless YOU HAVE NO CHOICE (like where you do NOT have sourcecode for the badboy app in question)!

You correct the app according to MS/Citrix constraints on TS/WinFrame/MetaFrame design considerations & save this "BadApp" list for apps you CANNOT correct!

* There you go, hope that helps...

APK

P.S.=> I like to be COMPLETE in information I post (plus, it's just good review too), so there ya are folks - "onwards & UPWARDS!!!"... apk

Good for heterogeneity... (3, Interesting)

Junta (36770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39566141)

There really should be a good three or so viable projects in any given space. The way some people talk it's like they really really want no choice in the matter.

Sometimes one size fits all cannot cover an entire market.

Also, specifically, OpenStack is servicable for some things, but it is far from perfect and has real limitations. For most openstack users the limitations are no big deal, but the limitations can be a dealbreaker for some scenarios. It has a lot of hype and attention behind it, moreso than any of the former leading favorites, but there is certainly room in the world for alternatives.

Oh please. Openstack is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39573185)

I'm sorry, but Openstack is nothing but a joke. A bunch of bureaucratic programmers who are more interested in their own wet dreams rather than doing something real. And clearly run by managers who have absolutely NO idea of how to do software development.

These guys basically have been given a bunch of money without any expectations of delivery of a product. There's NO testing on this crap, the documentation is poor, and constantly out of sync with the product (just take a look at the silly authentication efforts that they are redoing, once again).

The first sign that they didn't have a clue was at their big announcement in Silicon Valley a couple years ago. Some young kid, wet behind the ears, who thought that being thrown into the pit on a Friday and told to get things working by Monday was something to brag about. The guy just didn't have a clue about mismanagement.

And then they are all Ubuntu based. You've got to be kidding. Ubuntu is for Windows weenies, and not serious systems people. Just take a look at the installation, where you are expected to answer questions halfway through the middle of the install! No, that's NOT how to do things, and it's a sign of worse nonsense to come.

But hey, if you are clueless about how real systems work, then you can pass it off as long as you can push buttons. And yes, I'm well aware that Rackspace is Ubuntu based. That's a very bad sign for Rackspace, and one reason why I don't use them.

The point here is that these folks just don't know what they are doing, and it shows. And Citrix probably recognizes this, and it's one reason why they are moving away from Openstack.

Of course, Citrix has a huge Not Invented Here syndrome, and XCP is another joke in itself. But I digress.

Well, that's my rant. After having trying to get Openstack up and running, I had to vent. Honestly guys, just learn some real software engineering. What you've got currently, isn't.

H*ll, you'd go much farther along if you had a real QA group, and actually worked on making the documentation real.

Re:Oh please. Openstack is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39574285)

Just a quick comment. Aside from the public cloud, Rackspace is largely a Redhat Shop on the Linux Side. The public Cloud side has several distro options including, IIRC, a couple of BSD choices.

Re:Oh please. Openstack is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39579663)

The issue is what they use internally. Swift has always been poorly supported on RH distros. So much so, the first version didn't even work whatsoever.

Re:Oh please. Openstack is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39576595)

Ubuntu is for Windows weenies, and not serious systems people. Just take a look at the installation, where you are expected to answer questions halfway through the middle of the install! No, that's NOT how to do things, and it's a sign of worse nonsense to come.

If you don't know how to automate the installation, you should probably sit down and keep quite. There are people who do, are, and are using it to deploy an OpenStack Cloud. They're doing it on far more machines than the handful you are, too.

That's a very bad sign for Rackspace, and one reason why I don't use them.

No doubt they're weeping into their cornflakes.

Re:Oh please. Openstack is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39579509)

If you can't grok the basic point, you should stick to Windows. Asking an installation question, half way into the installation, is a bad design. Period.

It's a pretty simple concept. If that's too hard to understand, try reading more slowly.

Re:Oh please. Openstack is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39583239)

Apparently you've never installed Ubuntu Server using the text installer, which is the way every sensible person does it. You're whining about a problem that's your own making and then blaming everyone else for it.

Re:Oh please. Openstack is a joke. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39586943)

You must work on Openstack. Not understanding the concept of "broken" is clearly beyond your abilities. Which reinforces my original point; namely, that Ubuntu people have no concept of Systems work. Thank you for making my point.

Citrix + Amazon (4, Interesting)

Qwerpafw (315600) | more than 2 years ago | (#39566189)

Citrix already has a close relationship with Amazon. They have testing images available, white papers on how to integrate private and public EC2 cloud "farms" with your existing Citrix infrastructure, and not only promote Amazon AWS/EC2 for corporate usage, but make it easy for admins to draw on it as a test base for learning and playing with their new software offerings.

It wouldn't surprise me if they have plans to tie in per hour or other commoditized Citrix licensing with Amazon at some point in the future.

As they do all of this they will inevitably move closer towards Amazon and further away from Amazon's competitors. I don't see this as a surprising development.

I think is less about OpenStack and its relative merits and detriments, and more about Citrix and their corporate partnerships and strategic direction.

Re:Citrix + Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570257)

and that cloudstack does everything openstack claims it can do (and then some) without the bugs and ridiculous support hoops. we are 95% through our deployment and i'm finding that openstack is ridiculously immature. i may switch to cloudstack

Re:Citrix + Amazon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39571545)

Really, what wins with OpenStack is that there is a community. Not just of the code-contributor kind, but that there are distributions forming. It is a very Linux-like approach. Multi-vendor kernel with distributions of varying approaches. Because it is so young, and the distributions are incredibly young, many companies are still trying to build-from-scratch. Clearly, however, the way forward will be with distributions.

There is really only one CloudStack distribution and it is from Citrix. Admittedly, as you've noticed, their distribution is a lot more mature, even if their kernel is relatively junk. There are serious problems with CloudStack such as router-vms and a seriously fragile, SPOF database. Cloud.com was slow to move on fixing these problems, but maybe Citrix can turn things around.

They want Amazon customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39570131)

The reality is that they want Amazon customers... There is a market, that is willing to pay for their product..

How does this affect me? (1)

druiid (109068) | more than 2 years ago | (#39573043)

Soooo... I have been following the cloudstack project for a bit and was planning on deploying it to use for a 'hybrid cloud' solution (although I wish the cloudbridge part worked with more than EC2 compatible systems). Does this, or should this, change anything? Or , I guess, getting off-topic... should I even be using cloudstack?

Re:How does this affect me? (1)

mineralwells (2610677) | more than 2 years ago | (#39576181)

It now has an Apache license instead of GPL. this may not impact you.

Merger/Borrowing? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39574453)

We'd expect both projects to borrow from each other and possibly eventually merge.

If this solves the problem of moving from your private cloud to a hosted cloud and back, then it has real value.

Editors ahoy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39575875)

Less fluffy buzzwords, more hard licences, mmkay? Would improve the signal/noise considerably.

There's a new meaningless buzzword every week but those are only good for bullshit bingo. And they're so lame. And every company absolutely has to come up with their own flavor. Licences on the other thing tell you all there is worth knowing most of the time in one compact package.

I know this is the new /. with idle and slashtv and god knows what for the cheeseheads but you might still want to cater to the crowd that made slashdot what it is today. One the original crowd has had enough of this new shit, you'll be just like any other 13 in a dozen anonymous internet shithole.

love,
a nerd

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