Justin Santa Barbara's blog

Databases, Clouds and More

The Apache Elephant Graveyard

Citrix donated CloudStack to the Apache Foundation, and the journalists that were pre-briefed dutifully reported the end of OpenStack and victory for AWS, seemingly because CloudStack has a proxy that can make it look like EC2.

The usual AWS allies chimed in to support this view, including @adrianco, no doubt trying to make up for accidentally spilling the beans on Netflix’s special AWS discount (the carefully worded non-denial denial wasn’t fooling anyone.)

CloudStack is joining a long list of game-changing commercial products donated to the Apache foundation:

The Apache Foundation does great work when they start a project or get it very early (like Tomcat). When a company throws a bunch of source code at them, often as much for tax and accounting reasons as for anything else, the outcome is less impressive.

Saying that this is #gameover for anything not using the EC2 API is a little suspect therefore; it’s a strange definition of #winning.

The EC2 API is pretty terrible – it’s much worse than the Win32 API – and we shouldn’t be wasting our energy trying to support it. The Wine project spent a lot of time & effort trying to reimplement Win32, but it was a moving target, and in the meantime the world moved on – including Microsoft themselves. Let’s not repeat that mistake.

The OpenStack API isn’t perfect, but where I find a big enough fault, it’s very easy for me – or anyone else – to fix it. And if you really want better EC2 compatibility, you can improve it (or fund someone to improve it) and it’ll probably get incorporated into the next release: grab a mop.

Now, if AWS donated all their APIs to the Apache Foundation, that would be interesting…