"Amazon has invented and created this market. We believe the winning cloud platform will have to have a high degree of interoperability with Amazon," he said.
Just a couple weeks ago, Amazon announced it backed Eucalyptus in its efforts to support the AWS APIs. It was the first time Amazon offered such backing for the use of its APIs. At the time, experts said that some businesses had been reluctant to use Eucalyptus because they were uncertain if Amazon approved of the use of its APIs. Without such approval, end users worried about potential intellectual property violations. In addition, it was always possible that Amazon could make changes to its APIs that could break the interoperability between a Eucalyptus cloud and Amazon's cloud. As part of the Eucalyptus announcement, the companies said the partnership would ensure that Eucalyptus maintained compatibility with Amazon's APIs and that Eucalyptus would more quickly be able to support more of Amazon's APIs.
Citrix would not say if it, too, had Amazon's official support. But it implied that it does. "The most important component of the Eucalyptus announcement was that it was non-exclusive. I can't say that we have a public statement beyond that," Dholakia said.
Citrix is not turning its back entirely on OpenStack. "We will continue to play an active role in the OpenStack community," Dholakia said. It will continue working with OpenStack on support of Citrix's hypervisor, for instance. Also, as OpenStack components mature, Citrix could integrate some of them in its own stack, he said.
One analyst thinks the OpenStack community won't miss Citrix. "OpenStack had several months' opportunity to work with Citrix on merging the CloudStack and OpenStack codebases. If this announcement were going to be a huge blow to them they would have done something to avert it; in other words, I don't think the OpenStack developers are very invested in whether Citrix stays or goes," said Rachel Chalmers, research director of infrastructure for The 451 Group, via email.
OpenStack has big-name backers, including AT&T, Dell and HP, and it's too early to say what impact the Citrix move will have, said Stephen O'Grady, an analyst with Redmonk. "It's not good news for OpenStack, obviously, but it's also very early. They've built some momentum for themselves and it will be interesting to see what impact this news has on that," he said.