“Thanks for making this day necessary” – Yogi Berra

Sometimes there is a bit of genius in a misquote.  When Yogi Berra said this, he actually meant to say thanks for making this day possible, which is exactly how I feel today as I watch the CloudStack project graduate from incubation into a top level project within the Apache Software Foundation.  It’s been less than 12 months since Citrix contributed CloudStack to the Apache Foundation; a decision which has proved a huge success as evidenced by today’s news.   Unlike that decision back in 2012 where all eyes were on Citrix, today’s news represents a milestone that was achieved by an amazing community of committers, contributors, developers and users – the individuals that make up the Apache community.

To the hundreds of developers contributing to and advancing the project, you made this day possible.  To the mentors of the ASF like JimJag, Brett Porter and others, this couldn’t have been done without your guidance and support.  To Chip Childers and the PPMC of the incubating project, I can’t thank you enough for getting us to this day.   What most people don’t realize is that work and commitment you have put towards this project has helped us make this a truly independent project, with fewer than one-third of the product’s contributors, committers and PPMC coming from Citrix.  You’ve helped us adopt the proven “Apache Way” for community and software development, which has helped us become one of the fastest growing open source community projects in both the Apache Foundation and in the market.

(my colorful friend Ben Kepes broke the news a bit early last week where included some great stats on the project, so no need to replicate here)

By empowering developers to act as individual drivers of value and innovation, the Apache model has helped CloudStack maintain a laser focus on building a community that delivers software focused on user needs – and this is evidenced through the health of the project and the milestone today.  A short 5 months ago when we released the first incubation release with 4.0, I wrote about the tremendous momentum the project has seen in adoption, engagement and innovation.  As proud as I was of this community then, today’s milestone raises the bar.

Back to making this day necessary.  I’ve said it before; Citrix contributed CloudStack to the Apache Foundation based on a simple but powerful belief that “open” wins in the cloud era, and that by contributing CloudStack to the home of the world’s most successful open source projects, we’d all gain much more—Citrix, the open source community and the customers we serve.

Graduation is a necessary milestone the process of making CloudStack the Apache webserver of the Cloud.  Graduation is about the community’s readiness to operate as an open source project, it’s not about the state of the code – which was already mature when CloudStack entered the incubator. What it means is that the project is self-governing and has sufficient participation from a diverse community that it has demonstrated to the Apache board that it’s ready to act as a TLP and gets the Apache Way.  From here, Apache CloudStack can operate more autonomously and that will make it easier for the project to do things like releases and promote itself.

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” – C.S. Lewis

Now that we have hatched, its time to fly.