The CloudStack Community is happy to announce Rohit Yadav as the new VP of the Apache CloudStack Project and PMC chair. After a year of success in which Simon Weller chaired the project, we are now excited to welcome Rohit, who is a long-term contributor to the project. He has a strong technology background and has been engaged in the open-source world for more than a decade, during which he contributed to multiple other open-source projects.

In this interview, you will be able to learn more about Rohit Yadav and see his perspective on the VP's role and how he can contribute to the Apache CloudStack project evolution.


Why do you believe in open-source, where and how did it all start?

During my university days, I got introduced to open-source as a way of community-driven development. Compared to proprietary and closed-source software, I found the idea of open-source remarkable that anybody can access source code, learn it, modify it, distribute it, and even contribute it back.

In my spare time, I started learning and contributing to a few open-source projects as a hobby and even created some open-source side-projects. I also got an opportunity to work with the VideoLAN project as a Google Summer of Code and later worked as a volunteer summer student at CERN.

All of this early experience inculcated an interest in open-source and virtualisation, and eventually, I was hired straight out of university by Citrix to work on open-source Apache CloudStack project that was still in the ASF incubator at the time. This is when I learned about the ASF and how to work in the Apache CloudStack community from my colleagues and from the community, and I learnt how to contribute changes. I started lurking and interacting on the project mailing lists and IRC to understand how to work in this community.

I quickly found myself supporting users on the mailing lists and learning real-world use of CloudStack, contributing patches such as maintaining our (new) maven-based build system, working on some issues and making some improvements. I also wrote the cloudmonkey CLI because there wasn’t one available and I also ended-up working on a large APIs refactoring project that helped me understand CloudStack deeper and work closely with the original creators and architects of CloudStack.

During this, I was invited to become a committer to the project and got sponsored to participate in the first CloudStack Collaboration Conference 2012 in Las Vegas. After another few years of working on flagship CloudStack features, frameworks, releases, maintaining CloudStack and collaborating with the community, I eventually got invited to become a PMC member.

I’ve transitioned into a more supporting, mentoring, empowering and leadership role in the community and at work. This allows me to find time and bandwidth to champion and promote Apache CloudStack in all forums and platforms.


Why should enterprises use open-source solutions?

Enterprises nowadays are adopting open-source software especially when it comes to infrastructure software. This gives them business advantage in keeping low costs and not having to depend on a single vendor (no vendor lock-in) while have the longevity, trust, stability, reliability, durability, flexibility, better agility and security, and access to an ecosystem of community and commercial offerings and support around it. There is also community and inter-organisation collaborations on standards, frameworks and feature development that help reduce costs for the end-consumers, including the enterprises.

Enterprises also attract better talent as it’s generally much easy to hire or train talent on open-source software with its documentation and other types of training materials in the form of books, blogs and videos etc., accessible to everybody.

It’s hard to imagine any enterprise and any consumer product or service that won’t have any open-source project used in their stacks.


Who are the existing enterprise users of Apache CloudStack and how are they benefiting?

Anybody looking to implement (private or public) IaaS cloud should seriously consider CloudStack. It is easy to-use, cost-effective, very stable, massively scalable, highly reliable battle-tested IaaS cloud computing platform, well-known and used in production at many of the world’s largest organisations. The project is community-driven by diverse contributors who are deeply invested in solving real-world use-cases.

You don’t have to take my word for it - as an open-source top-level ASF project anybody can test drive and see it for themselves, there is no vendor lock-in or paywall to get started. It takes a very short amount of time and effort to set it up, perhaps a few hours or less for a seasoned administrator. We have quick install guides for anybody to get started and even a public simulator-based demo environment for anybody with a few minutes to try it out, get the look-and-feel for it at using the demo-environment credentials admin:password.

CloudStack is very easy to deploy, use and manage. Being a monolith application, it’s easier to upgrade, can be managed by a small team. It is feature-rich, and offers a great UI, APIs and rich tooling and libraries such as cloudmonkey (cmk, the official CLI), the CloudStack Terraform provider, the CloudStack Kubernetes provider, the CloudStack Cluster-API Provider (CAPC), the CloudStack Go-SDK, support for Ansible, and countless other integration, libraries and related projects in its ever-growing ecosystem.

As an open-source project, Apache CloudStack project does not track who uses it. Still, we have a fair idea of our user base based on the community-maintained and contributed list of users on our project website. Also, based on activities and representation by such users and their organisations in the community by their participation on the mailing lists, around releases, issue reporting and code contributions on Github, attendance and participation in project meetups and conferences, and other forums such as blogs, videos, websites, press releases, social media etc. These enterprises, organisations and users include some of the world’s largest Fortune 500 companies.

I get super motivated and content when I read CloudStack case-studies or when I learn where and how our work on CloudStack benefits the core mission of companies. In the most recent CloudStack Collab conference, I was delighted to learn how CloudStack empowers the Digital India mission that helped vaccinate billions as well as delivers digital product and services to citizens.


How is Apache CloudStack project evolving and where do you see its future?

Over the years, we’ve seen a steady stream of developer contribution and releases. We’re seeing CloudStack getting more and more polished with every release. We’ve grown into a pedigree of PMC members, committers, contributors and power users who have been around in the community for a long time, a decade or more now. This demonstrates the reliability, durability and stability the project offers to the users community and the trust of the users community who are continuing to use and support CloudStack over the years. We’re seeing CloudStack adoption growing steadily from users participation on mailing lists, Github, meetups and conferences and release adoption. Per the hype curve, we’re in the plateau of productivity so this isn’t surprising.

We have always been a community-driven project and that should continue. We may also see interesting integrations, features and other changes to align with the changing themes and trends of the industry and the users community, we may find such use-cases in AI, data sovereignty, privacy and cloud-repatriation.

We need to ensure there’s a healthy community that feels welcome to use CloudStack, report issues, participate on the mailing lists and in meetups and conferences, and tell us about their use-cases and problems in all such forums.

The users community should be supported to contribute to CloudStack, and even train on CloudStack, help contribute fixes, enhancements and feature that solves their problems, and invite them to become committers and PMC members of the project. As long we support a healthy feedback loop and maintain the cycle of the project it will continue to grow, evolve, and thrive. We also need more efforts towards project marketing and promotion, and some work on strategic features, frameworks and integrations that leads to more growth and adoption of CloudStack.


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