VirtBox | OpenStack vs CloudStack | OpenSource Battle
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VirtBox | OpenStack vs CloudStack | OpenSource Battle OpenStack vs CloudStack | OpenSource Battle
  • By VirtBox Community
  • 13 March 2017
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When selecting an open source cloud platform, there is the question about the difference between the largest and the most popular of them - OpenStack and CloudStack. To understand the difference between OpenStack and CloudStack is necessary to know for what purpose they were designed. The overall goal - the creation of a set of open source components that work together to provide the functions needed to manage a cloud, consisting of thousands of servers. Both OpenStack and CloudStack were designed for providers of public cloud services, and companies that integrate their resources into a private cloud.

OpenStack started its history of development in 2010 with the support of NASA and RackSpace. Citrix has announced the project with open source CloudStack just a few months to a competitor, but its version of the project was more advanced and user-friendly.

OpenStack and CloudStack are composed of a compute component, that distributes the virtual machines on dedicated servers, storage units (object and block), a network component, that controls the switches for creating and managing virtual networks, image management component, and an interface to support all of these elements.

Briefly about CloudStack

CloudStack Architecture

CloudStack is the open source cloud management platform, designed to deploy and maintain two networks of VMs, as an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in a cloud environment. It was designed to help providers of management services and IT departments of companies to create and manage private, public and hybrid clouds. CloudStack provides an open and flexible platform for creating reliable and private or public clouds.

Based on Java CloudStack offers management server and, if necessary, agents for the hypervisor host for the successful operation of IaaS cloud. Key components of CloudStack:

  1. Cloud Management Service for VM deployment orchestration, volume provisioning, cloud and user management
  2. Cloud Usage Service that runs periodically to meter the cloud usage for different user accounts managed by CloudStack.
  3. UI Portal to signup, that supports multiple roles, such as Root Admin (can manage the physical infrastructure and also virtual infrastructure), Domain Admin and User Role.

Briefly about OpenStack

OpenStack Architecture

OpenStack is a set of software services for building and orchestrating cloud-based platform for private and public clouds. Deploying of the virtual machines, and other instances that handle a variety of tasks to manage the cloud using OpenStack is possible on the fly. Due to this cloud scaling is easy enough, which means that tasks that benefit from the simultaneous operation can efficiently serve more or fewer users on the fly by manipulating instances. 

The modular architecture of OpenStack is composed of different subproject:

  • Nova - Manages the lifecycle of compute instances
  • Swift - offers cloud storage software (store and retrieve lots of data with a simple API)
  • Cinder - provides Block Storage service to guest VMs.
  • Glance - Stores and retrieves virtual machine disk images.
  • Keystone - identity service used by OpenStack for authorization and authentication
  • Horizon - provides a web-based user interface to OpenStack services including Nova, Swift, Keystone.
  • Neutron - provide "networking as a service" between interface devices.
  • Ceilometer - Monitors and meters the OpenStack cloud for billing, benchmarking, scalability, and statistical purposes.
  • Heat - Orchestrates multiple composite cloud applications.
  • Magnum - an API service, that makes container orchestration engines  (Docker Swarm, Kubernetes, etc) available in OpenStack

OpenStack projects are clearly organized and designed in such a way that it is extendable to cover common use cases as IaaS, PaaS, and broader use cases as Storage-as-a-Service, Network-as-a-Service and Load-Balancer-as-a-Service. This point makes it complex to install and get it working together well. As you can see the key challenge in OpenStack is to get it up and running.

OpenStack is fragmented, has distributed architecture and is considered to be difficult to install, but it provides endless room for improvement. A positive aspect is that users can choose which features/projects are required. Compared to OpenStack CloudStacks installation process is simple, but it makes difficult to involve to the project third-party companies by cause of you can not work independently.

Summarizing, we can say that OpenStack - it is more mature and more widespread platform with numerous high profile users. Common solution about what platform to choose does not exist. The choice depends on plenty of factors. If you do not have any specific requirements to the cloud, it is easier to use CloudStack. Such cloud is simple to maintain and to scale, has all the major benefits of cloud and provides extended functionality. If you want non-standard functionality, your choice - it is OpenStack. However, you need to be prepared for the fact that it would require a significant amount of time spent on deployment and adaptation to your business requirements, provided that you do this from scratch.

Finally, we note that the independent deployment so multiple services are fraught with of incorrect decisions adoption, and to get a high-quality Infrastructure-as-a-Service encourage you to contact VirtBox for help or any advice connected with cloud technologies.

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