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Apache CloudStack vs. OpenStack: Which Is the Best?

CloudStack and OpenStack are two giants in the CMP realm. But where are they best used? See how their components compare head-to-head.

· Cloud Zone

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Apache CloudStack Vs OpenStack: Two of the most popular and successful cloud management platforms (CMP). We have already witnessed the fact that industry is adopting open source based cloud management platform (CMP). In this blog, we will compare these two CMPs.

Apache CloudStack:

Apache CloudStack is one of the popular and battle-tested OpenSource CMPs. Most of the service providers run on top of Apache CloudStack to power their infrastructure as a service offering. Apache CloudStack supports Citrix XenServer, KVM, VMware, and Microsoft HyperV hypervisors.

Key Components of CloudStack:

  1. Cloud Management Service
    • This is the central management service that orchestrates VM deployment, volume provisioning, cloud management, and user management.
  2. Cloud Usage Service
    • This service runs periodically to meter the cloud usage for different user accounts managed by CloudStack.
  3. UI Portal to Sign-Up
    • The UI Portal supports multiple roles. Root Admin, Domain Admin, and User Role.
    • Root Admin can manage the physical infrastructure and virtual infrastructure.

As you can see, CloudStack has only two services as compared to different projects in OpenStack (nova, cinder, magnum, keystone, etc). 

 SubsystemHandled By
 Compute Cloud Management Service
 StorageCloud Management Service

(Secondary Storage VM)

 Network Cloud Management Service

(Virtual Router/VPC)

 TemplateCloud Management Service

(Secondary Storage VM)

 Performance Metrics Cloud Management Service

(Native support for PV Drivers installed XenServer VMs)

 Usage DataCloud Usage Service
 Multi-App DeploymentNot available.
AutoscalingCloud Management Service
BillingNot available.
Compliance/AuditingCloud Management Service – Limited
Capacity PlanningNot available.
Post OS Configurationvia Cloud-init Scripts


OpenStack is the most popular CMP. The OpenStack software controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, managed through a dashboard or via the OpenStack API. OpenStack works with popular enterprise and open source technologies making it ideal for heterogeneous infrastructure.

Key Components of OpenStack:

The components of Openstack are managed via different subprojects of the OpenStack foundation. Projects in OpenStack include nova, cinder, magnum, and keystone.

 SubsystemHandled By
 Compute Nova Compute Service
 StorageSwift Service: Object Storage

Cinder Service: Block Storage

 Network Neutron Service

Glance Service

 Performance MetricsCeilometer Service
 Usage DataCeilometer Service
 Multi-App DeploymentHeat Service
AutoscalingHeat Service
BillingNot available.
Compliance/AuditingHorizon Dashboard
Capacity PlanningNot available.
Post OS Configurationvia Cloud-init Scripts
OrchestrationHeat Service
Bare Metal ProvisioningIronic

As you can see, that OpenStack projects are cleanly organized and designed in such a way that it is extendable to cover broader use cases of Infrastructure-, Platform-, Storage-, Network-, and Load-Balancer-as-a-Service.

With the so much of granularity, there comes the complexity of installing all of the projects to getting them to work together well.  Getting OpenStack up and running is one of the hardest parts.

CloudStack vs OpenStack

Who is the winner out of CloudStack vs. OpenStack? It depends. CloudStack solves IaaS needs most clearly, while OpenStack addresses broader use cases beyond IaaS.

The Cloud Zone is brought to you in partnership with Internap. Read Bare-Metal Cloud 101 to learn about bare-metal cloud and how it has emerged as a way to complement virtualized services.

cloudstack ,openstack

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