Apache CloudStack vs. OpenStack: Which Is the Best?

DZone 's Guide to

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 ·
Free Resource

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). 

 Subsystem Handled By
 Compute  Cloud Management Service
 Storage Cloud Management Service

(Secondary Storage VM)

 Network  Cloud Management Service

(Virtual Router/VPC)

 Template Cloud Management Service

(Secondary Storage VM)

 Performance Metrics  Cloud Management Service

(Native support for PV Drivers installed XenServer VMs)

 Usage Data Cloud Usage Service
 Multi-App Deployment Not available.
Autoscaling Cloud Management Service
Billing Not available.
Compliance/Auditing Cloud Management Service – Limited
Capacity Planning Not available.
Post OS Configuration via 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.

 Subsystem Handled By
 Compute  Nova Compute Service
 Storage Swift Service: Object Storage

Cinder Service: Block Storage

 Network  Neutron Service

Glance Service

 Performance Metrics Ceilometer Service
 Usage Data Ceilometer Service
 Multi-App Deployment Heat Service
Autoscaling Heat Service
Billing Not available.
Compliance/Auditing Horizon Dashboard
Capacity Planning Not available.
Post OS Configuration via Cloud-init Scripts
Orchestration Heat Service
Governance Congress
Containers Magnum
Bare Metal Provisioning Ironic

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.

cloudstack, openstack

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}