CloudStack is open source software for creating, deploying and managing infrastructure cloud services. It started out as a proprietary project at a company called Cloud.com. Kangaroot visited them in April 2011, just before they were acquired by Citrix. Citrix then released it as a 100% open source project in 2012, when it became an Apache project. CloudStack 4 was released in November 2012. Citrix also releases an officially supported product based on CloudStack, called CloudPlatform.
It's a fully featured solution designed to manage a cloud through an easy-to-use web interface, command line tools and/or a RESTful API. CloudStack is also compatible with Amazon's EC2 and S3, for those who wish to deploy hybrid clouds. While there are several cloud management solutions, CloudStack is basically the only one that is ready for production as well as based on open standards.
An overview of CloudStack's main features:
- Hypervisor agnostic. Use any hypervisor you wish, such as Xen, KVM, OVM or vSphere. Microsoft Hyper-V is being worked on.
- Snapshots and volumes
- Live migration of guest VMs with no downtime
- Support for VLANs: create segmented networks within each virtual environment.
- Site-to-site VPNs to easily integrate existing on-premise infrastructure
- Virtual router, a firewall and a load balancer
- Local storage support for data volumes: use cheaper, local storage as opposed to expensive, shared storage
- Ceph RBD support
- APIs enable integration with other platforms and back office
- Easy-to-use AJAX web interface for management and provisioning
You need at least two machines to deploy CloudStack. One to run the CloudStack Management Server and another to act as a node of your cloud infrastructure on which the Virtual Servers will run. Several management servers can be deployed for redundancy and load balancing, using a common MySQL database.
Production readiness is one of the main advantages of CloudStack. Companies like GoDaddy, Nokia Research and Zynga use it in production. It has proven scalable of up to 40 000 hosts across several geographic locations. CPU, RAM, storage, IPs and all other resources can be managed through a single, centralized console.
Kangaroot is an official Citrix Cloud Advisor which allows us to advise on and sell Citrix CloudPlatform. We have been involved with Cloudstack since the beginning and we run several CloudStack instances in our own datacenters. So if you need help or advice, do not hesitate to get in touch!