With all the press and “love” given to the OpenStack project over the past year and half, you may have missed another open source cloud infrastructure project that has shown great success in the marketplace, CloudStack. CloudStack is the final product created by a 2008 startup, VMops, which was renamed Cloud.com in May 2010 upon the 1.0 release under the GNU Public License version 3.0. In July 2012, Citrix Systems acquired Cloud.com and has significant development, marketing, and sales resources to this product as Citrix is directly competing with VMware via this open source technology.

Product Overview

Unlike OpenStack, CloudStack is simply 1 product that delivers compute services for a IaaS cloud. It is not made of separate components which are assembled by the user and the project has no object storage cloud technology. Most users of CloudStack simply run the OpenStack Object Storage solution (Swift). Note, CloudStack is a direct competitor to OpenStack Compute (Nova); however Citrix is targeting VMware customers with this technology as a low cost alternative.

The complete CloudStack feature set is available at http://cloudstack.org/cloudstack/features.html. I will highlight a few of the interesting features rather than list the entire set:

  • AJAX based rich, web user interface built on the CloudStack API to manage the cloud infrastructure
  • CloudStack API - Well documented and extensible, the CloudStack API also supports common cloud APIs from Amazon and VMware. The CloudStack supports both an API access using a shared/private key and/or via browser cookies.
  • Dynamic Workload Management - Completely automates the distribution of compute, network, and storage resource across the physical infrastructure while adhering to defined policies on load balancing, data security, and compliance.
  • Hypervisor Agnostic - CloudStack provides you with the flexibility to allow you to integrate with the major hypervisors in the market today including VMware, KVM, Citrix XenServer, and Citrix Xen Cloud Platform.

The list online is much longer and you will see a sophisticated set of Enterprise features customers are looking for.

Product Roadmap

The CloudStack project is in the process of moving to a formal 6 month release cycle with definitive point releases for bug fixing. The current roadmap is still running quarterly and here are some items planned:

  • 3.1 (Bonita) – Q1 2012
    • Support for vSphere 5
    • XenServer OpenvSwitch Support
    • Distributed vSwitch support for VMware
    • 2.3 (Campo) – Q2 2012
      • Advanced Cloud Deployments (Regions, Cloud Zones)
      • IPv6 Support
      • HperV-Support
      • Snapshot replication across zones

The complete list of planned features is at http://cloudstack.org/cloudstack/roadmap.html.

Customers

Citrix has not yet really pushed hard on the customer success stories for CloudStack but I anticipate that changing this year. As you can see from the image below, they have a growing list of customers with Zynga being their largest deployment with thousands of cloud nodes. KT is running their entire public cloud on CloudStack and edmunds.com has their whole car inventory running on the cloud. Note, this is a small list and i have seen a larger list of companies that is not public via Citrix NDA meetings. 

Videos

To learn more, here are a few video links to the CloudStack overview...

Intro to CloudStack - Part 1

http://a.blip.tv/api.swf#AYKxtloC

Intro to CloudStack - Part 2

http://a.blip.tv/api.swf#AYKxwjkC