CloudStack Review

Centralized management design scales well, but lacks support for third-party vendors

What is our primary use case?

Legacy support for a previous CloudStack environment.

How has it helped my organization?

It works, and pretty much always has. Reliability and support for enterprise features, with a multi-tenant interface, makes CloudStack a very compelling solution.

What is most valuable?

  • Stability
  • Centralized management design that scales well
  • Transparent interoperability with different hypervisors and manufacturers

We also have OpenStack in production, but many of our staff members prefer CloudStack for the reasons mentioned above (less complexity, less failure-prone). There are reasons we use both though – different workloads on different systems.

What needs improvement?

Lack of support for third-party software vendors such as Veeam and Zerto creates limitations on comprehensive offerings which would include backup and disaster recovery.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had some issues with XenServer an OVS, but that wasn’t really a CloudStack problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No scalability issues. CloudStack has actually scaled quite well for our needs.  Even though it’s more monolithic in design compared to OpenStack, we have had no issues scaling, and it actually scales with far less complexity as a result.

How is customer service and technical support?

Community support is very good, but after Citrix divested CloudPlatform to Accelerite, commercial support was absolutely atrocious. We actually investigated third parties like ShapeBlue because the support from Accelerite was so bad and made the decision to part ways with Accelerite completely when our contract was up for renewal.

How was the initial setup?

Complex, but all clouds are complex so that is to be expected. I and one other community member actually write a bunch of documentation for first-timers to help them through the process, because the networking always threw everybody.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Obviously OSS is free, so you can’t beat that when it comes to price. For the commercial support options, they are extremely fair for quality of the solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we evaluated other solutions, and we run CloudStack along with OpenStack in two different environments for different reasons. In general, my preference is for CloudStack because it is less complex, has fewer moving parts and has demonstrated better stability for our needs.

What other advice do I have?

I have used it for close to eight years, since, prior to the Citrix acquisition.

Get commercial assistance from an experienced consultant who has deployed it before. Choices made early on in a cloud deployment can lock you into a design that may be undesirable in the future, but near impossible to change if implemented incorrectly early on.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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