CloudStack Review

Simple to stand up, does not restrict us just one hypervisor


How has it helped my organization?

The account concept and usage database made billing integration straight forward. The API with CloudStack made integration into various external facing web applications simple enough. In my experience, customers appreciated the console proxy for initial set up and emergency situations.

We made money off of it. For our customers, it enabled them to spend a lot less money when compared to a full-blown infrastructure implementation, without drudging through the complexity of AWS.

What is most valuable?

  • CloudStack is simple to stand up and get off the ground in a hurry.
  • Its centralized design allows for easier troubleshooting when compared to OpenStack.
  • Out of the box, it’s very well suited for white labeling and IaaS.
  • The back-end database design is simple and straight forward.
  • The user interface is designed with external users in mind.
  • Billing is relatively straightforward with this product.
  • Not being restricted to just one hypervisor was nice.

What needs improvement?

With all that simplicity come limitations that need to be understood and planned for:

  • Accounts, domains, and user accounts are set up with public cloud in mind, not private.
  • The numerous, multi-layered drill-down menus make it difficult to find one simple knob to turn. It’s still easier to use than the competition but it used to be even simpler, in older versions of CloudStack.
  • Cloud routers have always been lacking. They’re fine for public cloud applications but again, for private enterprise use cases, object-based firewalls are pretty important for large, complex set ups. If that sounds like too much of a lift, a description field would be a good Band-aid.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What other advice do I have?

I’ve used, managed, and integrated it for about seven years in three different mid-sized companies. I started using CloudStack before Citrix acquired Cloud.com.

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