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CloudStack OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

What is CloudStack?
Apache CloudStack is open source software designed to deploy and manage large networks of virtual machines, as a highly available, highly scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing platform.

CloudStack is also known as Vmops, Cloud.com.

Buyer's Guide

Download the Cloud Management Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: November 2021

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GreenQloud, Exoscale, TomTom, ASG, PC Extreme, ISWest, Grid'5000
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Archived CloudStack Reviews (more than two years old)

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Girish Vyas
Architect - Cloud Serviced at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
User-friendly, scalable, and easy API use

Pros and Cons

  • "You can use a single API to get things done, rather than multiple APIs on multiple modules."
  • "I would like to see support for native VLAN, and fault-tolerance."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for two things; the first is the handling of all of our virtual machines through centralization, and the second is the orchestration of services.

How has it helped my organization?

This is one of the major products that help to handle all of the NFV Infrastructure management services (IaaS). It has helped us to quickly gain understanding and feel more powerful with respect to virtualization.

What is most valuable?

The three features that I find most valuable are:

  • It is user-friendly.
  • It is scalable.
  • The ease of API use. When you compare it with OpenStack, CloudStack is something that you can deploy faster on because you have fewer components and more services. You can use a single API to get things done, rather than multiple APIs on multiple modules.

What needs improvement?

One area that needs improvement is the stability. It is stable, but there are issues. It is related to the lack of support for an open source product. It comes down to needing more active people in the product's open source user community.

There are release notes with the product, but I would like to see more documentation. For example, it would be nice to have instructions on how to integrate with DPDK (Data plane developer kit) because it would make it much easier.

I would like to see support for native VLAN, and fault-tolerance.

For how long have I used the solution?

Approximately five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is problematic, in part, because there is no support. It is an open source product, so similar to OpenStack there is community involvement. One challenge, however, is that it is a small community of users compared to OpenStack. There are professional services available by multiple vendors, so you can leverage that if you wish to.

It becomes an issue when there are new problems and you do not have support for them to be fixed. Otherwise, the product is good. If it is working fine then it will continue to work until something changes.

If you are stuck with a problem then it may take between a couple of days and a couple of months to solve it. It may require research, but it is challenging because you do not have a major community of people.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would say that the product scalability is good. It is very scalable, but it requires some additional effort from the user's side, or the administrator's side, to understand the product well before making changes to the environment. Research has to be done, and a POC may be required.

For example, it is possible to integrate this solution with Ceph Storage or load balancers, and it will handle it, but you have to do some research first. Similarly, if you want to integrate it with a public DNS or an internal DNS, you will have to test it well before integrating it.

We currently have fifteen users, but it is a system administration tool so there is not much customer-centric traffic. This is actually one of the major benefits that you have. Even with fifteen people, doing the same thing or otherwise, it allows you to have your own space without overriding the other person. It allows you to be multi-tenant.

They have zone features that allow you to keep your local environment, so if you want to deploy multiple cloud stacks, you do not need to. You can keep just one cloud stack and integrate with all of the servers at once. This is in contrast to OpenStack, where you have to deploy one OpenStack per region or per area so that all of your computers can be centrally managed.

Our usage will increase as we add more servers, or expand our services.

How are customer service and technical support?

There is no technical support available because it is an open source, community-based product. However, certain people can still provide you with technical support. This technical assistance is a paid service, separate from the community itself. It is a group of experts and I would say that they are good enough. If you don't feel comfortable using the product, or there are stability issues that you frequently see, you can buy professional services.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This product has been in use since I joined the company.

How was the initial setup?

It is simple to perform the initial setup. Compared to OpenStack, it is really straightforward and simple. The deployment will take a couple of hours.

You will need at least two or three people to maintain the solution. It is a complex environment, even though it has a very simple GUI. The back-end system, such as the database or the application itself, definitely requires at least four to five good people who are able to handle issues in the CloudStack environment.

This is less maintenance than is required for other solutions, but expertise is still needed.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation in-house.

What was our ROI?

The ROI is there. While there is no cost to the product, there is an infrastructure cost. ROI is realized in time savings, and in community-based products, the major investment is your time. 

If you integrate with other products you can do fault tolerance, too.

The bottom line is that the ROI is there provided you invest your time in it. If you do then you will be well paid for it, because the product will help you to easily grow your environment, and make it scale faster.

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

There is no license, so the product is free unless you are buying professional technical support services. You need to pay for your infrastructure and hosting charges, but those are the only fees that you are required to bear.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We are presently evaluating OpenStack.

CloudStack is faster than OpenStack. The OpenStack solution takes years and years to build your services, whereas CloudStack allows for much faster deployment.

I do not think that we are switching to OpenStack because it is a more complex product.

Another option would be Kubernetes with Mirantis or any other product suite, but we have not evaluated this.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody interested in implementing this product is to do the POC, and don't just go blindly with it. You need to see what the pitfalls are and whether your team can handle it, or not. If they cannot handle it then you should look at other cloud products, such as those that have more support in the community. 

On the other hand, if you are looking for something small, scalable, and easy to deploy, then this is a good solution.

I would rate this product a seven and a half out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Andrija Panic
Senior System Engineer at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Private gateway networking enables customers to connect to their virtual data centers via dedicated, encrypted fiber lines

Pros and Cons

  • "CloudStack’s private gateway networking feature is what enables us to offer utmost security and confidentially to our customers and partners, by enabling them to connect to their virtual data centers via dedicated, encrypted, private fiber lines that never touch the public internet space. Ease of setup and management are certainly important additional benefits for us on the engineering team."
  • "There are some minor things that can be improved even more such as, perhaps, a bit more polishing on the GUI side to catch up with the API possibilities (which are really extensive) but otherwise nothing critical."

What is our primary use case?

We use Apache CloudStack to provide Public IaaS cloud services in Switzerland at two locations. Together with our own fiber optic-based private network, it features guaranteed latencies of under 0.5 ms per 80 km and optical encryption. We offer the highest level of security and confidentiality to our customers.

How has it helped my organization?

Due to much simpler setup (in comparison to other IaaS products), Apache CloudStack has enabled us to achieve a rapid time to market. It helped us exponentially grow our customer base and required hardware, without seriously increasing our in-house engineering efforts. CloudStack’s development community is excellent and has always been very supportive and helpful in solving any problems and it’s always great to be part of this kind of vendor independent community.

What is most valuable?

Being able to completely virtualize a customer’s physical data center and migrate any workload into the cloud, and cover the most complex use cases - while offering high performance and true volume QoS, backed by SSD-based managed storage - is what differentiates it from other IaaS solutions.

CloudStack’s private gateway networking feature is what enables us to offer utmost security and confidentially to our customers and partners, by enabling them to connect to their virtual data centers via dedicated, encrypted, private fiber lines that never touch the public internet space. Ease of setup and management are certainly important additional benefits for us on the engineering team.

What needs improvement?

There are some minor things that can be improved even more such as, perhaps, a bit more polishing on the GUI side to catch up with the API possibilities (which are really extensive) but otherwise nothing critical.

New features are being developed daily and the product is constantly improved with new features and bug fixes. Currently, one interesting thing that is being seriously improved is the redundant virtual router capability, which enables zero downtime for customers during certain maintenance operations and cloud version upgrades.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What other advice do I have?

We rate Apache CloudStack a pure 10 out of 10 for its extremely versatile environment, rich feature set that can cover even the most complex customer requirements, and the ease of management.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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it_user881109
Senior Software Engineer - Sr. UI Developer at a consultancy with 201-500 employees
Real User
Helped us showcase our features through process visualization and functional solutions

What is our primary use case?

We are developing a software for data centers to ease the process of storage hardware maintenance and providing services. We needed a framework which supported the basics of our requirements. CloudStack's framework was our first choice.

How has it helped my organization?

As our primary focus was on OS development, CloudStack helped us showcase our features through process visualization and functional solutions.

What is most valuable?

The integration and MVC architecture build are awesome. The structuring of the components and isolated environments helped us when using parts of the framework at different levels of product development.

What needs improvement?

A technology upgrade is one item which could be improved upon a lot.

For how long have

What is our primary use case?

We are developing a software for data centers to ease the process of storage hardware maintenance and providing services.

We needed a framework which supported the basics of our requirements. CloudStack's framework was our first choice.

How has it helped my organization?

As our primary focus was on OS development, CloudStack helped us showcase our features through process visualization and functional solutions.

What is most valuable?

The integration and MVC architecture build are awesome. The structuring of the components and isolated environments helped us when using parts of the framework at different levels of product development.

What needs improvement?

A technology upgrade is one item which could be improved upon a lot.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What other advice do I have?

Though the framework is best in its own way, a technology upgrade is lagging.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user840183
Virtualization and Backup Engineer
Real User
Supports every operating system that supports hypervisors, easy to install and manage

Pros and Cons

  • "CloudStack supports every operating system that supports hypervisors, which makes the product more attractive, compared to vCloud Director or Azure."
  • "It is very easy to install and manage. It has the all modules in one node, unlike other software (OpenStack). The product allows a customized look and feel, and the ability to add custom workflows."

    What is our primary use case?

    CloudStack is an open-source platform for deploying infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Our company uses it to offer IaaS to companies who want to have public, private, or hybrid cloud.

    I implemented this platform in two companies in Colombia. It was used to offer our customers a portal where they could create servers easily, safely, and have stable performance. I worked with different hypervisors and installed CloudStack in different operating systems. The integration is excellent. We had three zones in the platform for specific countries, approximately four pods and 10 clusters with VMware and XenServer hosts, and more than 500 virtual machines in production.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Customers were very happy with how easy it is to create a VPN site-to-site or a NAT, deploy a new virtual machine from a template, take a Snapshot, or clone a VM.

    What is most valuable?

    • CloudStack supports every operating system that supports hypervisors, which makes the product more attractive, compared to vCloud Director or Azure.
    • It is very easy to install and manage.
    • It has the all modules in one node, unlike other software (OpenStack).
    • The product allows a customized look and feel, and the ability to add custom workflows.

    What needs improvement?

    The product has evolved a lot since the first versions in which it was very complicated to do version updates, and had various problems.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No problem, the platform is very stable.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The platform has some problems, but this is due to restrictions of the hypervisor. For example, it's not possible to augment the disk core in VMware or reduce vCPU with the VM running.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    We had support with Citrix and Shapeblue. Currently we only use the CloudStack community.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was easy with the support of a partner.

    What other advice do I have?

    I recommend that you initially consider what solution or cloud product you require. Then, if you are looking for a stable product that is easy to install with a lot of documentation, a portal that is very easy to understand and manage and that can be modified, you should use CloudStack.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user153084
    Cloud Architect at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
    MSP
    Centralized management design scales well, but lacks support for third-party vendors

    Pros and Cons

    • "It works, and pretty much always has. Reliability and support for enterprise features, with a multi-tenant interface, makes CloudStack a very compelling solution."
    • "Key features include stability, centralized management design that scales well, and transparent interoperability with different hypervisors and manufacturers.."
    • "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."

    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 Cloud.com, 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.
    it_user842943
    Senior System Analyst at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    APIs enable customizable cloud creation, but zones need to be more stable

    What is our primary use case?

    Development and test environment for customer.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We saved on cost of hardware.

    What is most valuable?

    You can build your own cloud and make it customizable with APIs.

    What needs improvement?

    The zones need to be more stable. During moving and first deployment there were a lot of issues.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What is our primary use case?

    Development and test environment for customer.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We saved on cost of hardware.

    What is most valuable?

    You can build your own cloud and make it customizable with APIs.

    What needs improvement?

    The zones need to be more stable. During moving and first deployment there were a lot of issues.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user842946
    Lead Linux Systems Administrator
    Real User
    Simple to stand up, does not restrict us just one hypervisor

    Pros and Cons

    • "The API with CloudStack made integration into various external facing web applications simple enough."
    • "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."
    • "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."

    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.
    it_user841137
    Quantitative Software Developer at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Helped me create infrastructure environment for an academic instituion

    What is our primary use case?

    I used Apache CloudStack as an academic project, for setting up the environments for a school's infrastructure, and not for specific applications' usage.

    How has it helped my organization?

    My experience with CloudStack was part of my academic experience in my college. It eventually did not end up being used practically, it was showcased as a research project.

    What needs improvement?

    I think CloudStack needs to promote itself better, since I believe it a better solution than OpenStack. However, the latter has been more successfully commercially.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Less than one year.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I have also explored setting up with OpenStack and I found it harder to use than CloudStack.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate Apache CloudStack at seven out of 10, compared with six out of 10 for OpenStack. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user841134
    Cloud Platform engineer at a tech vendor with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Provides our development environment, but multi-deployments could be better

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for our enterprise cloud.

    How has it helped my organization?

    All our development is done on this environment because we deploy around 3,000 instances every day. We couldn’t do that on any public service because of the budget.

    What is most valuable?

    The feature of the Apache CloudStack, IaaS.

    What needs improvement?

    Multi-deployments.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it for our enterprise cloud.

    How has it helped my organization?

    All our development is done on this environment because we deploy around 3,000 instances every day. We couldn’t do that on any public service because of the budget.

    What is most valuable?

    The feature of the Apache CloudStack, IaaS.

    What needs improvement?

    Multi-deployments.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Oleksii Kyianytsia
    System Engineer at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Easy to manage accounts and limits, helps us govern resource usage

    Pros and Cons

    • "Valuable features include that it is a user-friendly portal, VPN P2S and S2S possibilities, and it's easy to manage accounts and limits."
    • "VPN P2S is cutting all connections except the CloudStack environment for the user when he is connected. I would like to have VPN like Cisco's AnyConnect."
    • "It would be great to have a couple of “external” networks for VPC and have the possibility, for each domain, to choose they type of “external” network."
    • "From time to time there is a bug in calculating limits of resources for customer domain/account. Maybe it’s a problem with 4.9.2."

    What is our primary use case?

    CloudStack is our private IaaS cloud which helps us manage resource usage in our company. It is also a great PoC environment.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It gives us a new way of providing IaaS services internally, for different departments. Also, CloudStack is providing us much more profit than OpenStack.

    What is most valuable?

    • User-friendly portal
    • VPN P2S and S2S possibilities
    • Easy to manage accounts and limits

    What needs improvement?

    1. VPN P2S: It's cutting all connections except the CloudStack environment for the user when he is connected. I would like to have VPN like Cisco's AnyConnect.
    2. It would be great to have a couple of “external” networks for VPC and have the possibility, for each domain, to choose they type of “external” network.
    3. From time to time there is a bug in calculating limits of resources for customer domain/account. Maybe it’s a problem with 4.9.2.
    4. I would like to have billing built in as a feature.
    5. Integration with some backup software.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The system is stable, I haven't faced any problems with it. The organization of management is simple and clear.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It’s hard to say because I have quite a small environment. But adding nodes to the cluster/POD was done without any problems.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I haven’t used technical support, but what is really good that there is a lot of written use cases within the network. I think this is more than enough.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    OpenStack was my first implementation but it’s really difficult to manage. The installation required a lot of resources just to start the platform, and the user experience was totally unsatisfactory.

    After that I tried Azure Stack just for testing, but it’s also very heavy.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was easy and took no more than an hour (including HA configuration).

    What other advice do I have?

    Every infrastructure is different, and company policies are also different. I can’t advise in a general way here. I can only say that KVM and Citrix, as a hypervisors, are very stable with CLoudStack. The rest is up to the architecting fantasy of the administrator.

    This solution really works. That’s it.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    OK
    Junior QA Engineer at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Keeps administration for all virtual machines in one place, but needs more specific error messages

    Pros and Cons

    • "The most valuable feature from my point of view is access to environment via console through separate browser window."
    • "It would be a good to have more specific error messages within administration processes (e.g. problem with creating new instance)."

    What is our primary use case?

    Primary use case of is set up deploy for testing team's artifacts. Usually it has 8-16 RAM, ~80 HDD.

    How has it helped my organization?

    CloudStack helps to keep the administration process for all virtual machines in one place.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature from my point of view is access to environment via console through separate browser window.

    What needs improvement?

    It would be a good to have more specific error messages within administration processes (e.g. problem with creating new instance).

    Also, I would like to see the possibility of resetting password for instance without stopping it.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Less than one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Only once, an instance with VM on Windows Server was rebooted without any action from my side.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues with scalability.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I have never used technical support.

    How was the initial setup?

    Regarding the first creation of an instance in CloudStack, I would say that it is rather straightforward. I was faced with a non-activated network within a VM and it took a little time to find and fix it.

    What other advice do I have?

    In general I would to say CS is a stable solution and, in my opinion, it will solve problems with administration of VMs.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Sibin John
    Systems Engineer R&D at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Storage migrations and volume Snapshot restores produced MySQL time-outs and status update failures

    Pros and Cons

    • "Multiple types of hypervisor support, multi-zone support, and VPC are great valuable features."
    • "For time consuming operations like storage migrations, volume Snapshot restore and the like, we faced issues like MySQL operations timing out and status update failures. Those areas needs improvement."
    • "I encountered some stability issues. When I tried to remove high-capacity virtual machines it took a long time to update, and sometimes the VM status failed to update properly in the cloud database. This occurred multiple times, even though I had sufficient resources."

    What is our primary use case?

    My company has developed solutions like user-friendly control portals and billing portals for CloudStack. Also we were providing infrastructure support for CloudStack-based IaaS platforms for a few of our clients. We used most possible cases like LDAP integrations, RBAC, etc., with CloudStack. We created multi-zone infrastructure with CloudStack and it was working great.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We acquired some good clients for our billing and control portal solutions with CloudStack and it improved our business greatly. 

    What is most valuable?

    Multiple types of hypervisor support, multi-zone support, and VPC are great valuable features, in my opinion. Also, there are shared network features - LB, VPN, etc. - which are very useful for every user.

    What needs improvement?

    For time consuming operations like storage migrations, volume Snapshot restore and the like, we faced issues like MySQL operations timing out and status update failures. Those areas needs improvement.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Three to five years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    I encountered some stability issues. When I tried to remove high-capacity virtual machines it took a long time to update, and sometimes the VM status failed to update properly in the cloud database. This occurred multiple times, even though I had sufficient resources. Other than that everything was fine.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No, I did not face any issues scalability issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    Since it is an open-source product, we did not approach any technical support specifically. But the CloudStack forums and ShapeBlue forums are very helpful for many of the issues we faced. Sometimes we got exact solutions from the forums.

    How was the initial setup?

    Straightforward, a very simple process.

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

    It's an open-source product, so there won't be any pricing. For licensing, it uses Apache open-source license.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate it at five out of 10. For a private cloud, CloudStack is good and fine, but for public cloud, it will not be that a great experience, in my opinion. CloudStack is good for private cloud, simple to install and set up.

    If you are planning for a public cloud with microservices architecture, go for OpenStack. CloudStack is a monolithic architecutred solution to manage cloud  infra and sometimes it will be difficult to pick and fix a single component from CloudStack.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Paresh Tripathi
    Cloud Solutions Engineer at a comms service provider with 501-1,000 employees
    MSP
    Makes it easy to deploy new devices with minimal hardware changes, but every new version introduces new bugs

    Pros and Cons

    • "It has become easy to deploy new devices with no or minimal hardware changes. Now, a user can be ready to use a firewall within a few minutes, as compared to the traditional physical model which involved purchase, shipping, hardware configuration, cabling, power, etc."
    • "CloudStack, by default, gives us a zone-based setup which makes it easier to manage datacenters located in different geographical areas."
    • "It gives us the ability to manage and segregate a guest network with openvSwitch and VLAN IDs."
    • "This product needs a lot improvement on the development side. Every new version introduces new bugs. It lacks many features needed for NFV like DPDK, SR-IOV support, etc."
    • "It is not widely used so Google does not help very much when you are troubleshooting, and the CloudStack forum is not very active."

    What is our primary use case?

    We have created a zone-based setup in Cloudstack where each zone represents a physical datacentre. Each zone has a few servers/hypervisors with predefined VM templates.

    We have a portal where a user just clicks a few times and gets a VM ready for use. We use API in the background, which gives instructions to Cloudstack to produce the desired results.

    How has it helped my organization?

    Cloud computing has improved the way our organization functions. With virtualization, physical hardware has been replaced with virtual devices hosted on CloudStack. What CloudStack does is make the management of servers and VMs easy and centralized.

    Also it has become easy to deploy new devices with no or minimal hardware changes. Now, a user can be ready to use a firewall within a few minutes, as compared to the traditional physical model which involved purchase, shipping, hardware configuration, cabling, power, etc.

    What is most valuable?

    We use CloudStack because it is simpler than OpenStack and has most features required to be an IaaS orchestration tool.

    • CloudStack, by default, gives us a zone-based setup which makes it easier to manage datacenters located in different geographical areas.
    • It gives us the ability to manage and segregate a guest network with openvSwitch and VLAN IDs.
    • While OpenStack has different components and related DB and conf files, which is difficult to manage, CloudStack has just one database and few related conf files located in a single directory.
    • Most logs are generated at a single location, which makes troubleshooting easier.

    What needs improvement?

    This product needs a lot improvement on the development side. Every new version introduces new bugs. It lacks many features needed for NFV like DPDK, SR-IOV support, etc.

    Also, it is not widely used so Google does not help very much when you are troubleshooting, and the CloudStack forum is not very active.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Yes, we encountered stability issues. We were using an older version on which, when we restarted the CloudStack management service, the connection would break between CloudStack and KVM hosts. This resulted in VM deployment failure. The issue was resolved after updating to the new version.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issue with scalability.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We don’t have CloudStack support. We manage it on our own.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using VMware and Xen earlier, but to reduce the cost and to make management simple, everything has been moved to KVM and CloudStack. Both KVM and CloudStack are free.

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

    We are not using the licensed version.

    What other advice do I have?

    I rate it a seven out of 10 because it is has most features you would expect from an orchestration tool, but less complexity.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user840186
    Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
    Real User
    Gives us ability to orchestrate large virtual environments; flexible enough to configure for our needs

    Pros and Cons

    • "The product gives us the ability to orchestrate large virtual environments and is flexible enough to allow us to configure it for what we need. We value the flexibility of the networking feature set as well as the ability to build virtual private clouds."
    • "The area of Apache CloudStack that could stand the most improvement is the functionality/features around the virtual routers. They can be somewhat cumbersome to deal with at times and are the least stable piece of the product."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use Apache CloudStack to host and orchestrate all of our virtual environments. We host both internal virtual machines and customer virtual machines.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It allowed us to build and manage a virtual environment much larger than we originally thought would be possible for our organization. It also gives us the ability to rapidly deploy virtual resources to meet business needs quickly.

    What is most valuable?

    The product gives us the ability to orchestrate large virtual environments and is flexible enough to allow us to configure it for what we need. We value the flexibility of the networking feature set as well as the ability to build virtual private clouds.

    What needs improvement?

    The area of Apache CloudStack that could stand the most improvement is the functionality/features around the virtual routers. They can be somewhat cumbersome to deal with at times and are the least stable piece of the product.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    More than five years.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate this an eight out of 10. It is a great solution for virtual hypervisor orchestration. It is purpose-built for our environment and does very well if you have the time to manage your environment.

    We’ve been using some form of CloudStack in our environment since 2012. It has become an integral part of how we provide critical services to our customers.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    Oleksandr Rybchenko
    Project Manager at a tech vendor with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    Environment is sensitive, requires high-end engineers; but it supports many hypervisors

    Pros and Cons

    • "Killer features for me were: support for many hypervisors, ability to match business logic, "everything in one box," available APIs."
    • "You can manage infrastructure with a few people, since product is monolithic. We had three engineers (storage, virtual, Linux admins) only. Also, CS supports different flavours of hypervisors."
    • "The main reason why we started looking for another solution: backups, replication, HA, and dependency on secondary storage. CS is quite sensitive for infrastructure, and any kind of network disruption between CS and secondary storage leads to VM hanging."
    • "Environment is sensitive, so, unlike VMware, you can not afford middle-skilled engineers, they will ruin everything."
    • "It's really hard to delete zones, clusters, datacenters. You need to follow strict rules, which were not properly documented at the time."
    • "We did encounter issues with stability, and the main issue was secondary storage. When it is not available, XenServers and hypervisors are affected. And CS doesn’t do anything to reboot, or fix. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn’t, considering their approach – CS just orchestrates everything else on the hypervisor and storage level."

    What is our primary use case?

    The main goal was to have an IaaS solution which could be supported by a small number of people and which matches our business logic for internal units. In the end, CloudStack was deployed  as a private cloud, across three datacenters with different hardware vendors (HPE, Dell, Cisco Blades, EMC, and Supermicro storage) and advanced networking. It's more then 100 hosts (including DR) and more then 1,000 instances deployed. Final design included automatic limits configuration and access management.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We managed to avoid additional expenses for orchestration and automation tools.

    What is most valuable?

    Killer features for me were: 

    • Support for many hypervisors
    • ability to match business logic
    • "everything in one box"
    • available APIs.

    What needs improvement?

    The main reason why we started looking for another solution: backups, replication, HA, and dependency on secondary storage. CS is quite sensitive for infrastructure, and any kind of network disruption between CS and secondary storage leads to VM hanging. This is most painful point here.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We did encounter issues with stability, and the main issue was secondary storage. When it is not available, XenServers and hypervisors are affected. And CS doesn’t do anything to reboot, or fix. Come to think of it, maybe it shouldn’t, considering their approach – CS just orchestrates everything else on the hypervisor and storage level. But considering so many points of failure and dependencies on infrastructure, they could figure out something. This was another reason why we planned migration to SOA.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    CS itself provides quite powerful options to scale: availability zones, clusters, etc. One main issue encountered: It's really hard to delete zones, clusters, datacenters. You need to follow strict rules, which were not properly documented, a couple of years ago.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    CS has very descriptive logging, and every time I faced issues and asked for help, I didn’t get any reply from the community. Reason? Its quite obvious. CS runs on specific environments, unique to each case. So, unless it is a functional issue of CS, nobody can help you. All issues were resolved by myself going through logs. This is another reason why you need smart enough people to manage it. Engineers must have knowledge of hypervisors and understand how CS interacts with them. At the end, CS is “script box.”

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used OnApp for cloud. It is deployed on premises, and paid, and still it did not give us flexibility. For example, we couldn’t export VMs, CLI capabilities were limited, only Xen hypervisors.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was complex for three reasons:

    1. I had to match business logic, so initial testing came in.
    2. To make it work properly, I had to figure out how it exactly interacts with hypervisors, and rules for that. It was not clearly described at that time.
    3. Sensitive environment, so if you make a mistake during the initial configuration, get ready to start from the beginning.

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

    As far as I know, CS is still free of charge. If you want to pay some money, Citrix Cloud Platform is based on CS, I think. As for hypervisors – everything as usual, you need to pay for VMware and vCenter. As for XenServer, recently they changed the free feature list, so you may need to pay some money to get useful features like XenMotion.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We were looking for a solution on premises, and I reviewed OpenStack “zoo” before making my final decision. As I mentioned, CS can be managed by small number of people, unlike OpenStack.

    What other advice do I have?

    We have been using CS for three years. I started a small PoC with a few VMware hosts. At the end, I had three production instances with VMware and XenServers.

    I would rate CloudStack as a six out of 10. Main pros: You can manage infrastructure with a few people, since product is monolithic. We had three engineers (storage, virtual, Linux admins) only. Also, CS supports different flavours of hypervisors. Main concern: Environment is sensitive, so, unlike VMware, you can not afford middle-skilled engineers, they will ruin everything. 

    It's very important to understand CS rules and baseline for them.

    Make proper estimations for everything: networking, storage, performance (primary and  secondary) and then add 20% to your estimates. CS is good for private clouds, but I would never use it for public clouds.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user840522
    User at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    User
    It was easy to deploy, both for PoC and production with HA
    We use this product solely for private cloud. We have a small setup (like half-rack) used mostly for software development. We have basic network (with ACLs) and use Ansible for instance management. The initial decision to go with CloudStack, not OpenStack, was made because of its simplicity. It was easy to deploy, both for PoC and production (with HA). For hypervisor, we decided to go with Citrix Xen (and NFS storage). Now, we are considering KVM with GlusterFS. There are some things that I would like to see fixed in newer versions:  The user can't upload SSH keys from the UI. We have to use the API for this, and it is not always convenient.  The Security Groups. I would like to see more AWS-like behavior, and be able to add/remove SG to instance after creation.  The Windows…

    We use this product solely for private cloud. We have a small setup (like half-rack) used mostly for software development. We have basic network (with ACLs) and use Ansible for instance management.

    The initial decision to go with CloudStack, not OpenStack, was made because of its simplicity. It was easy to deploy, both for PoC and production (with HA). For hypervisor, we decided to go with Citrix Xen (and NFS storage). Now, we are considering KVM with GlusterFS.

    There are some things that I would like to see fixed in newer versions: 

    1. The user can't upload SSH keys from the UI. We have to use the API for this, and it is not always convenient. 
    2. The Security Groups. I would like to see more AWS-like behavior, and be able to add/remove SG to instance after creation. 
    3. The Windows hosts do not get their hostnames from cloud-init.
    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user687273
    IT Manager / Gerente de TI at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Real User
    The platform is very simple to scale-out

    Pros and Cons

    • "The platform is very simple to scale-out.​"
    • "We had a relevant reduction of bureaucracy tasks."
    • "The absence of the feature, deploy an instance from a snapshot, is the weak point of the platform. It is a feature that everyone needs nowadays."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are an ISP in Brazil. We have started to offer IaaS to the market and our current customers. We implemented ACS in our datacenter starting with a zone, pod, and cluster. We also developed an eCommerce/user interface at the top of the Apache CloudStack platform.

    How has it helped my organization?

    We increased our IaaS sales by 30% and our deploy time of VM/instances has been reduced from one day to one minute. We also had a relevant reduction of bureaucracy tasks.

    What is most valuable?

    • CloudStack is very stable and scalable. 
    • It uses a single code/project differently from other platforms, like OpenStack.
    • It is very simple to implement and maintain.

    What needs improvement?

    The absence of the feature, deploy an instance from a snapshot, is the weak point of the platform. It is a feature that everyone needs nowadays.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    One to three years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    We had only one problem with the hypervisors, but not with the ACS.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No issues. The platform is very simple to scale-out.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    We use only the community, as we have inside technical skills, and it works very well.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not use a previous solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    It is not complex, but has some little tricks.

    What about the implementation team?

    We contracted a specialized company called ShapeBlue for the first design of the environment, then we deployed it ourselves.

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

    The Apache CloudStack is open source, so you do not have licenses to purchase.

    Give an effort to planning. If possible, contract a specialized consultant company for the initial setup and knowledge transfer.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We evaluated OpenStack and Eucalyptus. 

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user711606
    IT Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
    Real User
    Has reduced the time to market for the delivery of new products.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable features are:

    • Compatibility with various hypervisors such as Xen, KVM, vSphere, and Hyper-V.
    • Support for multiple availability zones.
    • Structured REST API and integration with virtual appliance vendors solutions.

    How has it helped my organization?

    CloudStack has reduced the time to market for the delivery of new products.

    What needs improvement?

    Factors that need improvement are:

    • Visualization in terms of the resources usage.
    • The user interface.
    • Providing best error feedback to the users.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've used CloudStack for three years for the private cloud environments.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no scalability issues.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The main support for this platform is the community of developments and the users involved with this open-source project.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    It is my first solution to manage the on-premise environments.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup is actually pretty easy because CloudStack has a monolithic, all-in-one architecture.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We looked at OpenStack and VMware.

    What other advice do I have?

    Reduction in the time for the presentation of new improvements.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user693225
    Cloud Architect at a tech vendor with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    It helps some business areas to test ideas and innovation initiatives with freedom and more speed.

    What is most valuable?

    API support, LB-integration with NetScaler for auto-scaling support, and the flexibility to configure/represent the physical network (VPC, guest and network offerings). NFV light making it possible to have LB, FW, PortFoward and private networks is also very useful.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It helps some business areas to test their ideas and innovation initiatives with freedom and more speed (and better time to market).

    What needs improvement?

    More integration with third-party products (we know that OpenStack has a better level of integration).

    For how long have I used the solution?

    3 years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    No.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    No.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Very nice. We can leverage community forums and we had some support from ShapeBlue.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We've tested OpenStack, VMware vCloud Director and VMware Cloud Automation Center. We chose CloudStack because we saw it with a better TCO ratio, balancing innovation, and starting the DevOps culture with a low operational overhead.

    How was the initial setup?

    It was simple, taking into consideration that any private cloud deployment is intrinsically complex. We could manage to decrease the network complexity representing the physical network with VLANs mapping to guest, isolated and VPC networks.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    Openstack, vCloud Director and vCAC.

    What other advice do I have?

    Attention to network design and secondary storage.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    it_user693228
    Lead Technical Architect
    Vendor
    We have high availability (HA) of the virtual machines and a better SLA.

    What is most valuable?

    It is easy to set up, unlike OpenStack (in 2013). It provides good KVM virtualization support.

    The advanced network allows for creating a private network for better isolation of VMs.

    How has it helped my organization?

    CloudStack provides an easy way to have high availability (HA) of the virtual machines and helps with a better SLA.

    What needs improvement?

    The web UI can be improved. It is too complex, and not trivial for the average user.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    Since 2013, I have been using Apache CloudStack 4.1.1.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There were no stability issues.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    There were no scalability issues.

    How is customer service and technical support?

    I have contributed to the CloudStack project at ASF; I'm a PMC member, so the support is self-made.

    How was the initial setup?

    The setup was straightforward. The installation guide is easy to follow. The concepts are easy to understand and are based on the standard mechanisms.

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

    It's free (open source).

    What other advice do I have?

    I have used KVM or XenServer as hypervisors with CloudStack. These virtualization technologies are most supported on CloudStack.

    Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
    ITCS user
    IaaS/Cloud Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
    Consultant
    Provides LDAP integration, quota management, and RBAC.

    What is most valuable?

    Easy installation and simple IAAS cloud management.

    How has it helped my organization?

    The product has been evolving over the years. Several new features like LDAP integration, quota management, and RBAC have been added over last few years.

    What needs improvement?

    The upgrade process can be improved further. There are two parts to the upgrade. One is to upgrade the CloudStack management server. That is desirable in terms of auto updates and more user friendly UI to manage updates. Then there is this whole system VM template upgrade procedure that sounds technical, although it has been improving over the years with more automation and mirror selection that could be more desirable.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have been using this solution for four years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    The product is stable. There were times where longer running operation could run into issues. Some of these stability related problems have been fixed in newer releases.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    With the scale that we operate, I have not encountered issues with scalability. CloudStack manages infrastructure with 2-4 thousands of hosts easily.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The community is active and the response to questions is reasonably quick. There are also several companies providing support for CloudStack.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We have been on CloudStack since the start.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was simple compared to competitive products.

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

    It is an open source product and comes free under license from the Apache foundation. If you need dedicated support or training, then you may have to pay. It depends on how you go about it.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We have looked at OpenStack. At that time, it appeared to have been receiving more traction. But we found installation and operation more complex, compared to the simplicity of CloudStack. CloudStack installation is simple and it works.

    What other advice do I have?

    If you are looking for a private cloud, just go for CloudStack.

    Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We at use CloudStack for our private datacenter. We also provide feature development and support for CloudStack.
    ITCS user
    System Architect at a manufacturing company with 10,001+ employees
    Vendor
    CloudStack: The other cloud controller
    OpenStack seems to be winning the popularity contest when it comes to an open source cloud computing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform but there’s another solution available. What is this solution you ask, drum roll please……..CloudStack. If you truly did your homework in this space you would have already heard of and probably tested CloudStack. But for those that have not, here is a run down of what CloudStack is and what it brings to the table. CloudStack is an open source software cloud controller for building private, public and hybrid IaaS environments. CloudStack lets you pool and manage compute, storage and network resources all from its inviting web interface. One difference from OpenStack is that CloudStack is a monolithic solution which doesn’t have to be put together…

    OpenStack seems to be winning the popularity contest when it comes to an open source cloud computing Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform but there’s another solution available. What is this solution you ask, drum roll please……..CloudStack. If you truly did your homework in this space you would have already heard of and probably tested CloudStack. But for those that have not, here is a run down of what CloudStack is and what it brings to the table.

    CloudStack is an open source software cloud controller for building private, public and hybrid IaaS environments. CloudStack lets you pool and manage compute, storage and network resources all from its inviting web interface. One difference from OpenStack is that CloudStack is a monolithic solution which doesn’t have to be put together like a box of Legos. So unlike OpenStack, you don’t have to stack the stack then stack the infrastructure in the stack, if that makes sense. But there’s pros and cons to both platforms and since this is not a bash on one or the other so lets move on.

    The installation process for CloudStack is fairly simple but you’ll want to get a detailed understanding of the solution if your planning on a production installation but for a lab environment not real thought is needed but you will need have some linux experience. CloudStack consist of a management server and hosts. It’s been about a year since I first set eyes on CloudStack and it’s changed a bit since then from the UI perspective for the better. CloudStack supports multiple hypervisors like VMware vSphere, KVM, Xen, and Citrix XenServer. No Hyper-V though, hmmm' I like and use CentOS which is supported for KVM and Xen but Ubuntu is on the list as well. There is also an Amazons Web Services (AWS) api compatibility interface that can be enabled.

    Theres a concept of Zones (Datacenter), Pods (Rack), Clusters, and Hosts used with CloudStack. CloudStack also offer services such as firewall, routing, dhcp, vpn, storage access and more. These services are provided by the system appliances which are brought up as needed. So when you get your environment up you’ll get a console proxy, a storage appliance and a virtual router. This is just an overview of CloudStack and if you want to know more head on over to the Apache CloudStack page. The documentation is really good even though there was one gotcha during installation that caused me to waste some time trolling google that I did not see documented in the CloudStack installation docs but that’s for another post.

    For those in the enterprise I’d recommend taking a look at this cloud platform. If anything it gives you another option to consider which could be a good thing. I will breakdown the pros and cons in my opinion:

    Pros:

    • Open source Apache project
    • Multi hypervisor support (KVM, Xen/Citrix, vSphere)
    • Quicker onramp to IaaS
    • Easy to install, setup, and manage

    Cons:

    • Not backed as much from the industry yet like OpenStack
    • Not much installation flexibility (but this also means it’s less complex which is a pro in my book)
    • Usage information is not directly shown in the default UI (but they can be gathered for show-back or chargeback)

    If there any pros and cons I’ve missed, and I probably did, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments below. I’d love to see them.

    CloudStack: The other cloud controller! originally appeared on theHyperadvisor by Antone Heyward

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