Tuesday, May 8, 2012

OpenStack vs. CloudStack vs. Eucalyptus

The race to become the preferred choice among three leading open source Cloud software stacks Openstack, Cloudstack and Eucalyptus has been on for some time.  However, it has picked up significant momentum in the last 2-3 months. Many factors are contributing to the accelerated phenomenon. First and foremost has to do with the realization about the business value of implementing a private or a hybrid cloud. For example, virtualization is reaching the so called "maturity phase," while the Cloud Software stack is enabling IT to new levels of access, management, charge-back and authentication of isolated pool of IT resources such as application, compute, storage, and network. This represents yet another key step towards self-service and more optimum utilization of your data center resources.

Second, there are many "early adopters" across multiple industries who have implemented both private and hybrid clouds. These include both Cloud Service Providers  (CSPs) and end-users. They have leveraged any one of the three open source cloud stacks in combination with off-the-shelf-SaaS-cloud services.

Third, the more obvious, reason has to do with the fact that traditional platform vendors like IBM, Dell and HP need to protect their current and future software, hardware, systems, solutions and services revenue. Announcing or offering and supporting Private and Hybrid cloud-related projects and products helps them a great deal in potentially better managing their platform revenue and profitability commitments.
At this stage of the race, no one knows which open source Cloud stack is the best. Most likely all three will continue to evolve well. Also, do we really care if we can identify which stack will meet our business needs the most? So how do we get started in comparing these stacks and selecting that best meets our business needs. Following are some of the key criteria:
  • Strategic fit with your business needs
  • Standard vs. project vs. product
  • Road-map (architecture, release frequency and features)
  • APIs compatibility with other public and private clouds
  • Ease of administration (private and hybrid clouds)
  • Platform vendor and Cloud Service Provider (CSP) support 
  • Customer support and associated cost
  • Quality of community participation
  • Use cases in your vertical market
  • Licensing requirements
Each of the three open source cloud stacks have built and earned sufficient bragging rights to deliver an acceptable solution. However, each one of them also represents risk and challenges as you leverage them in implementing a private or a hybrid cloud for a set of workloads in your business. You need to make sure that you pick the stack that best meets your business needs.

Purposeful Clouds will continue to actively monitor their evolution, build upon our detailed selection criteria for various vertical markets, test all three stacks in Purposeful Clouds lab and continue to share our findings with you in our blogs and on our website.

Please let me know your thoughts.



  1. In this document in Cloud diagram you forget to specify most popular Hypervisor "VMWare"

  2. The most popular ripp off. Xenserver is a much cheaper and better choice for both Eucalyptus and cloudstack

  3. This article neither compares or contrasts the three architectures. Very poor.

    1. As you know, each application or workload will have its own set of requirements. The ten decision criteria listed above should give a real good start.

      We will be happy work with you for your specific use case and providemore detailed comparisons as well as recommendation/s on Cloud stack/components.

      thanks for your comment.