[Openstack] Technical advantages of Openstack over Cloudstack

Jordi Moles Blanco jordi at cdmon.com
Wed Dec 3 18:42:29 UTC 2014


Hi everyone, 

I've been looking though the old messages in this list and I haven't
found this kind of information (sorry if it is present somewhere and I
couldn't find), so I decided to ask you because you are the experts on

We want to build a new cloud platform and we have been playing with both
options for a while. 

 There are plenty of articles where people give their opinion about
which stack technology is better, but they are more business-oriented
than technically-oriented. 

I don't want to do that, I don't think there are good or bad players in
this game, just different options that you have to know very well before
you make your decision.

 And that's why I'm asking you as Openstack experts. You see, I managed
to deploy a Cloustack 4.4.1 platform with 2 compute nodes (for
live-migration testing) in less than 2 hours, while it took me days to
deploy an Openstack infrastructure that was functional and sometimes it
just breaks and I have to reboot some nodes or redeploy with Fuel. 

 I know, I'm just an inexperienced Openstack user, but that is one of my
points: For any company that wants to go all the way to Openstack, it
may inevitably face a big transformation and I don't think that everyone
is ready for that. Sure, you do that because you want to change, you
want to be able to provide infrastructure much faster, but there are
other options that don't mean such a big change.

 I don't care much about people saying "Cloudstack has a nicer GUI". If
it does the job, it is good for me.

 I'm not bothered either about how big the community behind each project
is or if Cloudstack is "only" supported by Citrix or if Citrix's pricing
is higher or lower than RedHat's or Canonical's. I don't actually know
the figures, but I'm trying to focus on technical stuff anyway. 

 What I know is that I've been in both conferences and even though the
Cloudstack Collaboraton Conference is much smaller and there are fewer
contributors, there are also several companies working on that and many
happy and enthusiastic commiters to the project.

 What I do care about is having a platform that eases the process of vm
provisioning and at the same time is easy to install, configure and

 Both platforms do that, but I feel that in order to do that, you need
to have a group of highly trained people in Openstack whose only job is
keeping the infrastructure running, while due to Cloudstack
architecture, It doesn't seem like you need the same kind of expertise.

 If you don't want to dedicate resources, you can always pay for a
managed Openstack solution, but then you are outsourcing your platform
and, again, not everyone is ready for that, both for culture and

 I've also read several times that Openstack is a more mature project,
with more features than other projects.

 Here are some thoughts:

 -As for vm provisioning, they both do that.
 -Cloudstack also has something similar to Ceilometer.
 -Cloudstack network management is also able to provide Network As a
service: vpn, lb, etc.
 -Support for several commercial hypervisors on both.
 -Orchestration tools on top of the stack. It is true that Openstack
comes with things like Heat, Juju or Openshift, but you can also use
Juju with instances from Cloudtack and there are things like Cloudstack
integration in Vagrant.
 -Both can integrate well with Amazon.
 -Things like deploying Hadoop with a click from Horizon is great, but
it is virtualized and not suitable for all needs. Also, you can deploy
Hadoop with Juju on Cloudstack vms. 

Obviously, I know pretty well what we will do with the Cloud
infraestructure: vm provisioning that will allow us to sell services to
end users. We won't sell vms to the end-user, only services: web, dns,
mysql, etc. We will also probably go for containers, but you don't need
Openstack for that, tools like Kubernetes let you play with Docker at
scale in a very easy way. 

 So... given all that and the complexity of running Openstack, I just
want to know, feature-wise, why you think Openstack is a better option.

 For example, I can think of scalability. Openstack has the storage
system built-in with Swift and Ceph.
 Ceph is great and very scalable, while Cloudstack only asks you to add
an external storage system (mainly NAS or SAN). 
 So, in Cloudstack, you have to prepare and scale if necessary an
independent storage system or create a new zone with a new pool.
 I wonder how much you can actually scale Ceph and if you don't have to
make a new deployment of Openstack when you reach a certain number of
Ceph nodes or computes nodes (specially because performance declines
after a certain number of Ceph nodes).

 We are right now testing both projects and their features seem equally
advanced for what we want to do (I would even say that Cloudstack has
some cool features like the ability to limit how many IOPS an instance
can use. 

Can you highlight some Openstack advantages that we may be missing in
our tests?

 Thanks in advance. 


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