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 used by a number of service providers to offer public cloud services, and by many companies to provide an on-premises (private) cloud offering, or as part of a hybrid cloud solution. We’ve talked with Gabriel Brascher about Apache CloudStack.
What exactly is the role of the VP of Apache CloudStack?
To give some context let’s start with a bit of Apache. The Apache Software Foundation controls over 300+ Projects. Therefore, it is quite hard for a single Apache Board to stay close and manage all the projects.
With that in mind, each project holds a group of contributors capable of managing to supervise the project following the Apache guidelines; this group is called Project Management Committee (PMC). A project VP is a PMC Chair appointed by the Apache Board.
The VP serves as a bridge between the ASF Board and the Project, providing reports to the Apache Board on a quarterly basis. VP also holds an important role in terms of marketing the project and orchestrating discussions.
If you look at CloudStack, it has played a critical role for many solutions providers and companies who search for ease of use and deployment. Which companies can benefit the most from CloudStack?
Any company that deploys and consumes large loads of computer resources can benefit from CloudStack. Some examples are:
- Cloud Providers – they are a perfect match as their core business is Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS)
- Telecommunications Companies – are transiting to large cloud infrastructures; especially with the wide change on the communication industry (migrating from traditional Telephone & TV to wireless mobile and Internet technologies)
- Universities and Research Groups – need large scale systems for running experiments and also maintaining multiple services for students, professors, and researchers
- Enterprises/Governments – they process and store loads of data, and need elastic computer resources to comply with their demands
In summary, these companies have something in common. The costs with public clouds are higher than deploying and managing their own Private Cloud. Also, some companies must control their data and will not process them on third parties.
In all those cases CloudStack has proven to be a competitive option.
Choosing a cloud management system is a hard thing, especially if you have a long history with specific technologies. Why should companies migrate to CloudStack?
That is true. Choosing such a system is hard and it requires evaluating many aspects, such as the goals, expectations, and technical background that the company already has.
CloudStack can handle a wide set of hypervisors, and instead of creating new components and projects, it focuses on connecting and managing solid technologies such as iSCSI, NFS, and Ceph. Additionally, it allows configuring guest networks with IPv6 protocol for VMs, which is not commonly supported by other cloud orchestration systems.
In short: a good thing from CloudStack for companies planning to migrate to Private Cloud is that it adopted technologies that are out in the industry for decades and most of the Admins and Engineers are already used to them. This can cut deployment and operation costs.
What would you share about the CloudStack community?
The fact that the project is managed by Apache Software Foundation provides all the Apache background on building an open-source community. It is one of our core goals to encourage experienced developers and users to help newcomers.
On top of that, assembling a community where everyone has a saying is one of the foundations of Apache projects. Therefore, we are always open to new ideas and feature requests.
What is the direction in which CloudStack is going as a technology?
We are working hard to keep it a reliable and stable solution, but it is also key to invest on a user-friendly experience. A good project is one that can be easily deployed and used.
We have been continuously enhancing the documentation; additionally, CloudStack has recently migrated to a new User Interface.
Many people notice that CloudStack is becoming more and more appealing for enterprises. What would you advise about this type of organizations?
Small-medium enterprises need to determine which deployment model best suits their Cloud strategy. There are pros and cons on any of the cloud options (private, public, or hybrid clouds).
Considering the complexity and challenges of deploying cloud infrastructure, Cloudstack is reliable, easy to deploy, and can scale well. Additionally, CloudStack supports integration with public clouds; therefore it is a great option for hybrid clouds.
We have many known cases of companies that use it for a long time and have scaled their CloudStack Data Centers to huge amounts of Hosts and VMs. But there are also examples of small organizations that are benefiting from private clouds either as a key component of their core business or a tool for internal IT development and growth.