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OpenStack and CloudStack are two popular open source cloud platforms. Both meet the needs of cloud users, but it's important to understand how they're different before choosing between the two.
OpenStack is a leading cloud platform that is backed by major vendors, such as Rackspace, IBM and Red Hat. The open source cloud platform also has strong and diverse community support, with development contributions from about 150 companies.
The OpenStack cloud is managed as a set of projects integrated into a single management platform that includes storage, a management dashboard, networking, image management and an identity management system.
Apache CloudStack is a cloud management platform with its own API, as well as support for Amazon Web Services' API model. It includes support for virtual private clouds, which can span availability zones, and provides high-performance virtual instances to use hardware more efficiently. After moving out of its incubation phase, CloudStack is now a top-level Apache project.
When choosing between OpenStack and CloudStack, consider hypervisor support, community support, hardware compatibility, as well as performance and management needs. Both OpenStack and CloudStack support multiple hypervisors, but companies should ensure their choice of hypervisor is supported. If broad community and commercial support is important, look to the OpenStack cloud. Hardware compatibility is another issue to consider. If your company is repurposing existing compute servers and storage systems, consider how well each platform's compute and storage modules will support them.
Both OpenStack and CloudStack can be challenging to deploy, but wide adoption of OpenStack means there are more resources available for that platform, including forum discussions and deployment scripts. However, the latest releases of CloudStack have addressed some deployment issues, and improvements are likely to continue.
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