Friday, August 24, 2012

Open Source Cloud Computing on the rise

VMware player shows us that virtualization has many benefits even on a dual processor laptop. Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) sets the cloud computing standard, shows us that cloud computing is feasible and could be cheap (after all, they only make us pay for hourly usage). So here in 2012 we found that there are so many open source cloud computing solutions out there..

Core Service

Virtualization is provided by several commonly known hypervisors :

  • VMWare vSphere. This one is not open source at all.
  • Xen. Xen was a mature hypervisor that were fully open-sourced by Citrix in 2009. There are open source version (Xen Cloud Platform), free version (XenServer Free), and paid version.
  • Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM). KVM is  an open source virtualization software that tightly integrated with the Linux kernel as the host OS. 
On top of these core hypervisors is built more GUI and Management layer, resulting in cloud computing platforms.

Cloud computing platform

Lets see how many open source cloud computing platform I found by this day :


OpenNebula was initially released in March 2008 by OpenNebula community. OpenNebula has an appliance marketplace (similar to VMWare's) where user could share their VM's for free or for a fee (but it seems to have no VM for sale right now). The only HA feature are hooks that could be set to resubmit (restart) a VM if it is found to be in ERROR state.

OpenNebula users :
  • Telefonica Germany
  • China Telecom
  • Akamai
  • IBM Global Business Services
  • SAP
  • RIM


Initially released in 2008, this is one mature cloud computing platform. Canonical formerly used Eucalyptus for its Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud. Previous releases differentiated as enterprise and opensource edition, but latest (3.1) version merge both edition into one open source release. High Availability is given by  Storage controller HA, walrus storage HA, cloud controller HA, each controller is implemented as a pair of services with automatic service-removal-from-operation during failure.
Eucalyptus is being used by:
  • NTT Data (Japan IT company)
  • NetApp
  • Fujitsu 
  • NASA
  • Sony
  • Trend Micro


CloudStack is formerly known as (May 2010), that bought by Citrix (July 2011). The entire software is contributed to Apache in April 2012. High Availability feature is monitoring VMs, fencing (disable misbehave VM), and restarting failed VMs. Web UI is using server-side Java that has no HA out of the box (but could be set up to be HA with some knowledge). A lot of integration with Citrix XenServer and Citrix Netscaler hardware/software.
Among CloudStack clients are :
  • Tata Communications (India giant company)
  • KT (Korea landline operator)
  • (Popular Web hosting provider)
  • Nokia Research Center


OpenStack is a newer cloud computing platform (started by NASA & Rackspace in 2010), has many supporters and quickly growing feature list. 'Quickly Growing' have unstable connotation because newer features haven't endured test of time. Full HA (High availability) feature is not released yet (as of 25 august 2012), such feature is being targeted for Folsom  release in September 2012. Among expected new feature is integration with Corosync, Pacemaker to ensure HA in OpenStack services, new Cinder block storage system, and Quantum virtual network service. Existing HA feature is on Swift object storage service that replicates objects automatically. Web UI is based on python's Django framework.
OpenStack is used by :
  • Canonical (yes, creator of Ubuntu)
  • Intel (the giant that almost monopolizes processor manufacturing)
  • Deustche Telekom (service provider)
  • Rackspace hosting
  • AT&T Communications
  • NASA

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