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Apache CloudStack vs OpenStack Comparison 2021

by Arthur Zuckerman

Before, companies use physical warehouses to store their files and documents. Besides, it was almost impossible to analyze big data and develop software solutions. Now, developers have created cloud computing software to build more platforms and help millions of businesses. What’s more, this technology offers its services for free; however, you might experience various freeware restrictions.

Additionally, you can use this open-source program to develop different software solutions, such as asset management platforms. If you want to check the available programs, here is a list of asset management software which includes programs that are considered the best in the industry.

In this article, you will know how Apache CloudStack and OpenStack perform against each other. Before the main comparison, here is a quick overview of each program.

Apache CloudStack Overview

Since 2013, Apache CloudStack helped businesses develop and manage large networks to ease their processes. It is a Java-based and open-source platform that provides a management server for companies. This way, you can run an Infrastructure as Service (IaaS) in the cloud. Although the program has only been in the market for seven years, it has helped numerous organizations, such as educational institutions and private companies, manage their cloud computing needs.

OpenStack Overview

Alternatively, OpenStack has been in the market for ten years, longer than Apache CloudStack’s availability. It offers cloud computing access to every organization and allows users to control large networks of storage and integrations. Additionally, the operating system works on both private and public clouds. This way, it can reach broader audiences.

Comparison of Features

In this main Apache CloudStack vs OpenStack comparison, you will know how the two programs perform based on shared functionalities, such as resource pooling, on-demand self-service, rapid elasticity, automatic system, network access, security, and integrations. After reading this comparison, you can now decide which software solution responds to your company’s needs.

Resource Pooling

One of the crucial features of cloud computing platforms is resource pooling. It refers to the provider’s ability to serve multiple cloud consumers using their system. This process is possible through large-scale IT resources.

In Apache CloudStack, the platform assigns storage space to every user. Moreover, the system enables users to collaborate on a project. The user who created the group then becomes the project owner. The platform ensures that no group or individual exceeds the allocated storage by sending notifications to the involved parties. Once the users reach the storage limit, Apache will no longer allot resources to that project.

OpenStack also guarantees that its storage is managed efficiently. Unlike Apache CloudStack, this platform presents three scenarios regarding resource management. The first option concerns a shared disk storage virtual machine (VM) disk images, while the alternative uses locally available storage.

Hence, in terms of resource pooling, both Apache and OpenStack ensures the availability of storage for every project.

On-Demand Self-Service

Most businesses turn to cloud computing because they want to lower operating costs and increase their workflow’s effectiveness. Fortunately, you don’t need to pay for a monthly subscription with Apache CloudStack and OpenStack since they feature on-demand self-service, which means that both platforms provide resources based on the user’s needs.

Apache CloudStack encourages users to develop programs that fit the needs of their company. This way, their information technology (IT) departments can pinpoint difficulties in business processes and start solving these issues through unique software. What’s more, the system only gives you storage space for the resources you need, which allows for cost reduction.

Alternatively, OpenStack offers both self-service and non-self-service options. With provider networks, the system bridges virtual networks to physical ones. Moreover, a network protocol provides an IP address to developers. On the contrary, the networks that support self-service connect virtual networks to physical ones using address translation. Thus, the system modifies the IP address during the process.

In this Apache CloudStack vs OpenStack comparison, the latter wins in the category of on-demand self-service.

Rapid Elasticity

Some projects require a massive amount of space to work. These cases then require more storage for a particular user or team. Fortunately, cloud computing enables companies to scale their projects.

With Apache CloudStack, you can have an expendable virtual infrastructure that meets your project requirements. This feature ensures that you can create and scale software solutions for your company and even your clients. As a result, Apache CloudStack enables you to release constant updates to your programs. This functionality is beneficial in maintaining tools that require continuous upgrades, such as computerized maintenance management software (CMMS). Check this list of the best CMMS software solutions as a reference.

Similarly, OpenStack allows you to expand your project’s storage space. The system uses the Hardware Isolation Layer (HIL) and Bare Metal Imaging (BMI). Through these technologies, you can decide how much space you need for your programs. What’s more, this feature is also available in non-cloud deployment.

In terms of cloud storage’s elasticity, the two programs offer the same services to their users.

Automatic System

One of the main reasons businesses use cloud computing services is to reduce manual tasks within their company. This process enables more efficient business processes.

In Apache CloudStack, the system automatically manages the network and storage settings for every project. With this platform, you can take advantage of CloudStack’s services, such as firewalling, routing, and VPN. What’s more, the system offers storage replication services aside from virtual storage access.

Like Apache, OpenStack automatically configures its system regardless of your program’s deployment. As a result, you can repeatedly access the same storage. This process then ensures that your data remains the same as the last time you manipulated it. Since OpenStack supports both on-premise and cloud deployments, the system allows you to control the aspects of your project that you want to be automatically managed.

Thus, when it comes to automatic management configuration, both platforms offer reliable services.

Network Access

Nowadays, companies are continuously hiring remote employees to join their workforce. You can check this article about remote support software ranking for 2020. Due to this demand, platforms must be accessible through multiple platforms.

Apache CloudStack is available for download on Windows and macOS-run devices. Since the program is web-based, users can access its features using any browser with an internet connection. On the contrary, OpenStack is not a cloud-based solution, so it limits the platform’s availability. In terms of a native application, OpenStack is available for multiple operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux.

In this Apache CloudStack vs OpenStack comparison, the latter can reach broader audiences due to its web-based nature.


It is crucial to choose a software solution that safeguards your business’ data. This way, only involved developers and team members can access the files that you uploaded. Hence, you can keep sensitive information from the public’s view.

Apache CloudStack uses Java Simplified Encryption (JASYPT) library to protect your documents from unauthorized access. The system encrypts and decrypts your data using a secret key stored on its internal properties files.

On the other hand, OpenStack uses dm-crypt to conceal your files from malware and hackers. The dm-crypt is a transparent disk encryption subsystem in Linux operating system. Through these codes, the system protects your business’ sensitive information.

Thus, both Apache CloudStack and OpenStack protect your project from security issues.


Integrations allow for the seamless creation of apps for your business. Fortunately, both programs connect with numerous applications.

Apache CloudStack integrates with LDAP, which sends messages to and from servers and client apps. Moreover, you can also use F5 with CloudStack. The said integration is responsible for security, application delivery, and network administration. Lastly, it also connects with OpenStack Swift and NetScaler.

On the contrary, OpenStack integrates with more systems, such as VMWare, Ceph, ACI, and AWS. You can also use this platform with Azure Active Directory, Microsoft’s web-based access management service. OpenDayLight, Docker, Amazon, and Hyper-V are also included in the list of OpenStack’s integrations.

Thus, OpenStack wins in the category of integrations since it connects with more apps than Apache does.

Pricing Plans

Apache CloudStack offers its services for free. This way, you can create, modify, and maintain apps without a cost. Even businesses are allowed to use this system for free. On the contrary, OpenStack requires you to contact their sales department for a quote. Hence, in terms of pricing options, Apache CloudStack is accessible to more businesses since it is an open-source software solution.

Which is Suitable for Your Business?

Throughout the article, you discovered that both platforms offer reliable and secure solutions. They almost have the same performance when it comes to resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and automatic system. OpenStack won in the categories of on-demand self-service and network access since it is available to more businesses.

But, there is no ultimate winner in terms of their capabilities. The better platform depends on what your company needs. If you want a solution for IaaS, you should consider Apache CloudStack over OpenStack. However, if you are interested beyond IaaS, OpenStack is the right cloud computing platform for you due to its multiple deployments.

Apache CloudStack is also ideal for small businesses that have a tight budget when it comes to software development while OpenStack caters to larger companies due to its quote-based pricing plan.

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