Cloudstack vs OpenStack: Which is Right For You?

Posted on by Martin Pollock | Updated:
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Cloud management platforms were created because cloud computing has become almost mandatory for most everyday business use. The CloudStack vs OpenStack battle is not quite consequential, but rather a choice between advanced cloud management platforms that control large amounts of data.

The big step for many organizations is implementing logical cloud management that possesses numerous options for controlling the various workloads. Let’s look into the aspects of both Openstack and Cloudstack to give a proper comparison.

What is OpenStack?

OpenStack is an open-source cloud management platform that controls huge amounts of storage and networking resources throughout a data center. It started as a joint project of Rackspace hosting provider and NASA.

OpenStack was designed to manage the IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) type of cloud computing. It consists of a huge number of components covering all of the requirements of IaaS platform users.

Some of the main components of the OpenStack platform are: 

  • Horizon
  • Nova
  • Neutron
  • Glace
  • Cinder 
  • Swift

OpenStack uses its own API for all of its operations. OpenStack usually utilizes the Python programming language. RabbitMQ is used for communication between components. Database control is handled by MySQL or other compatible database servers such as MariaDB or Galera.

Advantages of OpenStack

  • Great reliability and security.
  • There are not many prerequisites.
  • You can access the cloud services from devices with an Internet connection.
  • Uniform standard.
  • There are no access location limitations.
  • Upgradable performance and storage.

Disadvantages of OpenStack

  • Lack of any kind of organized support.
  • XEN and KVM are the main supported hypervisors, which may lead to problems during the integration of some of the virtualization solutions.

What is CloudStack?

Apache CloudStack is an open-source IaaS platform that was created to be independent of the specific hypervisor, to provide high availability of services and virtual machines, and to be open for different APIs. It is a project carried out by Citrix with the Apache license.

The CloudStack project is written mainly in Java programming language, and it uses RabbitMQ for communication between components and MySQL as the database server. CloudStack supports a wide range of hypervisors, such as: 

  • LXC
  • KVM
  • XenServer
  • VMware 

Besides its own API, CloudStack also supports Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as the Open Cloud Computing Interface (OCCI), a set of specifications delivered through the Open Grid Forum (OGF).

Advantages of CloudStack

  • You are able to set quotas and resource limits for user accounts.
  • It creates the experience of total control of data for end users.
  • It is actively working on fixing bugs.
  • It provides low-cost solutions.
  • It has solid documentation.

Disadvantages of CloudStack

  • Server logs are not friendly.
  • Volume size limitations.
  • Undocumented bugs are reported that can sometimes compromise the entire infrastructure.
  • Upgrades are not straightforward.

CloudStack Vs OpenStack – Private Cloud Adoption for Enterprises

A survey carried out by Flexera consisted of 786 cloud computing experts from different organizations and companies, mainly from the USA. The report shows OpenStack is actively used by 31% of the companies (3% increase since 2019), 27% are in the test phase (14% increase since 2019), and 12% are planning the implementation in the future (4% increase since 2019).

CloudStack is being used by 14% of the companies (same percentage since 2019), 22% are still testing (13% increase since 2019), and 14% are planning to use it in the future (9% increase since 2019).

Cloudstack vs Openstack - Head to Head

Now that we have insight into both OpenStack and CloudStack, let's summarize the key differences and similarities that help you decide which one is better for you.


The winner of this comparison hardly matters, since it is always possible to move your private cloud. With accurate administration, servers can be dismantled and created again. While the interest in both cloud management platforms has constantly been rising for the past two years, the survey analysis tells us that OpenStack is currently more popular.

The ultimate decision will depend on your project’s development needs. Liquid Web employs OpenStack technology in our Managed Cloud Servers offering. You can contact our sales team anytime to discuss your needs and how cloud servers can enhance your business.

Avatar for Martin Pollock

About the Author: Martin Pollock

Martin is a tech-savvy, experienced customer and now a support technician with more than two years of experience in the field. He's a gamer at heart that also loves psychology and astronomy and would never miss a good game of basketball, even if it rains.

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