5 Open Source Cloud Platforms

Businesses are turning to the cloud in droves, with many opting for scalable open source solutions. Some of the options are still catered to the big boys, however, but you'll find accessible platforms as well. Let's head into the cloud with this Master List of Open Source Cloud Platforms. 


Delivering a massively scalable cloud operating system, OpenStack gives businesses the resources to offer cloud-computing services. Its community of nearly 7,500 people includes technologists, developers, researches, corporations and cloud computing experts in 87 different countries. According to OpenStack's website, its platform is "probably not something that the average business would consider deploying themselves yet. The big news for end customers is the potential for a halo effect of providers adopting an open and standard cloud: easy migration, cloud-bursting, better security audits, and a large ecosystem of compatible tools and services that work across cloud providers.

Xen Cloud Platform

Xen.org released its Xen Cloud Platform 1.6 (XCP) in Nov. 2012, which is a virtualization platform that enables companies to create and manage virtual infrastructures for servers, desktops and clouds. The platform is meant to simplify the path to cloud computing with advanced virtual machine migration, enhanced networking and security. Additionally, XCP is built on the powerful open-source Xen hypervisor, which, according to a company statement, is widely acknowledged as the fastest and most secure virtualization software in the industry and is designed for efficient management of Linux and Windows virtual servers, delivering cost-effective server consolidation and business continuity. 


Eucalyptus offers a secure and robust private and hybrid cloud platform that is free and community driven. Companies can modify the open source software, contribute to it, asses its security or just take it for a test drive. The Eucalyptus Cloud can scale up or down depending on application workloads and is especially suited for enterprise clouds.  


Apache CloudStack is a turnkey solution that includes a number of features organizations want with an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud, including compute orchestration, Network-as-a-Service, user and account management, a full and open native API, resource accounting, and a first-class User Interface (UI). Additionally, CloudStack is "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."


This open-source project helps build and manage virtualized eneterprise deata centers and IaaS clouds. It prides itself on not being a turnkey solution, as "no two data centers are the same, [so] we do not think there's a one-size-fits-all in the cloud." It is also one of the most feature-rich cloud solutions, as it "comprises all key functionalities for enterprise cloud computing, storage and networking in a single install, and ensures its long-term stability and performance through a single integrated patching and updating process."