Pathways to an Open Source Cloud

Last night at the Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Group hosted by, David Nalley of CloudStack told an overflow crowd that open source ideally fits the requirements of cloud computing, allowing users to solve their own problems and avoid cloud lock in. He outlined the comprehensive set of options now available for building an open source cloud.

Nalley emphasized in particular the need for a tool chain, a set of tools for provisioning, configuration, monitoring, and automation. Without these tools working together, system admins could not possibly manage all of the virtual machines deployed in a cloud.

Here’s a list of the open source projects Nalley mentioned in the talk broken down by function.

Hypervisors: Xen, KVM, Virtual Box, OpenVZ, LXC
(Xen and KVM are the most widespread)

Management: CloudStack, Eucalyptus, OpenStack, Ubuntu Enterprise Cloud, Abiquo

PaaS: Cloud Foundry, OpenShift, Stratos

Storage: GlusterFS, CloudFS, CEPH, OpenStack Object Storage (SWIFT), Sheepdog

Cloud APIs: jclouds, libcloud, deltacloud

Provisioning Tools: Cobbler, Kickstart, Spacewalk, Crowbar

Configuration Management: Chef, Puppet

Monitoring: Cacti, Nagios, OpenNMS, Zabbix, Zenoss

Automation/Orchestration: AutomateID, Capistrano, RunDeck, Func, MCollective

For details, see the slide deck at


I’m a solution engineer for Shape Security, an awesome web security startup in Mountain View that defends some of the worlds largest web sites from bot attacks. I see this blog as a learning tool. It gives me a chance to collect my thoughts on topics of interest and to share with others. If you see a mistake or think I’m on the wrong track, please let me know. I appreciate comments. See my LinkedIn profile at and follow me on Twitter at

Posted in Cloud Computing, Open Source

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