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Cloud stack is an open-source software platform designed to deploy & manage cloud computing environments. It is an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud computing platform. Many service providers used this platform to offer public cloud, private cloud & hybrid cloud services. For more information about cloud computing – Click Here

Cloud stack developed by since 2008. was purchased in 2011 by Citrix. CloudStack version 3.0 released in 2012 by Citrix. In 2012, Citrix donated CloudStack to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF).

CloudStack is a scalable, multi-tenant, open-source, cloud computing platform. It manages the network, storage, and compute nodes that make up a cloud infrastructure. Service providers & IT enterprises are users of this platform. With this platform, service providers can provide on-demand cloud computing service. With cloudstack enterprises can provide self-service virtual machines to users.

Features of CloudStack:

  • It provides a web user interface feature to manage cloud infrastructure.
  • CloudStack provides a powerful API that is well documented & maintained. API gives access to all the management features available in UI.
  • Major hypervisors support including Xenserver, KVM, VMware
  • Cloudstack API supports 3 access roles:

Root Admin: Can access & manage both virtual & private resources.

Domain Admin: Can access only virtual resources owned by the administrator’s domain.

Users: can access their own virtual resources.

  • Provides users on-demand computer resources & pay for what you use.
  • Support thousands of hosts & virtual machine guests.

Terms Related To CloudStack:

  • Multi-tenant: In multi-tenancy architecture, a single instance of a software application serves to multiple clients. Each client is called a tenant. With this architecture, the provider only has to make updates once. In this architecture, software development & maintenance costs are divided so it is economical.
  • User Interface (UI): The user interface is the system by which people interact with computers. It includes hardware & software components.
  • Application Programming Interface (API): An API is a particular set of commands, functions & protocols which specify how software programs should interact with each other. This is a way for software programs to talk with each other.
  • Hypervisor: It is a software program that creates & runs virtual machines. It manages multiple OS on a single computer. It is also called Virtual Machine Manager (VMM).

Architecture Overview

A CloudStack architecture consists of two parts: The cloud infrastructure & management server. CloudStack management server is running on one machine & another machine running the cloud infrastructure (hypervisor). In small deployment, a single machine can act as both a management server & cloud infrastructure. Below mentioned is brief description of both the architecture.


Cloud Infrastructure Overview

Cloud infrastructure consists of different parts & organized as follows:

Host: Host is a single computer node on which a hypervisor is running virtual machines.

Cluster: Cluster contains one or most hosts of the same hypervisor & dedicated primary storage.

Primary storage: Primary storage stores disk volumes for virtual machines. It associated with a cluster. Cluster have at least one primary storage.

Pod: Pod is a rack which contains one or more clusters & layer 2 (L2) switch architecture which shared by all cluster in pod.

Zone: Zone has one or more pods & secondary storage, which is shared by all pods in the zone. The zone is equivalent to a single data center. One or more zones represent clouds. A zone can be public or private.

Secondary Storage: It stores all templates ISOs & snapshots. It associated with a zone.


Management Server Overview:

Management server manages cloud resources such as storage devices, IP addresses & hosts. It manages physical or virtual resources through a management network. It runs on a dedicated server or virtual machine. Administrators can interact with the management server by using the user interface (UI) & API. By interacting with the management server, you can manage & configure your cloud infrastructure.

Features of Management Server:

  • It provides UI & API for CloudStack.
  • It manages the cloud resources.
  • It manages snapshots, ISO images, templates.
  • It can manage multiple zones.
  • It can be deployed as a physical server or virtual machine.
  • It manages the assignment of guest virtual machines to hosts.
  • It manages the assignment of public & private IP addresses.

If you are using more than one management server, you need to have a load balancing service above the management server.

CloudStack Networking Overview

CloudStack offers basic & advanced networking scenarios.

Basic: In the basic zone, you have one guest network & no public network. In this setup, guest instances use the same IP range.

Advanced: In advanced setup, cloud-stack allows for a public network & creation of guest networks. It is for more sophisticated network topologies.


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