Open Source Cloud Software

Using open source software has a huge number of benefits, firstly it’s free to use, distribute, and modify, also, as the code is open to everyone it is often easier for bugs to be fixed and features added. Over the years I have had lots of dealings with OSSWatch, which provides advice and guidance on the use, development, and licensing of free and open source software to the Higher Education sector. Unfortunately OSSWatch will no longer receive core funding from Jisc, so will now be moving to a consultancy model.  I’ve worked with lots of OSSWatch people over the years and the services it has delivered have been excellent, I wish them well for the future.

OK. Back to topic… Jennifer Marsh, a remote worker who blogs for Rackspace Hosting has written us a guest post about some new open source offerings in cloud computing software. Rackspace Hosting is the service leader in cloud computing, and a founder of OpenStack, an open source cloud operating system. The San Antonio-based company provides support to its customers and partners, across a portfolio of IT services, including Managed Hosting and Cloud Computing.


Open source cloud software bundles pertinent and powerful tools for companies migrating to cloud technology.

Why do they do it? Cloud servers and data centers provide fast performance and security that isn’t available through private, dedicated servers. Even businesses using dedicated hosted servers can upgrade to open cloud host services to advance application performance.

Here’s more about the latest in open source cloud software.


OpenStack was created as a collaboration to provide businesses with a full range of cloud tools. OpenStack includes a dashboard, a storage control panel, disk image (backup) catalog control and network connectivity device services. Rackspace offers a community of developers from 87 different countries that participate in the project, so new tools and resources are added to the open source software, which benefits every type of business.

Apache’s CloudStack

Apache is known for its open-source web server software, but the community has also contributed to a cloud application for businesses. The application was developed and contributed by Citrix developers, but it also has an open source license. The CloudStack system includes command line tools, VMWare support, network as a service and user management in the cloud. For company administrators familiar with Citrix or Apache, this tool benefits IT managers who are already familiar with the variety of Apache tools available for web servers.


Eucalyptus is a cloud service fully compatible with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) system. AWS is a newer cloud product in the market, but it is a reliable source for businesses looking for the power of the cloud. The disadvantage of the AWS system is that many spam sites use AWS to support phishing and insecure applications. For legitimate businesses, Eucalyptus supports a dashboard and image hosting system for businesses just starting out with cloud technology.

Whatever system you choose, the performance and reliability are determined by the cloud host supporting the system. Choose a cloud host that offers the reliability of persistent uptime, a host that offers support if deployment fails and a monitoring system in case a server needs to switch to a backup system.


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