Photo credit: Today’s latte, Apache CloudStack. / Yuko Honda / CC

CloudStack has achieved, through two models of delivery, the orchestration of making the complex simple. As a solutions architect, I am often asked by customers and prospects “Why CloudStack?”


The answer centers around tight integration, simplified architecture and flexible options that provide a unifying wisdom around a difficult topic.


Here is a list of the most influential features driving adoption of Apache CloudStack in recent years.

Making the complex simple with CloudStack & SolidFire
Making the complex simple with CloudStack & SolidFire

Consume it your way

The two popular methods of consuming software today are OSS (open source software) and POTS (product off the shelf). Each are acquired and supported differently. Here’s how.

  • Open source software | Apache CloudStack is available as a free download and can be installed and running in a few hours. CloudStack is supported by an active community of existing users that both develops new features and fixes bugs to help CloudStack evolve over time.
  • Product off the shelf | Citrix bundles Apache CloudStack into a distribution that is packaged, tested and supported. This method of consumption often appeals to enterprises that want a single source for both procurement and support should any questions or problems arise.

Reduced OPEX — simplified architecture

Apache CloudStack has a very simple but extremely scalable management infrastructure. Most customers maintain a pair of CloudStack controllers (for redundancy) and that’s it! A single CloudStack controller can scale to thousands of objects, allowing for a simple, easily managed cloud infrastructure.

Stable advanced networking options

Apache CloudStack has a wide range of networking services built in that serve most customers’ needs. Included in CloudStack are VPN, firewall, load balancing, NAT, VPC (virtual private cloud) and multi-tier configurations, all in a multi-tenant and isolated environment. Most popular hardware-based and SDN third-party products integrate with CloudStack, as well.

Integration with third-party products

Apache CloudStack of course integrates with SolidFire (the only primary storage vendor with an active, dedicated storage plug-in), as well as other industry vendors, including Docker, Juniper, Cisco, F5, VMware and Midokura.

End-to-end performance control and multi-tenancy

SolidFire provides CloudStack with primary storage that has guaranteed performance by allowing provisioning of both capacity and performance to an individual volume. For the first time, we can truly control the performance characteristics of CloudStack storage and prevent “noisy neighbors” from affecting each other. This predictability allows for industry-leading multi-tenancy and isolation of workloads to guarantee service level agreements (SLAs) that can be enforced and adjusted dynamically as business needs change.


Apache CloudStack and SolidFire are dynamic and rapidly evolving platforms that will continue to enhance the ability to provision, manage and automate storage resources in a cloud infrastructure. SolidFire is committed to continually driving advanced storage features into the CloudStack project to ensure that users can have native access to advanced storage functionality required to host mission-critical applications in their cloud infrastructure. Continue learning about Apache CloudStack project and SolidFire to better understand how they enable the confident hosting of performance-sensitive applications in a multi-tenant infrastructure.


Aaron Delp

Aaron is the Director of Technology Solutions for SolidFire, specializing in cloud based solutions, reference architectures, and customer enablement. In his vast experience in high tech, Aaron has been a leader in the Citrix Cloud Platforms Group; Cloud Field Enablement for VCE; in the management, orchestration, and automation products from VMware, Cisco, EMC, and CA Technologies; and has led the design and publication of the configuration of Cisco Unified Communications (UC) on the VCE Vblock Platform. Other past responsibilities include enabling a top 50 technology value added reseller (VAR), serving as the Data Center Practice Lead, and over 10 years at IBM.