After I posted the Cloudstack training (see Free CloudStack training) schedule, many reached out to me asking what it is Cloudstack and what is this training all about? So I thought that it would be best to write an brief introduction to the course and why Cloudstack.
Cloud technologies generally fall under two buckets- proprietary and open systems. Microsoft Azure (based on Windows Platform) and VMWare vCloud (based on VMware ESX platform) fall under the proprietary category and, Openstack and Cloudstack fall in the open source category. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here is good article that lists advantages and disadvantages between the different stacks: http://blogs.enterprisemanagement.com/torstenvolk/2013/10/11/war-stacks-openstack-cloudstack-vcloud-amazon-ec2/.
What is Cloudstack?
Cloudstack is an open source cloud computing platform that was initially started by Cloud.com, bought over by Citrix and then donated to Apache where it became the open source project. Cloudstack, can be used to build Private, Public and Hybrid cloud environments. It provides Compute, Storage and Network services for running Infrastructure as a Service. Once you know now to build the base Infrastructure as a Service, you can go on to building other services such as Database as a Service, Platform as a Service, Disaster Recovery as a Service and so on...
"CloudStack is an open source software platform that pools computing resources to build public, private, and hybrid Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds. CloudStack manages the network, storage, and compute nodes that make up a cloud infrastructure. Use CloudStack to deploy, manage, and configure cloud computing environments."
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CloudStack "CloudStack is open source cloud computing software for creating, managing, and deploying infrastructure cloud services. It uses existing hypervisors such as KVM, vSphere, and XenServer/XCP for virtualization. In addition to its own API, CloudStack also supports the Amazon Web Services API."
First, not the last experience
I started working with Cloudstack since its early releases. My first experience with Cloudstack was a bit frustrating. Coming from enterprise systems with over 20 years of engineering, operations and architecture experience, I could not fathom why it was so difficult to install, let alone making the Cloudstack environment work. Cloudstack documentation was also not the easiest to understand and follow. Installation would fail if you did not follow the documentation down to the T and even when you did follow the Cloudstack documentation to the T you had to know the exact combination of the underlying operating systems and hardware components to get the Cloudstack services up and running. The bad thing was that you had to install it over and over again to get to the right combination of hardware, OS, patches, packages, jvm, tomcat etc. etc. etc. until you hit the jackpot. The good thing was that it gave me good practical experience. Me being me, I did not give up and was able to finally make it work with the right combination. This was Cloudstack 3.
Now with the release of Cloudstack 4.2 and the latest version of operating systems, specifically designed to run the cloud environments, it has become much easier to install and configure Cloudstack. Although the documentation improved with the new release, even today it is difficult for a newbie to navigate through and follow a long list of commands and configurations to successfully install and configure the Cloudstack environment. So, having gathered the experience through the frustrating process and knowing that it would be difficult for starters/newbies to work with Cloudstack, I build this Cloudstack training that walks you through Cloudstack deployment step by step giving you the skills to get you started.