CloudStack European User Group Summary

There was a great turnout for the July meeting of the European CloudStack User Group. It was fantastic to see a good mix of developers, users, integrators and  customers: all in the room ready to share experiences and ideas around CloudStack.

One interesting observation was that we had representatives from organisations using Apache CloudStack and Citrix CloudPlatform (Citrix’s commercial distribution of CloudStack)  and also some people who were using both technologies. This gave me the sense that, whether or not somebody chooses to go with a commercial distribution, they all consider themselves part of the CloudStack community and get value from user groups such as ours.

The event was kindly hosted by SunGard Availability Services and I’d like to thank Rhian, Max and Perry for making sure that everybody was comfortable, fed and watered. SunGard are a major user of CloudStack  (it drives Sungard Online )and have shown continued commitment to the community through events like this and, not least, through their support of CloudStack VP Chip Childers.

I started the evening with a roundup of CloudStack news: both from the Apache Community and from the Citrix perspective.

I shared some of the slides that Chip had delivered  for his keynote at the CloudStack Collaboration Conference: importantly the news of a rapidly growing community and of a rapidly growing install base. When Chip presented at collab (10 days earlier) we had counted 272 production  clouds (of decent scale) using CloudStack. The amazing thing is, when I checked the open CloudStack user survey for this user group, that number had jumped to 280.

Next up was Mike Tutkowski of SolidFire. Mike has been a very active contributor to the Apache CloudStack project in recent months and has done a lot of work on the storage plugin architecture. Mike shared his experiences of being involved in a dynamic opensource community and the challenges he’s face d in trying to develop a mechanism for CloudStack to integrate with Solidfire’s storage solution.

Special thanks go out to Mike, who flew from Denver, Colorado to share his experiences with us. He was so jet-lagged that he forgot it was 4th July  and managed only 1.5 pints of English beer afterwards.

There had been a lot of requests from previous groups for somebody to explain, in detail, the networking model of CloudStack. There was only one man for this: so ShapeBlue CTO & CloudStack Committer , Geoff Higginbottom, set out to unravel CloudStack networking in 1 hour.  Anticipating what was coming, I almost introduced him in a “Top Gear style”: “some people say he  is married to a hypervisor, others know that he has “VLAN” tattooed on the sole of his foot. All we know is he’s called Geoff”.

I should have done.

Embedded in this blog are the 67 (you read that right) slides that Geoff covered in 60 minutes. Content great. Brain frazzled.

After a quick break, Pierre Vacherand  from Amysta gave a really good demo of their chargeback & billing solution for CloudStack.

Amysta gives a sensibly priced answer the  challenge that many Enterprises and service providers have when deploying a CloudStack cloud: how do we simply and acurately track the costs associated with running the infrastructure. I think Amysta is a great answer to this problem (for the record: ShapeBlue are a partner of Amysta….we like the tech)

The final slot went to Len Bellemore of ControlCircle. ControlCircle are a managed service provider, based in London who deliver services to many large organisations. His company have built a hybrid cloud offering based on CloudStack and Len  shared his experiences on deploying CloudStack.

It was good to hear that ControlCircle have successfully developed an enterprise-grade cloud service offering based around CloudStack. Apparently Len doesn’t sleep as much as his boss.


We’re all very much looking forward to the next European CloudStack User group in September. Details to follow






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