University of São Paulo move to open source Apache CloudStack to power Latin Americas largest educational cloud | Case Studies

ShapeBlue, The Cloudstack  Company,  announced that they have been selected to help The University of São Paulo to rapidly scale and enhance their massive “Cloud USP” private cloud by migrating it to Apache Cloudstack open source technology. The project will also involve developing an additional feature set for the USP cloud environment. This follows a public tender process that ShapeBlue successfully won.

The University of São Paulo (USP) is Latin America’s largest university, produces more doctorate degrees annually than any other university in the world and ranks fifth in the number of scientific articles published. USP  is one of the world’s leading research institutions, with 100,000 students, 6,000 professors and 17,000 employees.


In 2012, USP set out to build a private cloud environment that would help them overcome the challenges of having 150 disparate IT environments and the ever-increasing demands for compute and storage in their dynamic research environment. The first iteration of Cloud-USP consolidated the University’s 150 datacentres down to 6 and brought all of its corporate, educational and research environments together into a single private cloud environment with user self-service and pooling of resources. This initial project was hugely successful and allowed the university to cut physical storage footprint by 90% (despite data growth in excess of 300%) and greatly increase their IT operational efficiency.

The demand for scale

Cloud USP has been so successful that it has resulted in a need for the platform to rapidly scale over the next few years.

Cyrano Rizzo, Office of IT at USP explained: “Cloud USP is already a massive environment, but demands from our departments means that we need to scale the compute infrastructure by 300% over the coming year. We, therefore, had to plan the future technology for the platform carefully and make sure that we chose something that was both proven/scalable and gave us the agility we needed.

We had previously used a vendor distribution of Apache Cloudstack, but that presented challenges both in terms of required features and cost-at-scale.  Moving to an open-source platform allows us to quickly develop any new functionality we require and for the University to be directly involved with the core development and maintenance of the technology.   This frees us from commercially driven roadmaps and allows us to focus on what we really need for our environment.

Apache Cloudstack was a natural choice, as it was the basis for our existing vendor technology. This has meant that we have not had a steep learning curve in order to migrate.  We are already actively participating in the Apache CloudStack community”

More agile feature development

As well as greatly increasing the scale of the environment, ShapeBlue will be helping USP deliver new, exciting functionality to their users.  A PaaS offering is to be integrated (based on opensource Tsuru) and new security enhancements will allow USP to federate their security from their academic community. The networking functionality of Cloudstack is to be extended for the University and a mechanism to track the financial usage of their cloud infrastructure will develop.

Cyrano explained “moving to open source is not primarily about the cost for us. It is about our ability to directly contribute the features we need to the platform. Cloudstack, as an Apache project, is a very mature and well-governed open-source community. We like very much that it is a project driven by its users and not by software vendors. A vendor-driven development approach simply does not give us the agility we need”

Help with expertise

In order to realise their vision, USP  decided that they needed a partner who could provide professional expertise and experience. After a public tender process, ShapeBlue were chosen.

Cyrano noted: “we have selected ShapeBlue to work with us on this project. We have been extremely impressed with their knowledge, professionalism and their widespread experience of implementing environments like ours. There is no other company who have ”

Marco Sinhoreli, Managing Consultant of ShapeBlue Brasil commented “USP cloud is one of the largest private cloud environments in the world, so we are very excited to have won this tender and  to be working with USP on this project.”

Further information



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