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5 of the Best Open Source Cloud Management Tools

5 of the Best Open Source Cloud Management Tools

Open source technology has been fueling the growth of internet services for years. Originally, “open source” referred to a specific way that software developers designed computer programs. Open source software is accessible to anyone and built on a code that users can view, change, and share independently. Not only has this approach fostered more collaboration within the computing community, but it has also broadened the scope of other technologies like cloud computing.

Today, open source tech has become a central facet of cloud management for many users around the world. Here are a few of the best open source tools that your organization can leverage for better cloud management:

1. Apache CloudStack


Designed for use within infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platforms, CloudStack makes it easier to launch and manage virtual machines in the cloud. Both public and private cloud service providers use this software to streamline cloud management for their tenants.

CloudStack encompasses an entire suite of features that users need within an IaaS cloud. Not only does the platform allow organizations to manage users and accounts, but it also delivers key Network-as-a-Service capabilities and top-line security. With additional focus in such areas as workload management and deployment, CloudStack makes it easy for cloud users to provision and configure all elements of their IaaS clouds. Within this environment, the software allows users to deploy new virtual servers and cease instances at any time.

The flexibility of CloudStack supports more efficient application development at the enterprise level. With new virtual servers available at their fingertips, organizations can easily develop and test new apps. 

2. Docker

Docker is the most in-demand of all open source container tools on the market today. In its 2019 State of the Cloud Survey, RightScale found that Docker adoption had grown from 49 percent in 2018 to 57 percent in 2019. As container use continues to surge, Docker will likely become even more essential to those looking to create and deploy containers.

Docker allows users to consolidate software into smaller containers that they can then run in the form of virtual machines. This is a leap forward from more traditional virtualization platforms, which consume larger volumes of resources to virtualize entire computer systems. With a container, only the operating system (OS) is virtualized, which is more efficient and allows for more applications to run on a single server.

Additionally, Docker has launched a suite of tools that assist users with container management. With Machine, they can provision new containers with ease and integrate them with other open-source platforms. Swarm helps tackle issues related to container clustering. Compose allows users to combine disparate containers from one or more platforms, helping them work together.

3. OpenStack


Designed by developers in over 60 countries around the world, OpenStack is open-source software that supports the development and management of both public and private cloud environments. It provides a single dashboard through which cloud users can oversee all their compute, networking, and storage components at once.

OpenStack allows users to deploy other open source technologies along with it or run it alongside enterprise software. As such, organizations can leverage its capabilities to automate critical processes, such as web frontend, workload provisioning, shared services, and more. Overall, OpenStack allows administrators to manage resources more efficiently. Like other open source platforms, it is completely customizable depending on the unique needs of each user.

4. Apache Mesos

Apache Mesos

Apache Mesos addresses the full scope of cloud infrastructure, allowing organizations to more easily manage public, private, or hybrid cloud environments. The platform can also incorporate on-premises hardware, which enables cloud users to treat their entire digital environment as though it is located on one computer.

Marketed as a “distributed systems kernel,” Mesos provides applications with application programming interfaces (APIs) for resource management. Moreover, it connects applications to a scheduler that more evenly distributes load balances across the entire cloud environment. With the ability to scale to 10,000s of nodes, Mesos complements the requirements of distributed databases and apps.

Mesos also boasts high fault tolerance, thereby guaranteeing high availability even during system upgrades. In addition, the platform is optimized for use with any cloud provider’s environment and in any operating system.

5. Envoy


Created by the ride-booking company Lyft, Envoy is an edge and service proxy designed for single services and applications, while also boasting functions for bigger architectures. Lyft designed this open-source tool with legacy technologies, such as hardware load balancers and NGINX, in mind. This foundation enabled the company to develop a C++ distributed proxy that runs alongside each application and abstracts the network. The result is greater observability.

For instance, Envoy leverages out-of-process architecture to operate in tandem with any application language. Support for HTTP/2 and gRCP, as well as advanced load balancing features make this platform an ideal fit for organizations that rely on cloud microservices.

Envoy has become such a popular open source tool for cloud management that some of the largest cloud providers, including Amazon Web Services, rely on it. It is also a central facet of Kubernetes deployments worldwide.