OpenStack vs CloudStack: Which Will Make Your Life Les Miserables?

OpenStack vs CloudStack: Which Will Make Your Life Les Miserables?

On June 5, 1944, the day before D-Day — the largest seaborne invasion in history — Colm T. Wilkinson was born in Dublin, Ireland, with little fanfare. The world was embroiled in a struggle similar to one that had occurred approximately 30 years earlier and most people outside of close family didn’t pay attention to “common” occurrences such as birth and death notices. Little did those in Dublin know that a musical genius entered the world that day.

Colm grew up in a “small” Irish family of 10 where there was always music in the house. His early musical influences ranged from Enrico Caruso, Eddie Cochran, and Elvis to Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, and Muddy Waters.

Colm’s greatest successes have been on the musical stage originating the role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables in London and New York. Colm was also the first to sing music from the Phantom of the Opera at a workshop during Andrew Lloyd Weber’s annual Sydmonton Festival. He was offered the role of the first Phantom by Weber but declined due to his contractual obligations with Les Miserables. After his mega-successful stint as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, Wilkinson was finally cast as the Phantom at the Pantages Theatre in Toronto. He played the role over 1,600 times during a 4 ½ year period leaving in 1994.

I’m blessed to have been living in Toronto during the early 1990’s and saw Colm Wilkinson as the Phantom in many performances at The Pantages theatre. I left the beautiful city of Toronto, New York run by the Swiss, returning to the US in 1992 with a major regret of never having seen Wilkinson as Jean Valjean. Fortune shone brightly on the city of Toronto and myself during the Summer of 1998 when Colm Wilkinson reprised his role as Jean Valjean at the Princess of Wales Theatre. I took my young bride and her parents to see Colm’s performance of Jean Valjean. What a memory!

Alfred Giovanni Roncalli Boe a.k.a. Alfie Boe is the current Irish (only ½ ) tenor wowing audiences with his rendition of Jean Valjean in both London and New York. His powerful performance as Jean Valjean as part of the Les Miserables 25th anniversary special at the O2 in London in October 2010 catapulted him to international stardom leading to the production and release of seven CDs from 2011 to 2015. During this period, Boe also toured the U.K. and U.S. performing in such venues as the English National Opera, the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, and VE Day 70 all in London and a performance in Dallas, TX at the Majestic theater. Wide ranging appeal I guess?

This setup quite nicely for me as I reside in the north Texas area and a trip to the Majestic theater to compare/contrast Alfie and Colm seemed simple enough. Tickets went on sale and I was poised to buy when this simple idea was “re-directed” by my spouse when she didn’t understand the “need” to see each performer in person to evaluate their singing ability. My young daughter and our Vizsla agreed, why spend the money on tickets to see Alfie Boe when Christmas was only two months away and I might get the 25th anniversary performance of Les Miserables on DVD? Yes sir, a DVD is almost the same as a live performance, yahoo!

The discussion in Opensource cloud computing is very similar to the question; who is the better Jean Valjean, i.e. which platform is the best; OpenStack or CloudStack? Each has it’s fans and detractors with almost all appreciating some elements of the other platform.

OpenStack is the more mature platform with over 150 contributors. Contributors include Dell, HP, IBM and Yahoo. OpenStack’s fragmented modular architecture can be troublesome during deployment and often requires management from several CLI consoles. The good news is that there is a plethora of installation scripts available for use. The following notable organizations are current users of OpenStack: ATT, CERN, HP OpenCloud, Red Hat OpenSpace, and others.

CloudStack has a somewhat smaller community of developers when compared to OpenStack which yields a somewhat clearer vision for the platform with less “cooks in the kitchen.” CloudStack features a simple to deploy Java application with a series of operating systems. Current users include: BIT.Group GmbH, BT Cloud, China Telecom, CloudOps, Datapipe, Korea Telecom, Melbourne University, SafeSwiss Cloud, ShapeBlue, University of Cologne, and the University of Sao Paulo, among others.

Which open source cloud platform is better? According to François Gaudreault at where they are using both cloud platforms, it depends. They chose what they thought was the best of both worlds. It’s just one of many examples that proves both OpenStack and CloudStack can be used in the field, either alone or together, to power many kinds of workloads.

And so it goes, arguments comparing the emotive trustworthy Colm Wilkinson to the operatic powerful Alfie Boe and the mature complicated OpenStack to the simple nimble CloudStack are never ending discussions with the ultimate conclusion that it depends on your personal judgment. By the way, Alfie Boe is playing Jean Valjean on Broadway through February 28, 2016. For strictly research purposes, I think it’s vital to see him in person. Anyone willing to finance this necessary “research” should contact me at


Randall Smith – StratoSTACK Product Manager