Where to get general information.
Before beginning with any project you need to get some general information about it first. The Apache Cloudstack documentation is not great but it’s not horrible either. In most cases, I think it gets the job done in explaining the architecture, design and how to get the product installed then setup. Here are a few links the Apache Cloudstack documentation to get you started.
- Apache Cloudstack Home
- Installation Guide
- CloudStack Collaboration Conference North America 2014 Videos
- Cloudstack on Github
- Jenkins Page
How to get up and running quickly!
Once you have the general information about Cloudstack the next step is to get a test or lab environment up so that you can start learning the ins and outs of the product. Cloudstack has a pretty simple architecture and for the most part is not that hard to get up and running. This is especially true when you compare it to other open source cloud platforms. With that said, you do need to follow somewhat of a strict process when doing it manually.
The easiest way to get up and running, especially for testing purposes is by using a Cloudstack deployment tool called cldstk-deploy. This tool coupled with virtualization will rocket you into having a usable Cloudstack environment in about 30 minutes. If you don’t have virtualization software like “VirtualBox” or “VMware Fusion or Workstation” you can use physical hardware. The cldstk-deploy tool does not care either way as long as the operating system is CentOS. You can also follow the installation guide to manually install Cloudstack but the main point here is speed.
Where to get help?
The third thing is how to get help when you run into problems. Hopefully you won’t need too much help due to problems but it’s always good to know that there’s a community of people willing to help. The Cloudstack community has a great bunch of people and all you need to do is post to the mailing lists found here. There are a few so subscribe to one or more, then post to the most relevant. It’s also good to watch the emails for subjects of interest.
- Mailing List
- IRC channels on irc.freenode.net - #cloudstack, #cloudstack-dev, #cloudstack-meeting
In closing here are a couple of things I find important to know about Cloudstack and why I think it’s a great open source cloud platform.
- It’s simple and easy to deploy, manage and maintain
- It has multi hypervisor support
- It’s free and works very well