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on 17 September 2013
As far as cloud computing is concerned we are living in "interesting times".There are several competing frameworks and technologies, both commercial and open source. Two of the more widely known open source technologies are OpenStack and CloudStack. OpenStack's origins are NASA and Rackspace based, CloudStack's origins are Citrix based. Of the commercial offerings two of the major ones are Amazon's AWS and Microsoft's Azure. It is, of course, possible to create hybrid cloud solutions. For instance, Peter Lopez, Disney Interactive's system architect has developed a private cloud by stitching together technology from both OpenStack and cloudstack. An interesting comparison of OpenStack vs. Cloudstack (if you're interested) can be found at the following URL [...]

This particular book focuses entirely on CloudStack. Starting with a good yet concise overview of cloud computing and the technologies underpinning cloud computing, the "way that CloudStack does it", is described in very practical and understandable terms. The networking architecture description was particularly clear, importantly so for novices as this can be a very confusing topic. The chapters covering basic installation and configuration were pretty standard and workmanlike as one might expect in a book of this nature. The networking chapter was clear and provided a good overview, as did the chapter covering CloudStack storage. I felt that the section covering the use of OpenStack (Swift) storage as a means for providing secondary storage to CloudStack could have been more detailed. As a general observation the configuration and administration details were mostly GUI oriented. Examples showing the use of e.g. shell scripts of Python scripts would have been most welcome. The chapter on Service Offerings and Virtual Machines was very short. I would have liked much more detail on the use of CloudStack with different Hypervisors. The chapter covering Domains, Accounts, Projects and Users could have been expanded, and , once again some bash or Python script examples would have been of great help. The final chapters on high availability, performance tuning and scaling were of an overview / introductory nature and could form the starting point for a much more advanced performance and troubleshooting oriented book.

Overall I felt that this was a very good book, that dealt with a difficult subject clearly and in a way suitable for those entering this area for the first time. I would recommend it both for technologists wishing to get a fairly in depth feel for CloudStack and its capabilities, and for novice CloudStack administrators. With an "administratorish" hat on examples of configuration and administration scripts would have been of great value. Sometimes studying a script carefully can tell you a lot more than "wading through a whole lot of GUI snapshots".
Apache CloudStack Cloud Computing
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