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PowerFlex Apache CloudStack

PowerFlex and CloudStack, an Amazing IaaS match!

Tony Foster Punitha HS Tony Foster Punitha HS

Sat, 18 Nov 2023 14:13:00 -0000


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Have you heard about Apache CloudStack? Did you know it runs amazingly on Dell PowerFlex? And what does it all have to do with infrastructure as a service (IaaS)? Interested in learning more? If so, then you should probably keep reading!

The PowerFlex team and ShapeBlue have been collaborating to bring ease and simplicity to CloudStack on PowerFlex. They have been doing this for quite a while. As new versions are released, the teams work together to ensure it continues to be amazing for customers. The deep integration with PowerFlex makes it an ideal choice for organizations building CloudStack environments.

Both Dell and ShapeBlue are gearing up for the CloudStack Collaboration Conference (CCC) in Paris on November 23 and 24th. The CloudStack Collaboration Conference is the biggest get-together for the Apache CloudStack Community, bringing vendors, users, and developers to one place to discuss the future of open-source technologies, the benefits of CloudStack, new integrations, and capabilities.

CloudStack is open-source software designed to deploy and manage large networks of virtual machines as a highly available, highly scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing platform. CloudStack is used by hundreds of service providers around the world to offer public cloud services and by many companies to provide an on-premises (private) cloud offering or as part of a hybrid cloud solution.

Users can manage their cloud with an easy to use Web interface, command line tools, and/or a full-featured RESTful API. In addition, CloudStack provides an API that is compatible with AWS EC2 and S3 for organizations that want to deploy hybrid clouds.

CloudStack can leverage the extensive PowerFlex REST APIs to enhance functionality. This facilitates streamlined provisioning, effective data management, robust snapshot management, comprehensive data protection, and seamless scalability, making the combination of PowerFlex storage and CloudStack a robust choice for modern IaaS environments.

You can see this in the following diagram. CloudStack and PowerFlex communicate with each other using APIs to coordinate operations for VMs. This makes it easier to administer larger environments, enabling organizations to have a true IaaS environment.  


Figure 1. Cloud Stack on PowerFlex Architecture

Let's talk about IaaS for a moment. It is a fantastic concept that can be compared with ordering off a menu at a restaurant. The restaurant has unrelated dishes on the menu until you start looking at their components. For example, you can get three different base sauces (red, pink, and white) with just a red sauce and a white sauce. With a small variety of pasta and proteins, the options are excellent. This is the same for IaaS. Have a few base options, sprinkle on some API know-how, and you get a fantastic menu to satisfy workload needs without having a detailed knowledge of the infrastructure.

That makes it easier for the IT organization to become more efficient and shift the focus toward aspirational initiatives. This is especially true when CloudStack and PowerFlex work together. The hungry IT consumers can get what they want with less IT interaction.

Other significant benefits that come from integrating CloudStack with PowerFlex include the following:

  • Seamless Data Management: Efficient provision, backup, and data management across infrastructure, ensuring data integrity and accessibility.
  • Enhanced Performance: Provides low-latency access to data, optimizing I/O, and reducing bottlenecks. This, in turn, leads to improved application and workload performance.
  • Reliability and Data Availability: Benefit from advanced redundancy and failover mechanisms and data replication, reducing the risk of data loss and ensuring continuous service availability.
  • Scalability: Scalable storage solutions allow organizations to expand their storage resources in tandem with their growing needs. This flexibility ensures that they can adapt to changing workloads and resource requirements.
  • Simplified Management: Ability to use a single interface to handle provisioning, monitoring, troubleshooting, and streamlining administrative tasks.
  • Enhanced Data Protection: Data protection features, such as snapshots, backups, and disaster recovery solutions. This ensures that an organization's data remains secure and can be quickly restored in case of unexpected incidents.

These are tremendous benefits for organizations, especially the data protection aspects. It is often said that it is no longer a question of if an organization will be impacted by an incident. It is a question of when they will be impacted. The IaaS capabilities of CloudStack and PowerFlex play a crucial role in protecting an organization's data. That protection can be automated as part of the IaaS design. That way, when a VM or VMs are requested, they can be assigned to a data protection policy as part of the creation process.

Simply put, that means that VM can be protected from the moment of creation. No more having to remember to add a VM to a backup, and no more "oh no" when someone realizes they forgot. That is amazing!

If you are at the CloudStack Collaboration Conference and are interested in discovering more, talk with Shashi and Florian. They will also present how CloudStack and PowerFlex create an outstanding IaaS solution.

Register for the CloudStack Collaboration Conference here to join virtually if you are unable to attend in person.


If you want to learn more about how PowerFlex and CloudStack can benefit your organization, reach out to your Dell representative for more details on this amazing solution.



Tony Foster 
Twitter: @wonder_nerd

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