Open Source Cloud Apps: 65 Cloudy Apps

Some of these open source projects are enabling the creation of IaaS or PaaS offerings, and some are available for purchases on a SaaS basis.
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Open source cloud apps are the wave of the future -- and the present. Cloud computing itself is no longer just a buzzword, it's becoming simply the ways things are done. IDC predicts that public cloud spending will grow from $70 billion in 2015 to more than $141 billion in 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 19.4 percent. That is six times faster growth than the firm expects to see for IT spending as a whole.

The open source community is playing a major role in the growth of the cloud with projects like OpenStack, CloudStack and others providing some of the fundamental building blocks that enable both public and private cloud computing. In addition, many open source project owners make cloud-hosted versions of their software available on a software as a service (SaaS) basis, which gives them a way to monetize their projects and simplifies deployment and support for users.

This month, we're updating our list of open source apps you can use in the cloud. Interestingly, a lot of the projects that were on our list last year have dropped off for 2016 because they are no longer under development or, more commonly, because the project owners have moved to a proprietary license. Time will tell if that trend continues.

Still, this year's list is a little longer than last year's thanks in large part to an expanded section of cloud storage projects. As always, if you know of additional projects that you think should be on the list, feel free to note them in the comments section below.

Cloud Infrastructure and Management

1. OpenStack

Now in its 13th release, codenamed Mitaka, OpenStack describes itself as "a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter." Well-known users include Yahoo, Cisco WebEx, PayPal, Purdue University, Wikimedia Foundation, MIT, AT&T, Rackspace, Best Buy, Comcast, Disney, Time Warner Cable, Intel and American Express. Operating System: OS Independent.

2. CloudStack

Used by several public cloud vendors, Apache CloudStack helps organizations deploy and manage networks of virtual machines. It includes compute orchestration, network-as-a-service, user and account management, and resource accounting capabilities. Operating System: OS Independent

3. OpenNebula

OpenNebula promises "the simplest could deployment and management experience." Paid support, training, engineering and consulting are available through OpenNebula Systems. Operating System: Linux.

4. Eucalyptus

Now managed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Helion Eucalyptus enables hybrid cloud computing by allowing organizations to build private clouds that are compatible with Amazon Web Services (AWS), which. Paid support is available from HPE. Operating System: Linux.

5. Synnefo

Co-financed by Greece and the European Union, Synnefo offers a complete open source cloud computing stack written in Python. It uses OpenStack APIs to simplify management, and it also relies on Google Ganeti for cluster management and Archipelago for storage management. Operating System: Linux.


SCALR describes itself as "the policy-driven cloud management platform." In addition to the open source community edition, it comes in a hosted version that starts at $99 per month and an enterprise version that starts at $30,000 per year. Operating System: Linux.

7. FOSS-Cloud

With FOSS-Cloud, users can build their own public or private cloud computing environments. It includes tools for VDI, IaaS, PaaS, SaaS and cloud storage. Operating System: Windows, Linux.

8. openQRM

Downloaded more than 400,000 times, the open source version of openQRM offers free cloud computing software that is suitable for small deployments. It also comes in multiple paid enterprise editions, and the company behind the project also offers paid hardware/software bundles and a variety of related services. Operating System: Linux.

9. Dasein Cloud

A Dell project, Dasein Cloud is "an open source cloud abstraction library for Java." It allows developers to write applications once that can be translated to any cloud provider's model. Operating System: Linux.

Cloud Desktop

10. Oneye

Forked from eyeOS, which became closed source after version 2.0, Oneye allows users to set up their own servers for cloud desktop functionality. There is a demo available on the website. Operating System: Linux.

11. ownCloud

Designed to help users set up their "own cloud," this project emphasizes file syncing and sharing, as well as collaboration capabilities. A paid enterprise version is available through Operating System: Windows, Linux.


12. Xen

Xen boasts that it powers "the largest clouds in production," including those run by Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. It is a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, and it has been integrated into many other open source cloud computing projects, including OpenStack. Operating System: OS Independent.

13. KVM

Short for "kernel-based virtual machine," KVM is a full virtualization stack for Linux systems. It is included in the mainline Linux kernel. Operating System: Linux.


14. Docker

An alternative to virtualization, Docker allows developers to package an application and all its dependencies together for easy deployment in a cloud or traditional environment. Containers are more lightweight and portable than VMs, which is making them popular for cloud computing. In addition to the open source version, Docker also offers paid versions of its software, including a containers-as-a-service offering. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

15. Kubernetes

Developed by Google, Kubernetes is an open source container management solution. It is highly scalable, running billions of containers in Google's data centers, as well as containers at Viacom, Ebay and Wikimedia. Note that in order to use it you will need Docker and a Google Cloud Platform Account. Operating System: Linux, OS X.

16. Rkt

Part of the CoreOS operating system, Rkt describes itself as "the next-generation container manager for Linux clusters." It emphasizes security and simplicity, and it ships in ArchLinux, Fedora and several other Linux distributions. Operating System: Linux, OS X.

Network Monitoring

17. Opsview

Used by organizations like Cisco, MIT and Allianz, Opsview allows network administrators to monitor all of their cloud and traditional networks from a single pane of glass. It's available in both open source and paid versions. Operating System: Linux.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

18. AppScale

AppScale allows users to run applications based on Google App Engine on any infrastructure. It is used by organizations like the World Wildlife Federation, Chico's and Google itself. Operating System: Linux.

19. OpenShift

This Red Hat project aims to make it easy for enterprises to develop, host and scale cloud-based applications. Red Hat offers a public PaaS under the OpenShift name, as well as the open source software and an enterprise version for organizations that want to build a private PaaS. Operating System: Linux.

20. Cloud Foundry

A Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, Cloud Foundry describes itself as the "industry standard platform for cloud applications." It has been integrated into PaaS offerings from CenturyLink, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Huawei, IBM, Pivotal, SAP and Swisscom. Operating System: Linux.

Cloud Backup and Storage

21. Bacula

Bacula claims to be the most popular open source backup program. It's a network backup solution designed for enterprise use. Bacula Systems offers paid versions of the software, including one designed for the cloud. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.

22. Camlistore

Short for "Content-Addressable Multi-Layer Indexed Storage," Camlistore aims to help users set up a "personal storage system for life." Note that this software is for more advanced users, not beginners. Operating System: Linux

23. CloudStore

CloudStore focuses on synchronizing files across devices, including cloud storage. It aims to be fast, secure, easy to use, robust and flexible. Operating System: Linux

24. Cozy

With Cozy, you can "ungoogle your digital life," by setting up your own private cloud at home. It includes tools for backing up and sharing photos and tools for aggregating data from various sources. Operating System: Linux

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Tags: cloud computing, PaaS, IaaS, Open Source App, cloud computing apps

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