Download the authoritative guide: Cloud Computing 2018: Using the Cloud to Transform Your Business
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
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.
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
OpenNebula promises "the simplest could deployment and management experience." Paid support, training, engineering and consulting are available through OpenNebula Systems. Operating System: Linux.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 OwnCloud.com. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
With DuraCloud, users can backup their files to multiple cloud storage providers at once or move their files from one cloud to another at will. In addition to the open source software, it is also offered as a paid service. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
This backup client is designed to store backups on remote or cloud servers. It supports Amazon, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and similar cloud storage services. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
FTPbox enables users to set up their own file-syncing server and upload files to that server via FTP. Key features include encryption and the ability to share files with friends. Operating System: Windows
Based on OpenSSH, rsync and lsyncd, LipSync is a lightweight option for setting up your own Dropbox-like server. Note that it requires both the client and the server to be running Linux. Operating System: Linux
Previously called AjaXplorer, Pydio is an enterprise-class file sharing and synchronization solution. Both paid and open source versions are available. Operating System: Windows, Linux (Android and iOS clients available)
Powered by Linux and BTRFS, Rockstor allows users to set up their own cloud-based storage. Commercial support and an online demo are available. Operating System: Linux
Seafile promises reliable high-speed file sync and share, which makes it suitable for some backup purposes. It is also available as a paid cloud service that is hosted in Germany. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Made by the founders of the ClamAV open source anti-virus tool, Skylable allows organizations to set up Amazon S3- or Swift-compatible object storage servers very quickly. A paid enterprise version is available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
An alternative to Dropbox, SparkleShare can sync multiple copies of files stored on a local desktop and in the cloud. It includes client-side encryption for security. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Putting the emphasis on security, StackSync encrypts stored data on the client side before sending it to the cloud server. It allows individuals or organizations to set up scalable personal cloud server. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Still in the early phases of development, Syncany aims to allow users to sync files on any type of storage, including the cloud. It includes built-in encryption capabilities for security. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X
Syncthing makes it possible to set up your own Dropbox-like cloud storage solution on your own servers. It protects users' privacy with advanced encryption and authentication. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, Android.
Big Data Tools
The most well-known big data tool in existence, Hadoop stores large datasets on a cluster of computers, such as cloud computing environments. Its users include Adobe, AOL, Alibaba, Ebay, Facebook, FOX, Google, Hulu, LinkedIn, The New York Times, Spotify, StumbleUpon, Twitter and Yahoo. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
38. HPCC Systems
An alternative to Hadoop, HPCC describes itself as "an open source, massive parallel-processing computing platform for big data processing and analytics." Its partners include Amazon Web Services, Cisco, Cognizant, Comrise, Dell and Infosys. A paid enterprise version that includes support is available. Operating System: Linux
This popular business intelligence suite is available in a Cloud Analytics version that runs on Amazon Web Services. It also comes in both free and paid versions for on-premise deployment. Operating System: OS Independent.
Business Process Management
Award-winning ProcessMaker offers tools to help enterprises automate workflow processes as well as performing full-scale BPM. It comes in community, enterprise and cloud editions. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
Similar to Microsoft SharePoint, Alfresco's community edition offers enterprise content management that "helps you regain control of critical business content, strengthen compliance, optimize processes and make collaboration easy." It also comes in a paid enterprise version called Alfresco One, and a cloud-based version which makes the software available on an SaaS basis. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Used by more than 1.5 million people in 120 countries, SugarCRM is an extremely popular, award-winning open source CRM solution. The website link above is primarily devoted to selling cloud-based subscriptions, but you can find the open source version at SugarCRM.com/download. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Downloaded more than four million times, vTiger comes in both cloud and open source versions. Key features include contact management, opportunity management, email marketing, forecasting, collaboration, workflow automation, reporting and mobile apps. Operating System: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android.
SplendidCRM calls itself "the clear and obvious choice for companies that prefer Microsoft IIS to Apache and SQL Server to MySQL." It's a Windows-based CRM solution that comes in multiple cloud and on-premise versions. Operating System: Windows.
Document Management Systems (DMS)
Standards-based OpenKM offers "full document management capabilities including version control and file history, metadata, scanning, workflow, search, and more." It comes in a free community version, paid professional version or paid cloud version. All of the editions run in a web browser. Operating System: OS Independent.
Designed for both large and small organizations, LogicalDOC promises intuitive and accessible document management that can help users achieve a paperless office. The community version is free, or users can pay for the professional or cloud versions. Operating System: OS Independent.
Magento claims to have powered more Internet Retailer Top 1000 merchants than anyone else for three years in a row and to process more than $50 billion in transactions each year. In addition to the community edition, it comes in enterprise and enterprise cloud editions. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Similar to Basecamp, Collabtive offers web-based project management that includes time-tracking and reporting. Download the software and host it yourself, or purchase on a SaaS basis. Operating System: OS Independent.
Group-Office combines enterprise CRM and groupware features like calendar and email. The paid professional version adds helpdesk, mobile sync, time-tracking, projects and document editing. A hosted cloud version is also available. Operating System: OS Independent.
Used by more than 500 million people, Zimbra offers a range of email and messaging tools for companies of all sizes, and it comes in both free and paid versions. Its browser-based interface was "built for the cloud, both public and private." Operating System: Linux, Unix, OS X.
This groupware tool includes wikis, blogs, file repositories, event calendars, bookmark directories, discussion boards and multimedia galleries. It comes in free and commercially supported versions, and it is also available as an on-demand cloud service. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
52. Feng Office
Feng Office boasts more than 2 million users at organizations like University of California Berkeley, Airbus, NASA, Porsche Design, Xerox and the NBA. It comes in both free and paid community editions, as well as professional and enterprise editions and the Feng Sky cloud-based option. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
EGroupware emphasizes flexibility, offering configurable custom fields and making it easy to integrate data from other applications. In addition to the free community edition, it also comes in a full version for on-premise deployment and a cloud version with several pricing tiers. Operating System: OS Independent.
With nearly 600,000 downloads, OpenEMM claims to be the "most successful e-mail software worldwide." It's available on a SaaS basis, as well as on-premise versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
This open source e-mail marketing solution was used to send more than 22 billion messages last year. Subscriptions to the cloud-based service start at just $1. Operating System: OS Independent.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
Used by organizations like the World Wildlife Federation, Toyota, Cox Communications, Hyundai and Danone, Odoo promises to simplify omnichannel sales. It comes in a free community version or paid enterprise and online versions. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
Openbravo offers specialized ERP software for retailers, as well as a business suite for companies of all types. The open source version can be found on the company's Community Hub; paid professional and enterprise versions are available through its partners. Operating System: OS Independent.
58. xTuple PostBooks
Targeted at manufacturers and distributors, xTuple claims to be the "world's #1 open source ERP." It offers multiple editions, including a cloud hosted version. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
Compiere offers features like warehouse management, purchasing, manufacturing, sales, ecommerce, customer service, materials management, order management, financial management and reporting. It's paid professional and enterprise versions are built to be easily deployed on Amazon's EC2 service. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
This solution combines ERP and CRM functionality and is designed to help business owners manager their companies more effectively. It has pre-loaded machine images on Amazon EC2 that make it possible to get the software up and running in the cloud in just minutes. Operating System: Windows, Linux.
Human Resource Management (HRM)
With 3 million users, OrangeHRM claims to be the "world's most popular open source HR software." In addition to the open source version, it comes in profession and enterprise versions for on-premise deployment, and a Live version that runs in the cloud. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.
This web-based invoicing system is easy to use, sending electronic invoices as PDF files. You can download the code and host it on your own server or use the hosting services provided by Smarter Invoices. Operating System: OS Independent.
School Management/Learning Management Systems
This open source school management software claims to increase student achievement and teacher performance. It is available in the open source version, a Pro version for small to medium-sized districts, and a highly scalable, cloud-based Surge version for large districts. Operating System: OS Independent.
This learning management system humbly hopes to "change the world." It comes in K-12 and higher education versions, and the website has a catalog of courses offered by organizations that use its software. Both free and paid cloud versions are available. Operating System: Linux, Unix, OS X.
The latest version of this employee time tracking system includes a facial recognition feature that allows workers to clock in just by looking at a smartphone or tablet. Besides the open source version, it comes in professional, corporate or enterprise versions, and cloud hosting is available. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.