Friday, June 14, 2024

75 Open Source Cloud Computing Apps

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In one recent survey, IT managers said that the most important project their teams are working on for 2015 is cloud computing. And IDC predicts that by 2018, the worldwide market for public cloud services will be worth more than $127 billion, accounting for “more than half of worldwide software, server and storage spending growth.”

The open source community is heavily involved in this cloud trend. Open source technologies provide the foundation for many public cloud services, and many enterprises are using these same technologies to build private clouds and hybrid clouds. In addition, many open source projects offer cloud-based software as a service (SaaS) versions of their applications.

This month, we’re updating Datamation’s list of open source cloud computing applications, which includes infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), SaaS and other cloud-related offerings. This year, we’ve added quite a few new projects, including many related to cloud infrastructure, cloud storage and containerization, which isn’t surprising given all the growth and interest in cloud technologies. However, it was somewhat more surprising to see that some of the projects with SaaS offerings on last year’s version of the list have stopped offering the cloud-based versions of their software. We’ll be watching to see if this trend continues.

As always, if you know of additional projects that you think should be on our list, feel free to note them in the comments section below. Also, please note that this is not a ranking; projects are divided into categories and arranged in alphabetical order within those categories.

Cloud Infrastructure and Management

1. CloudStack

Sponsored by the Apache Software Foundation, CloudStack describes itself as “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.” Known users include Cloudera, Citrix Systems, China Telecom, Dell, Disney, Huawei, Nokia, SAP, Verizon and many other organizations. Operating System: OS Independent

2. Eucalyptus

Now part of the HP Helion ecosystem, Eucalyptus is a private cloud platform that is compatible with Amazon Web Services, which enables hybrid cloud computing. In addition to the free community version, it comes in paid standard and premium versions, and HP also offers a number of related services. Operating System: Linux

3. FOSS-Cloud

FOSS-Cloud is a comprehensive project which aims to allow organizations build their own private clouds. It is positioned as an alternative to Ctirix and VMware that can save organizations up to 40 percent. Operating System: Windows, Linux

4. ManageIQ

This cloud management solution is the open source project behind Red Hat CloudForms. It enables services like chargebacks, service orchestration, lifecycle management and automated workflows, as well as enabling hybrid cloud environments. Operating System: Linux, VMware

5. Mesos

Apache Mesos is a distributed systems kernel that abstracts computing resources away from physical or virtual machines, allowing users to treat their data centers like a single pool of resources. It’s often used with big data tools like Hadoop, and it also integrates with Docker. Operating System: Linux, OS X

6. OpenNebula

“Simple yet powerful,” OpenNebula is a turnkey solution for managing virtualized environments and creating private clouds. Paid support and services are available, and there is also a commercial arm of the project at Operating System: Linux

7. openQRM

Downloaded more than 370,000 times, openQRM enables end-user self-service for cloud provisioning and billing. It addition to the free open source version, it comes in paid SMB, Large, and Enterprise Editions. Operating System: Linux

8. OpenStack

Backed by organizations like Red Hat, SUSE, Rackspace, IBM, Intel, HP, Ubuntu and AT&T, OpenStack powers hundreds of public and private cloud computing environments. The website includes a marketplace for purchasing related products and services. Operating System: OS Independent

9. Scalr

Scalr aims to simplify the management, security and governance of multi-cloud environments while providing greater business agility for users. Well-known users include Expedia, Samsung, Disney, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sony and Accenture. Operating System: Linux

10. Synnefo

Financed by Greece and the European Union, Synnefo (which means “cloud” in Greek) is an open source cloud computing stack based on Google Ganeti, Archipelago and OpenStack APIs. A 1.0 version is still under development. Operating System: Linux

Cloud Desktop

11. eyeOS

Later versions of this cloud desktop solution are closed source, but you can still access the earlier open source versions through the link above. It’s based on PHP and MySQL. Operating System: Linux

12. Oneye

Oneye is based on the open source code from eyeOS. It allows users to set up a cloud desktop on their own servers and access it from any device through a browser. Operating System: Linux

13. ownCloud

This mature cloud desktop project is now on version 8.0. Key features include federated sharing, favorites, metadata support, excellent search and more. Operating System: Windows, Linux

Platform as a Service

14. Appcelerator Titanium

The open source Titanium SDK allows developers to create cross-platform native, hybrid or mobile Web apps using JavaScript. Cloud-based services based on the SDK can be found at Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X, iOS, Android

15. AppScale

Sponsored by Google, Ubuntu, Cloud Sherpas, Datastax, Canonical and Mirantis, AppScale allows users to set up their own platform as a service that runs Google App Engine apps while providing additional monitoring and backup tools. Many customers use it to set up hybrid cloud environments. Paid services are available. Operating System: Linux

16. Cloud Foundry

This open source PaaS solution has a huge roster of corporate backers that includes Pivotal, Cisco, Accenture, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, SAP, Rackspace, VMware and even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. It has a very active development community with regular blog posts and training events. Operating System: Linux

17. OpenShift

OpenShift is Red Hat’s open source hybrid cloud computing platform. In addition to “Origin,” the free community version, it also comes in paid online and enterprise versions. Operating System: Linux

Cloud Development Tools

18. Cloud9 IDE

Cloud9 is both a cloud-based Ubuntu desktop and a browser-based IDE. You can sign up to use a free or paid version of the service at the link above, or you can set up your own cloud-based IDE using the source code from GitHub. Operating System: OS Independent

19. Desein

This Dell-sponsored project provides “a Java-based cloud abstraction layer” that makes it possible for developers to write an application once and then run it on any cloud computing service. It’s pronounced “da z-eye-n.” Operating System: Linux

20. Dirigible

Owned by SAP, Dirigible is an integrated development environment as a service (IDEaaS) that promises to help developers “enjoy programming like never before.” It’s still in beta trials, and you can register to use it for free from the link above. The source code is on GitHub. Operating System: OS Independent

21. Falcon

Falcon describes itself as a “very fast, minimalist Python framework for building cloud APIs and app backends.” The website includes some impressive benchmark numbers. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

22. PredictionIO

This open source machine learning server promises to allow developers to “build and deploy machine intelligence in a fraction of the time.” It’s based on other projects like Apache Spark, Hbase and Spray. Enterprise support is available. Operating System: Linux

23. Roboconf

This tool makes it easier to deploy applications to the cloud or other distributed computing environments. It supports many public cloud services, including AWS, Microsoft and Vmware, as well as most private cloud environments. Operating System: OS Independent

Cloud Backup

24. Amanda

The Advanced Maryland Automatic Network Disk Archiver, or Amanda, claims to be the “most popular open source backup and recovery software in the world.” It is now owned by the well-known cloud backup service Carbonite and provides the underlying technology for the Carbonite service. Operating System: Windows

25. Bacula

Bacula also claims the “most popular open source backup program” title. It’s a network-based solution for larger organizations. A supported enterprise edition and “Bacula for the Cloud” are available throughBacula Systems. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

26. Duplicati

This backup client automatically stores backups on a cloud computing service. It works with AWS, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, Rackspace and private clouds. AES-256 encryption is built-in, and archived files can also be signed with Gnu Privacy Guard. Operating System: Windows, Linux

Cloud Storage

27. Ceph

Ceph offers both object and block storage, as well as a POSIX-compliant file system for distributed storage. The project is now managed by Red Hat, which sells Ceph-based products. Operating System: Linux

28. CloudStore

CloudStore offers synchronization capabilities similar to Dropbox. It allows users to set up a personal cloud storage service on their own servers, and it is highly secure. (Note that this project is not related to the UK government initiative with the same name.) Operating System: Linux

29. Gluster

Managed by Red Hat, Gluster is an open source, distributed filesystem designed to handle petabytes (or even brontobytes) of data. It boasts high scalability, performance and availability. Paid support and consulting are available through third-party partners. Operating System: Linux

30. Riak CS

Riak is a distributed database with low latency, high availability, fault tolerance and high scalability. Riak CS is a cloud storage solution built on top of this database. It comes in both community and enterprise versions. Operating System: Linux, OS X

31. Seafile

Seafile provides cloud storage with file syncing and team collaboration capabilities. There’s a cloud-based version at, or you can host the open source or professional edition on your own Linux server. Operating System: OS Independent

32. Sheepdog

Designed for simplicity, Sheepdog is another option for distributed object storage. It can scale to several hundred nodes. Operating System: OS Independent

33. Syncany

This open source cloud storage and synchronization tool allows users to make backups and share files with others. All files are encrypted before uploading for privacy protection. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X


34. Docker

Although it’s a fairly young technology, Docker’s containerization is already getting a lot of attention from industry analysts and enterprises. It describes itself as “an open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications.” Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

35. Linux Containers

This group oversees three separate containerization-related projects: LXC, a set of tools for containerization; LXD, a descendant of LXC which provides a more intuitive user experience; CG Manager container group manager daemon and the LXCFS filesystem. Its stated goal is “to offer a distro- and vendor-neutral environment for the development of Linux container technologies. Operating System: Linux

36. OpenVZ

While it’s not nearly as well-known as Docker, OpenVZ also offers open source containerization technology. It provides the basis for a commercial product called Odin Virtuozzo. Operating System: Linux


37. KVM

Short for Kernel-based Virtual Machine, KVM is a complete Linux virtualization solution for x86 hardware. It is part of the mainline Linux kernel. Operating System: Linux

38. Xen

The Xen Project website describes it as an “open source hypervisor designed for clouds.” It provides the foundation for some of the biggest clouds in the world, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). Operating System: OS Independent

Big Data Tools

39. Hadoop

Hadoop is so widely used that it has become more or less synonymous with big data. It’s a collection of data processing tools that can be used in distributed computing environments, including cloud computing environments. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

Business Intelligence

40. Jaspersoft

Jaspersoft offers award-winning open source business intelligence and analytics capabilities. In addition to the free community download, it comes in a variety of paid editions, and it is also available as a cloud computing service that runs on AWS with prices starting at less than $1 per hour. Operating System: OS Independent

41. Jedox

With more than 100,000 users, Jedox (formerly known as Palo BI) is a very popular business intelligence platform. The base version is free and open source, and the organization also offers a premium on-premise version and a cloud version. Operating System: OS Independent

Business Process Management

42. ProcessMaker

Used by companies like Toyota, GTBank and Lenovo, ProcessMaker aims to simplify BPM and workflow automation. In addition to the free community edition and a paid on-premise enterprise edition, it also comes in a cloud version. Operating System: Windows, Linux, Android, iOS

Content Management

43. Alfresco

Alfresco offers enterprise-class content management, and the paid versions of the software also include business process management capabilities. It comes in an online version and a hybrid cloud version, as well as the free community version. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

44. SugarCRM

Boasting millions of users, SugarCRM is a high-quality enterprise-ready CRM solution that rivals or exceeds the capabilities of proprietary solutions. The community version is available as a free download, or you can subscribe to the professional, enterprise or ultimate cloud-based versions, with prices starting at $40 per user per month. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

45. vTiger

Used by more than 100,000 businesses, vTiger promises to help companies “get organized, grow sales, improve marketing ROI and deliver delightful customer experiences.” In addition to the free community version, it comes in three cloud versions—sales, support and ultimate—and other services are available as well. Prices start at $10 per user per month. Operating System: Windows, Linux, iOS, Android

46. Orange Leap

Aimed at non-profits, Orange Leap offers constituent relationship management capabilities with an emphasis on fundraising. The link above will connect you with the paid, cloud-based version; the open source code can be found at GitHub. Operating System: Windows

47. SplendidCRM

This CRM solution comes in three different versions—community, professional and enterprise—all of which can be deployed on-premise or used in the cloud. The latest versions add new features like a chat system, native mobile apps, data de-duplication, a report designer and integrations with third partner email marketing and automation solutions like HubSpot, ConstantContact and iContact. Operating System: Windows

Document Management Systems (DMS)

48. OpenKM

The KM in OpenKM stands for “knowledge management.” It’s a Web-based document management system with integrated collaboration capabilities and features like version control, file history, metadata, workflow and search. community, professional and cloud versions are available, and the organization also offers paid training. Operating System: OS Independent

49. LogicalDOC

LogicalDOC aims to make deploying a DMS easy and affordable. It’s available as a free download or as a cloud-based service with mobile clients available. Operating System: OS Independent

50. OpenDocMan

This web-based document management solution complies with ISO 17025 and OIE standards. It comes in free and paid versions, and while the company no longer offers a hosted cloud version itself, there is an easy link for setting it up on RackSpace’s cloud. Operating System: OS Independent


51. Collabtive

Very similar to Basecamp, Collabtive is a Web-based project management solution that tracks projects, milestones and tasks. Users can download the open source software and deploy it on their own Web server or use the paid SaaS version. Operating System: OS Independent

52. Group-Office

Group-Office combines enterprise-class groupware with some CRM functionality, and it can be deployed on-premise or used in the cloud. All basic groupware functions are included in the open source community version; the paid professional version adds helpdesk, time track, mobile sync, project management and document editing with billing and document search available for a separate fee. Operating System: OS Independent

53. Zimbra

With more than 500 million users, Zimbra is a very popular alternative to Microsoft Exchange and Outlook. In addition to the free open source version, it comes in a variety of paid versions that can be deployed in a private cloud or hosted with one of Zimbra’s third-party partners. Operating System: Linux, Unix, OS X


Designed for organizations of all sizes, aims to “helps teams to communicate faster and build collaborative knowledge by sharing and discussing various forms of digital content within a secure, unified application.” It’s available in a free community edition, in an on-demand SaaS version or an on-premise appliance version. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

55. EGroupware

EGroupware combines file server, document management, email, CRM, data exchange, service management, project management and event management capabilities. The community version is free, while the cloud and on-premise installation packages require a fee. Operating System: OS Independent

56. Feng Office

Feng Office boasts more than 2 million users in 150 countries and prides itself on being very easy to use. You can deploy the community or professional version on your own servers or use Feng Sky, the cloud-based version. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

57. OnlyOffice

Formerly known as TeamLab, OnlyOffice combines email with Microsoft-compatible document editing, CRM and project management. It comes in a free self-hosted version or a cloud-based subscription version, and non-profits can get the cloud version for free if they are willing to put a banner on their websites. Operating System: OS Independent

E-mail Marketing

58. OpenEMM

Downloaded more than a half million times, OpenEMM offers email marketing and marketing automation capabilities and counts IBM, Daimler, Siemens and Deutsche Telekom among its users. Commercial services and a hosted version are available through Agnitas. Operating System: Windows, Linux

59. phpList

This open source email marketing solution aims to be very affordable, offering a cloud-based plan that starts at just $1. It’s a very mature project that has been under development since 2000. Operating System: OS Independent

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

60. Dolibarr ERP/CRM

This ERP and CRM solution was designed for small companies, foundations and freelancers. In addition to the free download, it also comes in a cloud-ready version with several third-party partners offering paid hosting. Operating System: OS Independent

61. Odoo

Odoo is a collection of more than 4,500 integrated apps for managing websites, increasing sales, improving marketing, boosting productivity, running a business and delighting employees. You can download the apps for free or purchase on a SaaS basis. Operating System: Windows, Linux

62. Openbravo

This award-winning project includes a commerce suite and a business suite. In addition to the free community version it comes in paid enterprise or professional versions which can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud. Operating System: OS Independent

63. xTuple PostBooks

XTuple claims to be the “world’s #1 open source ERP.” It comes in a free PostBooks Edition or paid Distribution, Manufacturing and Enterprise editions, all of which can be deployed on premise or used in the cloud. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

64. Compiere

Owned by a company called Aptean, Compiere is a full-featured ERP solution that comes in a free community edition or a paid enterprise edition. Aptean also offers a cloud version that runs on Amazon Web Services. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

65. opentaps

Used by organizations like Toyota and Honeywell, Opentaps claims to be “the most advanced open source + CRM solution.” In addition to the free download, the company offers a professional version and paid services, as well as a version that runs on Amazon. Operating System: Windows, Linux

Human Resource Management (HRM)

66. OrangeHRM

With customers like Lufthansa, Sandals, Red Hat and Stanley Black & Decker, OrangeHRM boasts that it is “the world’s most popular HR software.” It is available in open source, professional and enterprise versions, as well as a cloud-based Live version. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

67. WaypointHR

Designed by “people with a background in personnel management,” WaypointHR eliminates the need to use spreadsheets to track personnel records. It comes in a cloud-hosted or a open source version. Operating System: OS Independent


68. SimpleInvoices

A good option for individuals, small businesses, clubs and other small groups, SimpleInvoices does nothing but send invoices. You can host it on your own server for free or subscribe to a hosted service available from one of the third-party service providers. Operating System: OS Independent

Project Management

69. Onepoint Project

This tool unites project management and project portfolio management in a single package. It comes in two free and four paid editions, including group and enterprise versions that are available on an SaaS basis. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

Time Tracking

70. TimeTrex

This time tracking solution includes modules for scheduling, attendance, payroll, and HR, with the paid versions adding job costing, document management, invoice, expense tracking and recruitment. It’s available in community (free), professional, corporate, or enterprise editions, and all the versions, including the free open source version, are available both in the cloud or on-premise. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

Internet of Things

71. allows users to gather data from the environment, automate tasks and store data in the cloud. The APIs are free and open source; the service comes in both free and paid versions. Operating System: Linux

72. OpenHAB

OpenHAB describes itself as “a vendor- and technology-agnostic open source automation software for your home.” It aims to allow users to control a variety of different IoT devices from a single solution. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X

73. OpenIoT

OpenIoT is middleware for interacting with a cloud of sensors. It has won awards and is sponsored by several European universities. Operating System: Linux

74. OpenPicus

OpenPicus offers both hardware and software for IoT development. Its free libraries allow users to connect to any cloud computing service. Operating System: Windows

75. Particle

Formerly known as Spark, Particle is “a suite of hardware and software tools to help you prototype, scale and manage your Internet of Things products.” A variety of hardware and software tools are available for purchase from the site, including the company’s cloud platform for managing your data. Open source code is available through GitHubOperating System: OS Independent

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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