OpenStack Cloud Platform

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OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface. OpenStack works with popular enterprise and open source technologies making it ideal for heterogeneous infrastructure.Hundreds of the world’s largest brands rely on OpenStack to run their businesses every day, reducing costs and helping them move faster. OpenStack has a strong ecosystem, and users seeking commercial support can choose from different OpenStack-powered products and services in the Marketplace. Openstack provides an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution through a set of interrelated services. OpenStack lets users deploy virtual machines and other instances that handle different tasks for managing a cloud environment on the fly. It makes horizontal scaling easy, which means that tasks that benefit from running concurrently can easily serve more or fewer users on the fly by just spinning up more instances. For example, a mobile application that needs to communicate with a remote server might be able to divide the work of communicating with each user across many different instances, all communicating with one another but scaling quickly and easily as the application gains more users.


In July 2010, Rackspace Hosting and NASA jointly launched an open-source cloud-software initiative known as OpenStack. The OpenStack project intended to help organizations offer cloud-computing services running on standard hardware. The community’s first official release, code-named Austin, appeared three months later on 21 October 2010, with plans to release regular updates of the software every few months. The early code came from NASA’s Nebula platform as well as from Rackspace’s Cloud Files platform. The original cloud architecture was designed by the NASA Ames Web Manager, Megan A. Eskey, and was a 2009 open source architecture called OpenNASA v2.0. The cloud stack and open stack modules were merged and released as open source by the NASA Nebula team in concert with Rackspace. One of the most exciting things about OpenStack is that it continues to grow dramatically and quickly, often with two or more releases per year. As a result, much of the information publicly available on the technology is out of date, and it is important to keep straight which versions any documentation refers to. OpenStack uses a YYYY.N notation to designate its releases based on both the year of release and the major version of the release that year.

How Openstack works

Openstack can’t be directly installed on  hardware. It requires operating systems which supports virtualization in the back-end. At present , Ubuntu(kvm), Redhat enterprise Linux(kvm) , oracle Linux(xen) , Oracle Solaris(zones), Microfsoft Hyper-v, VMware ESXi  supports openstack cloud platform.  That’s why openstack is the strategic choice of many types of organizations from service providers looking to offer cloud computing services on standard hardware, to companies looking to deploy private cloud, to large enterprises deploying a global cloud solution across multiple continents. Rackspace and HP are offering public cloud via openstack cloud platform.

Components of OpenStack

OpenStack is built up of many components that help in its smooth functioning within a cloud environment.

Compute (Nova) :- Compute is a cloud computing controller designed to manage resources in a virtualized environments. This can also be used to manage high performance bare metal configurations. Available options for hypervisor technology are Xen, KVM and VMware.

Object Storage (Swift) :- This is a mountable redundancy storage system. This helps in data replication throughout the data center. Files and objects are copied to multiple storage units with the help of this component. Storage clusters are scaled horizontally with every addition of servers. OpenStack object storage component helps to replicate content from all active nodes to new available clusters, ensuring no loss of data in case of hard drive or a server failure.

Image Service (Glance)

In simple words glance is the Image Registry, it stores and Manage our guest (VM) images, Disk Images, snap shots etc. It also contains prebuilt VM templates so that you can try it on the fly.

Block Storage (Cinder)

Cinder is also one of the storage modules of Openstack; Think of it as an external hard drive or like a USB device. It has the performance characteristics of a Hard drive but much slower then Swift and has low latency. Block Volume are created in swift and attached to running Volumes for which you want to attach an extra partition or for copying data to it.

Networking (Neutron)

Neutron provides networking capability like managing networks and IP addresses for OpenStack. It ensures that the network is not a limiting factor in a cloud deployment and offers users with self-service ability over network configurations. OpenStack networking allows users to create their own networks and connect devices and servers to one or more networks. Developers can use SDN technology to support great levels of multi-tenancy and massive scale.

Dashboard (Horizon)

Horizon is the authorized implementation of OpenStack’s Dashboard, which is the only graphical interface to automate cloud-based resources. To service providers and other commercial vendors, it supports with third party services such as monitoring, billing, and other management tools. Developers can automate tools to manage OpenStack resources using EC2 compatibility API or the native OpenStack API.

Telemetry (Ceilometer)

Ceilometer delivers a single point of contact for billing systems obtaining all of the measurements to authorize customer billing across all OpenStack core components. By monitoring notifications from existing services, developers can collect the data and may configure the type of data to meet their operating requirements.

Orchestration (Heat)

Heat is a service to orchestrate multiple composite cloud applications through both the CloudFormation-compatible Query API and OpenStack-native REST API, using the AWS CloudFormation template format.

Openstack Providers

Red Hat OpenStack

Red Hat’s focus is on the needs of enterprise. Their priority is selling OpenShift, RHEL and RHEV, CloudForms, and Ceph storage, among other products and to a large extent their OpenStack play is more of a door opener to other product sales and a hedge against cloud irrelevance.


Canonical OpenStack

They have made a name for themselves with the Ubuntu Linux distribution which favours velocity and features vs. Red Hat’s focus on security and stability. Ubuntu was greatly aided by the historical challenge of using RHEL in the cloud due to licensing requirements that not only presented a barrier to entry but was a poor fit for elastic and ephemeral use cases, compounded by the active suppression of CentOS until relatively recently.


Mirantis calls itself the pure-play OpenStack company. They offer all things related to OpenStack including the software, training and consulting under one roof. Mirantis’ success is highly dependent on the adoption of OpenStack. Mirantis has vested interest in making this project successful. Based on Fuel, a tool to deploy OpenStack, Mirantis pushes its own distribution of OpenStack. With investments from Dell and Intel and a pretty solid customer base that boasts the likes of Cisco, PayPal, NASA and Intel.


Founded by Randy Bias, cloud computing thought leader, Cloudscaling is an early mover in the OpenStack world. Dubbed as Open Cloud System (OCS), Cloudscaling has customized OpenStack to meet the enterprise needs. It claims that OCS is based on the proven scalability architecture that powers AWS and Google Cloud Platform.


Back in 2010, Rackspace co-founded the OpenStack initiative along with NASA. It is in the race of winning customers through the distribution and professional services.

Piston OpenStack

Founded by the executive team from Zimbra, NASA and Rackspace, Piston Cloud Computing squarely focuses on enterprises. Piston OpenStack includes a number of proprietary technologies that automate the configuration, deployment and management of OpenStack, and improve the efficiency of the hypervisor.

Benefits  OpenStack cloud

Reduced cost – Moving from dedicated black box or virtualized platforms to true cloud orchestration creates significant infrastructure savings. And through DevOps and automation, AIC also reduces operational costs.

Improved security – Software-defined data centers enhance cloud security. They use overlay networks to logically separate tenants. They also can isolate tenants to discrete physical devices.

Enables rapid innovation

OpenStack’s orchestration and self-service capabilities offers developers and IT staff with faster and better access to IT resources. Because developers can provision machines rapidly and on-demand, they can significantly reduce development and testing periods.


OpenStack is open-source that makes it the favourite cloud software for the developers and entrepreneurs.

Development support

OpenStack has been receiving a concrete development support from many prestigious companies. OpenStack gets development support from the IT giants such as Intel, IBM, AT&T, Cisco, Red Hat, Dell, Ubuntu.

OpenStack global market

The statistic shows the size of the OpenStack market from 2014 to 2021. In 2018, the OpenStack market was expected to be worth 3.46 billion U.S. dollars. It also provides a detailed segmentation of cloud management for the OpenStack market by the end users (IT, academic research, and others) and by geography (Americas, APAC, and EMEA). The key vendors analyzed in this market research are BMC, HP, IBM, Red Hat, and VMware.

MeenaG Staff

Internet of Things Enthusiast

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