November 12, 2015
In 2010, NASA and Rackspace founded Openstack, a development community tasked with creating an open source operating system to manage public, hybrid, and private cloud environments. The goal of the project was to standardize the operating framework behind cloud solutions. In the marketplace, companies utilize the cloud for all manner of reasons and from hundreds of providers. A status quo across all providers and locations gives the industry a unified sense of direction.
Openstack has proven to be an extremely versatile and powerful program since its founding. Companies automate, manage, and provision cloud resources for all their business-critical applications directly from a centralized, customizable dashboard. With over 20 million lines of code, 32,283 people in 177 countries are currently developing this framework to power public
and private clouds around the world.
A High Level View of Key OpenStack Components
Because Openstack is a community-driven project, it will never truly be complete. The community continues to mold, adapt, and grow the platform to address new challenges and better meet their initial goals. However, as a snapshot of Openstack in its current state, the platform is comprised of nine features and components that make cloud computing possible. Depending on the cloud environment in which Openstack is to be deployed, a company may make use of any or all of these features.
- Nova: The compute system’s abstraction layer
- Neutron: The networking abstraction layer
- Cinder: The block storage abstraction layer
- Swift: The object storage abstraction layer
- Keystone: The identity services engine to map users to resources
- Glance: The imaging component to deploy virtual machines
- Ceilometer: The telemetry services to provide a billing engine for cloud services
- Heat: The cloud orchestration component
- Horizon: The customizable user dashboard
The Benefits of OpenStack and Cloud Computing
- Improved Server Utilization: Even when compared to standard virtualization, cloud computing offers improved server and data center performance.
- Hypervisor Compatibility: Openstack is compatible with all major technology providers, so no matter what hypervisor houses the company’s virtual machines, Openstack will function as expected.
- Scalability: As one of the initial goals of Openstack, the platform is completely scalable from the SMB to the enterprise level.
- Open Source: Openstack is completely free to install. Furthermore, many of the ongoing projects have installation guides written for them to expedite the deployment process.
- Industry Support: 555 companies continue to support Openstack, and many of these companies are the industry giants we work with every day, including AT&T, IBM, Cisco, and NetApp.
We can expect Openstack to become more robust and ubiquitous as time goes on. The platform has an enormous amount of momentum from so many industry vendors and a passionate community of contributors. Keep checking the Openstack projects to see the kind of progress teamwork can create.
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