What is OpenStack?
OpenStack is an open-source platform for cloud computing, deployed as an IaaS. This platform comprises of interrelated components that control processing and networking resources throughout a data center. Users control it either through a web-based dashboard, or through a RESTful API.
To make the most of the flexibility of virtualization technology, IaaS providers and businesses who want to create public or private clouds need to be able to very quickly create and manage virtual machines. OpenStack aims to create abstracted pools of compute, storage, and networking resources that can be used to create virtual machines on top of standard server hardware.
OpenStack users shouldn’t need to worry about the details of the underlying hardware; the virtualization layer manages the physical resources and makes them available at a higher level of abstraction. Essentially, users can just ask for a virtual machine and not have to worry about what’s going on beneath the virtualization layer.
OpenStack is the leading open cloud platform and it enables deployments of both private and public cloud.
OpenStack controls pools of compute, storage, and networking resources in a datacenter. All these are managed through a dashboard, which enables administrators have a control over it. Administrators can there on permit their users to access resources through a web interface.
OpenStack architecture comprises of the following components.
OpenStack Compute (Nova) is a cloud computing fabric controller. Its objective is to govern and integrate computer resources. Nova works with both virtualization technologies, and high-performance computing (HPC) configurations.
Neutron governs both networks and IP addresses. OpenStack Networking enables users with self-service ability over network configurations.
Block Storage (Cinder)
OpenStack Block Storage produces block-level storage devices for compute instances. This block storage system further controls the creation, attaching and detaching of the block devices to servers.
OpenStack Identity stores a directory of users having access to OpenStack services. It acts as a common authentication system and can automate with existing backend directory services (LDAP) as well.
OpenStack Image (Glance) provides discovery, registration, and delivery services for disk and server images. Stored images can be used as a template.
Object Storage (Swift)
Swift is a redundant storage system. In this, objects and files are written to multiple disk drives in the data center. This OpenStack software ensures data replication and integrity throughout the cluster.
Horizon enables administrators and users have access to cloud-based resources. OpenStack Dashboard accommodates third party products and service tools.
How is OpenStack used in a cloud environment?
The cloud enables users to execute computing in a remote environment, where the software runs as a service on a server rather than on end-user’s computer. OpenStack is termed as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). OpenStack provides infrastructure for users to instantly add new instance, so as to run cloud components. Later, upon this infrastructure, developer can design software applications and deliver it to the end users.
- Its aim is to impart flexible solution for both public and private clouds. For this purpose, two things must be kept in mind: clouds must be simple and massively scalable.
- To meet the above principles, OpenStack is split into various components that are made to work together. This integration is made possible through APIs.
- Using these APIs, services can either communicate with each other or can be replaced with other service with similar characteristics. This property makes OpenStack extensible.
Massive Industry Support
OpenStack acts as a platform for allowing organizations to provide cloud computing services. Since its inception, numerous organizations, including IBM, Intel, Red Hat, AMD, HP have been supporting it. Because of this strong level of investment, OpenStack is developing rapidly and has world leading contributors in its kitty.
OpenStack’s APIs are designed to be compatible with Amazon Web Services, the most popular public cloud platform. For businesses, that means the process of porting IaaS client applications from AWS to OpenStack-based IaaS providers require minimal effort.
OpenStack has very robust role-based access controls. Access and resource utilization can be controlled at the level of users, roles, and projects. The Keystone Identity Service provides multiple forms of authentication including username / password and token-based authentication.
OpenStack makes it very easy for IaaS providers to monitor and manage their cloud services. The dashboard is a web app that provides an intuitive interface for managing compute, storage, and networking resources, allowing users and administrators to have a clear overview for the management of resource usage, currently active VM instances, and users.
OpenStack is a constantly evolving platform for the creation of highly available, easily managed cloud services. Businesses who intend to create their own private clouds, offer public cloud services, or use a cloud provider that strongly considers building their IaaS platform with OpenStack.
These are the benefits that OpenStack technology brings with it:
Built-in APIs make it possible to access a data centre at your fingertips. Through this, you can send a POST request to virtual data centre, a virtual server, a firewall, a load balancer, all through the REST API.
This makes customers rest assured that their data is safe and stored. Proximity combined with the scalability of the cloud, makes it easy to activate and deactivate virtual servers when needed.
Templates are one of the major benefits of OpenStack. Templates can be used for each action performed. OpenStack enables you to decide the layout of a server in a template so that virtual server can be automatically installed.
Another benefit of these HEAT templates is that, you can automatically scale up your environment without much action needed.
3. Open Source
The other key benefit of OpenStack is that it is completely an open source project which is freely available to anyone. As it is open, there is no need to worry about the difficulties like vendor lock-in. This produces an enterprise environment that can be customized to the way you do business.
OpenStack deployment is highly flexible in cloud-based environment. When it comes to the hybrid cloud environment, workloads can be readily moved from the private cloud to the public cloud and vice versa.
- Security Implications
Information stored by companies has to be secure and must obey certain rules and regulations put forth by HIPPA, PCI and more.
OpenStack is genius as it incorporates a wide range of features and protocols that safeguard information which is stored in the private cloud.
This control over security issues also help control costs.
OpenStack Job Trends
The cloud technology is emerging and hence the OpenStack job market is budding to one among the top growth areas. A recent study by Rackspace has made it clear that OpenStack is outpacing other cloud infrastructure jobs considerably.
If you are an engineer, and looking to start your career, then OpenStack is a great place to get started. OpenStack is being used all around the world, either as a teaching tool or as a path to a job.
Since few years, the OpenStack job market has doubled up. Many companies are creating OpenStack jobs and filling them faster, and new companies are constantly coming into the fold. Get Openstack training to land in a job with excellent pay package.
OpenStack is a popular and rapidly developing cloud platform for the creation of IaaS (infrastructure as a service) platforms.
An OpenStack set of software tools can efficiently build and manage cloud computing platforms. Supported by some of the leading companies and many individual community members, in software development and hosting, it is clear that OpenStack is emerging as the future of cloud computing.
On the whole, the wide array of applications running on an OpenStack environment are ever-expanding.