OpenStack is an open source cloud computing solution that enables organizations to pool storage, networking, and other resources into one platform. It is scalable and capable for organizations of virtually any size.
- No storage limitations
- Reliable and scalable
- Built-in redundancy
- Unique object structure with no nesting
- No central database, allowing for better performance
- Significant community and industry support
- The software is free and updated every six months through a community of developers and users
- Admired performance and scalability compared to commercial software
- High quality assurance standards including unit, functional, and integration testing as well as rigorous code reviews
- Strong community support and questions are answered quickly in the forums
- Although the software is free, organizations will incur costs to learn how to use and deploy it and manage subsequent projects
- Organizations need to study OpenStack carefully up front to ensure that they are properly scaling its adoption to their projects
OpenStack is popular in the infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) software category. Organizations frequently use it when starting a public or private cloud. It allows users to deploy virtual resources, manage and scale a cloud environment, and modify the software as needed. The software runs on reliable servers outside of the user’s own environment. Due to its status as open source software, it benefits from the feedback and contributions of many developers throughout the globe. Although developers have added many components to OpenStack, there are nine primary components that make up the software. Nova is the primary software that drives OpenStack and was one of the first two components deployed. Swift is the main storage system and was released along with Nova as a flagship component. Other subsequent components and their roles include the following: * Cinder – block storage * Neutron – networking * Horizon – OpenStack’s dashboard * Keystone – identity services * Ceilometer – telemetry or billing services * Heat – cloud application requirements storage Due to the many additional components and size of OpenStack, it can be challenging for organizations to determine how to best use the software. Some organizations have found success in using Trystack, a sandbox environment that allows users to test their applications to see how they would work in OpenStack. Nevertheless, it is recommended for users to have a good plan when adopting this software. OpenStack is well-supported through its large community of engineers. However, a large amount of documentation exists and it can be cumbersome to find answers to some questions. Questions to unique problems may be answered more quickly in the forums rather than searching through this documentation.