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What is Openstack?

What is Openstack?

Before we understand WHAT IS OPENSTACK?, let us have a brief idea of the Cloud computing.

Cloud computing

It is a computing model, where resources such as computing power, storage, network and software are abstracted and provided as services on the Internet in a remotely accessible fashion. On-demand availability, ease of provisioning, dynamic and virtually infinite scalability are some of the key attributes of cloud computing.

An infrastructure setup using the cloud computing model is generally referred to as the "cloud". The following are the broad categories of services available on the cloud:

• Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
• Platform as a Service (PaaS)
• Software as a Service (SaaS)

What is Openstack?

OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.

OpenStack can also be said as collection of open source software projects that enterprises/service providers can use to setup and run their cloud compute and storage infrastructure. Openstack controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface. In the layman terms, Openstack provides us a platform for Network Function Vitualization (NFV)

What are the components of OpenStack?

OpenStack is made up of many different components each handling a particular function. Because of its open nature, anyone can add additional components to OpenStack to help it to meet their needs. But the OpenStack community has collaboratively identified the key components (given below) that are a part of the "core" of OpenStack, which are distributed as a part of any OpenStack system and officially maintained by the OpenStack community. The key components are shown in the figure below and are briefly explained here under:

What is Openstack?

  • Nova is the primary computing engine behind OpenStack. It is used for deploying and managing large numbers of virtual machines and other instances to handle computing tasks.
  • Swift is a storage system for objects and files. Rather than the traditional idea of a referring to files by their location on a disk drive, developers can instead refer to a unique identifier referring to the file or piece of information and let OpenStack decide where to store this information. This makes scaling easy, as developers don’t have the worry about the capacity on a single system behind the software. It also allows the system, rather than the developer, to worry about how best to make sure that data is backed up in case of the failure of a machine or network connection.
  • Cinder is a block storage component, which is more analogous to the traditional notion of a computer being able to access specific locations on a disk drive. This more traditional way of accessing files might be important in scenarios in which data access speed is the most important consideration.
  • Neutron provides the networking capability for OpenStack. It helps to ensure that each of the components of an OpenStack deployment can communicate with one another quickly and efficiently.
  • Horizon is the dashboard behind OpenStack. It is the only graphical interface to OpenStack, so for users wanting to give OpenStack a try, this may be the first component they actually “see.” Developers can access all of the components of OpenStack individually through an application programming interface (API), but the dashboard provides system administrators a look at what is going on in the cloud, and to manage it as needed.
  • Keystone provides identity services for OpenStack. It is essentially a central list of all of the users of the OpenStack cloud, mapped against all of the services provided by the cloud, which they have permission to use. It provides multiple means of access, meaning developers can easily map their existing user access methods against Keystone.
  • Glance provides image services to OpenStack. In this case, "images" refers to images (or virtual copies) of hard disks. Glance allows these images to be used as templates when deploying new virtual machine instances.
  • Ceilometer provides telemetry services, which allow the cloud to provide billing services to individual users of the cloud. It also keeps a verifiable count of each user’s system usage of each of the various components of an OpenStack cloud. Think metering and usage reporting.
  • Heat is the orchestration component of OpenStack, which allows developers to store the requirements of a cloud application in a file that defines what resources are necessary for that application. In this way, it helps to manage the infrastructure needed for a cloud service to run.
  • Ironic is an OpenStack project that provisions bare metal machines instead of virtual machines. It was initially forked from the Nova Baremetal driver and has evolved into a separate project. It is best thought of as a bare-metal hypervisor API and a set of plugins that interact with the bare-metal hypervisors. By default, it will use PXE and IPMI in concert to provision and turn on and off machines, but Ironic supports and can be extended with vendor-specific plugins to implement additional functionality.
  • Sahara is a component to easily and rapidly provision Hadoop clusters. Users will specify several parameters like the Hadoop version number, the cluster topology type, node flavor details (defining disk space, CPU and RAM settings), and others. After a user provides all of the parameters, Sahara deploys the cluster in a few minutes. Sahara also provides means to scale a preexisting Hadoop cluster by adding and removing worker nodes on demand.
  • Zaqar is a multi-tenant cloud messaging service for Web developers. The service features a fully RESTful API, which developers can use to send messages between various components of their SaaS and mobile applications by using a variety of communication patterns. Underlying this API is an efficient messaging engine designed with scalability and security in mind. Other OpenStack components can integrate with Zaqar to surface events to end users and to communicate with guest agents that run in the "over-cloud" layer.
  • Manila is OpenStack Shared File System that provides an open API to manage shares in a vendor agnostic framework. Standard primitives include ability to create, delete, and give/deny access to a share and can be used standalone or in a variety of different network environments. Commercial storage appliances from EMC, NetApp, HP, IBM, Oracle, Quobyte, and Hitachi Data Systems are supported as well as filesystem technologies such as Red Hat GlusterFS or Ceph.
  • Designate is a multi-tenant REST API for managing DNS. This component provides DNS as a Service and is compatible with many backend technologies, including PowerDNS and BIND. It doesn't provide a DNS service as such as its purpose is to interface with existing DNS servers to manage DNS zones on a per tenant basis.

Openstack Releases

Currently running Openstack is release is "Victoria".  Austin was the 1st Openstack release and it obsolete now.


For more updates visit the official link below:

Companies Supporting The OpenStack Foundation

Platinum members Companies:

AT&T,  Canonical,  Huawei, IBM,  Intel, Rackspace, Red Hat, SUSE.

Gold Member Companies:

Cisco, Ericson, Fujitsu, China Telecom, ZTE etc.

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