OpenStack Basics

OpenStack is a usual term while considering Cloud computing and its technologies. Most people Google to know what OpenStack is. Let us understand the basics of OpenStack.

What is OpenStack?

Some refer OpenStack as the Operating System for Cloud while some others say it as the software that helps to build Cloud environment. And while considering the installation of OpenStack, we tend to call it as a software or platform that helps to build a cloud environment.

Why OpenStack?

OpenStack is an open source, Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) platform that helps to create and manage scalable, elastic cloud computing for both public and private cloud. This is aimed to support interoperability between cloud services and to build a highly scalable and productive cloud environment. OpenStack is freely available under the license of Apache 2.0.

OpenStack History:

Rackspace hosting and NASA on July 2010, jointly launched OpenStack as an open-source cloud software initiative. The project aimed at helping organizations to run cloud computing services on a standard hardware. OpenStack is enriched with the offerings of both the organizations; Rackspace provided the code for a powerful storage, content delivery services and the production servers whereas the powerful technology of Nebula (open source cloud computing program that provides on-demand computing power for NASA researchers and scientists), Networking and data storage cloud service was the offerings from NASA’s end. Since September 2012, OpenStack officially became an independent non-profit organization.

OpenStack Architecture:

Architecture of OpenStack includes the seven core components:

Compute: Codenamed Nova, provides virtual servers, on demand. It is a cloud computing fabric controller that helps to provision and manage large networks of virtual machines.

Object Storage: Swift, provides object storage. This is a scalable storage system that allows storing and retrieving files.

Block Storage: Cinder, provides persistent block storage to guest VMs.

Network: Officially termed as Quantum, ensures network connectivity between interface devices managed by OpenStack services.

Image: Glance, is a delivery service that provides a catalog and repository of virtual disk images.

Identity: Keystone, is aimed at providing authentication and authorization for all the services of OpenStack.

Dashboard: Codenamed Horizon, is a web-based user interface for all the OpenStack services. It enables to perform almost all operations on cloud.


OpenStack Architecture
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