OpenStack - An Open Source Cloud Computing Platform

28-Jul, 2020
click2cloud blogs- OpenStack - An Open Source Cloud Computing Platform

Fundamentals of OpenStack

In today’s fast-growing IT infrastructure, organizations are supposed to bring new services to the market just to keep up their pace with the increasing cloud adoption. Businesses need greater agility and scalability to bring new applications and services to the market faster for achieving remarkable growth. The developers are striving hard to have greater platform availability and resource provisioning along with multiple environments to test, develop, and deploy a new application.

Hence, to meet those challenges, your IT Infrastructure needs some evolutions to become more efficient, agile, and scalable. OpenStack helps to grow your digital business by enhancing your bottom line and infrastructure.

OpenStack is an open-source cloud platform built on open industry standards and APIs that offers agile and scalable infrastructure. It is a set of software modules used to develop and manage computing platforms for public and private clouds.

It empowers standard cloud computing services like compute, network, and storage resource provisioning along with self-service automation that allows administrators and end-users to concentrate more on strategic activities. It also enables users to provide resources through its management dashboard and OpenStack API. By getting such public cloud capabilities to the data centers, OpenStack can independently scale to grow with your demands.

Being an open-source platform, it is highly adaptable and avoids vendor lock-ins. Data and applications are built, tested, and stored in the cloud environment under the reliable security mechanism provided by OpenStack. Besides Infrastructure as a service facility, OpenStack has some core components to manage services such as dashboarding, orchestration, bare-metal provisioning, messaging, containers, and governance. Following figure1 shows the assembly of OpenStack resources.


Fig 1: OpenStack Assembly

OpenStack Components

The creation of OpenStack components is fabricated by the open-source developers’ community. These components provide APIs to access infrastructure resources for further development and deployment by cloud users. OpenStack components are classified under two groups, Core and Under Development. Currently, there are seven core components and two components under development as shown in figure 2.


Fig 2: OpenStack Components

These components are described below:

  1. Horizon: It is an OpenStack dashboard and only a graphical user interface that gives entire operational analytics in the system. With the help of this dashboard, the developers can access all the components individually through API. It facilitates system admins to monitor and manage cloud operations.
  1. Nova: It is an essential compute engine in OpenStack which deploys and manages VMs and other instances to schedule, create, delete, and handle computing operations.
  1. Swift: It provides storage for files and objects. It allows the system to take care of data backup and data retrieval through RESTful API instead of developers.
  1. Cinder: It is constant block storage acts as a pluggable storage device that can access data faster from a specific location on disk through self -service API.
  1. Neutron: It offers network compatibility to OpenStack. It ensures that all the deployed components in OpenStack are communicating efficiently with each other.
  1. Keystone: It is essentially a catalog for all the users of OpenStack cloud mapped against the authorized services given by the cloud. It provides security by taking care of authentication and authorization of users for cloud services.
  1. Glance: It stores and retrieves images on virtual machine disks. Whereas these images can be used as templates while launching new VM instances on OpenStack cloud.
  1. Ceilometer: It monitors the entire cloud operations and keeps a verifiable count of the system used to provide billing service to the cloud users.
  1. Heat: It controls the orchestration of all the services, which defines the order of tasks performed in the OpenStack cloud. It also stores the information of resources for a cloud application to manage the infrastructure.

OpenStack Deployment Models

This entire OpenStack cloud Infrastructure can be deployed in four ways as follows

  1. On-Premise Distribution: In this model, you can use OpenStack software to set up your private cloud infrastructure within your premises
  2. OpenStack-based Public Cloud: In this model, a cloud vendor can set up his OpenStack cloud as public and allows cloud user to access its available services
  3. Hosted OpenStack Private Cloud: In this model, a cloud vendor set up your private OpenStack cloud infrastructure in your premise and only charge for support and maintenance and initial setup.
  4. OpenStack as a Service: In this model, the cloud vendor hosts OpenStack management Software as a service using his server which can be accessed by the customers directly for software services

OpenStack has been one of the cloud service providers which is connected to Click2Cloud’s CloudsBrain to manage and monitor their resources for compute, networking, storage, billing, migration, orchestration, and many more.


There are several live use cases such as big data projects, SaaS delivery, large container deployments, and web hosting which are managed seamlessly by OpenStack and further by its integration with Click2Cloud’s CloudsBrain. OpenStack is a freely available open-source platform with no provincial cost and vendor lock-ins, hence can be easily adopted by organizations to build their own open scalable and agile cloud infrastructure.

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