Openstack is a set of software tools for building and managing cloud computing platforms for public, private and hybrid clouds. Backed by some of the biggest companies in software development and hosting, as well as thousands of individual community members, many think that OpenStack is the future of cloud computing. OpenStack is managed by the OpenStack Foundation, a non-profit which oversees both development and community-building around the project.
The cloud is all about providing computing for end users in a remote environment, where the actual software runs as a service on reliable and scalable servers rather than on each end users computer. Cloud computing can refer to a lot of different things, but typically the industry talks about running different items "as a service"—software, platforms, and infrastructure. OpenStack falls into the latter category and is considered Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). Providing infrastructure means that OpenStack makes it easy for users to quickly add new instance, upon which other cloud components can run. Typically, the infrastructure then runs a "platform" upon which a developer can create software applications which are delivered to the end users.
Open stack comprise of many different parts. Because of its open nature, anyone can add additional components to OpenStack to help it to meet their needs. Just to make some standard around OpenStack community has collaboratively identified nine key components 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. OpenStack consists of seven core projects:
· Compute (Nova)
· Networking (Neutron/Quantum)
· Identity Management (Keystone)
· Object Storage (Swift)
· Block Storage (Cinder)
· Image Service (Glance)
· User Interface Dashboard (Horizon)
· Nova OpenStack Compute (Nova) controls the cloud computing fabric (the core component of an infrastructure service). Written in Python, it creates an abstraction layer for virtualizing commodity server resources such as CPU, RAM, network adapters, and hard drives, with functions to improve utilization and automation.
· Swift OpenStack Object Storage (Swift) is based on the Rackspace Cloud Files product and is a redundant storage system ideal for scale-out storage. 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 OpenStack Block Storage (Cinder) provides persistent block-level storage devices for use with OpenStack compute instances. This more traditional way of accessing files might be important in scenarios in which data access speed is the most important consideration.
· Neutron/Quantum Networking (Neutron), formerly called Quantum, includes the capability to manage LANs with capabilities for virtual LAN (VLAN), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, and Internet Protocol version 6. Users can define networks, subnets, and routers to configure their internal topology, and then allocate IP addresses and VLANs to these networks. Floating IP addresses allow users to assign (and reassign) fixed external IP addresses to the VMs.
· 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 group of internal services exposed on one or many points. 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.
OpenStack dominated as top open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform in 2014, gaining global adoption in many different industries. My prediction is that in 2015 OpenStack is going to dramatically change the Integrated System landscape. OpenStack gained significant traction in 2014 and is becoming a major platform for establishing clouds and data centers. The advantages of OpenStack are openness and higher levels of scalability and agility that address the needs of many applications. Existing Converged Systems are based on closed cloud orchestration software and thus don't provide the openness and choice that customers expect. Retrofitting Converged Systems to leverage OpenStack is not trivial and cannot meet the scalability and agility levels of Hyper-Convergence.
OpenStack vendors, meanwhile, started to see actual revenues, and many multimillion-dollar deals were publicized, as was approximately $5 billion estimated revenue expected by 2018.
As we move further into New Year 2015, key developments to watch include:
· Attention from bigger vendors has improved confidence among larger enterprise customers. Thanks this push, the OpenStack community looked into enterprise workloads and needs, too.
· OpenStack is expected to gain adoption at managed service providers, cloud service providers, and large enterprises that have the staff and expertise to leverage the benefits and value of OpenStack. Over time, as the OpenStack user base grows, and the eco-system solidifies and simplifies OpenStack deployments, more enterprises as well as SMBs will leverage it too.
· More and more focus would be given to an introduction to database as a service with an emphasis on Openstack using Trove
· OpenStack has shifted from being a so called developer driven project to one that is more customer-friendly. OpenStack will be easier to use, manage, and scale.
· Requirement for the common/central product management is now increasingly recognized, particularly after explosion of peripheral projects and services. We are moving in right direction through operator- and enterprise-centric work groups.
· Despite its pain points and deficiencies, OpenStack has the level of product maturity and features that makes it a serious option for enterprise adoption. Organizations now have more help than ever before to adopt OpenStack. We expect the adoption to grow globally along with more moving in to production.
In 2015, OpenStack stands very solid growth and its evolution will continue as the larger vendors continue building out their offerings geared at their customers’ requirements.