Openstack Tutorial for Beginners

A set of open-source tools that helps manage cloud platforms on the fly, OpenStack is being considered as the future of cloud computing. Let's learn What is OpenStack and what are its components!

Openstack Tutorial for Beginners
 21st May, 2019

What is OpenStack?

OpenStack is a platform for open-source cloud computing. This is deployed as a service solution which consists of integrated project. This helps to control throughout a data center with a help of a web based dashboard or command-line tools.

OpenStack came into existence in 2010 as a joint project with NASA. Now OpenStack is a non-profitable entity. More than 300 companies have joined OpenStack project till now. Prime target of this community is to provide cloud-based OpenStack services over standard hardware requirements.

Go through this short video of Intellipaat elucidating on Openstack :

Components of OpenStack

OpenStack is built up of many components that help in its smooth functioning within a cloud environment. Major components are discussed below:

  1. Compute (Nova) :- Compute is a cloud computing controller designed to manage resources in a virtualized environments. This can also be used to manage high performance bare metal configurations. Available options for hypervisor technology are Xen, KVM and VMware. This is coded in Python and uses many pre-designed libraries. SQL Alchemy is used for database access.
  2. Object Storage (Swift) :- This is a mountable redundancy storage system. This helps in data replication throughout the data center. Files and objects are copied to multiple storage units with the help of this component. Storage clusters are scaled horizontally with every addition of servers. OpenStack object storage component helps to replicate content from all active nodes to new available clusters, ensuring no loss of data in case of hard drive or a server failure. This is an inexpensive method of data replication as it uses software mode to carry out distribution and replication operations. Reliability is an important factor when it comes to data loss in case of data center operations.
  3. Block Storage (Cinder) :- Block storage component provides persistent level storage solutions for using cloud oriented computing devices. This component manages to addition, removal and creation of new block devices in a server. These components provide full integration services with OpenStack to help minimizing use of hardware resources. This service can be managed by user within the dashboard using a web-based or command-line interface. Linux based storage platforms can use Cloudbyte, EMC, Coraid, SAN Storage, etc. Raw Block level storage can also be integrated but are limited to a few provider like HP and IBM. Block storage is highly sensitive in nature and can be appropriate to handle performance based scenarios. Snapshot management becomes an as with the help of integrated functionalities.
  4. Networking (neutron) :- Neutron is an OpenStack networking component helps in managing all kind of network related quarry under one roof. Staring for IP address management to routing techniques, everything is integrated into this component. This component is the key tool to ensure no network limited issues. Cloud platform are usually confusing with the growing demand of cloud farms. It becomes really tough to manage network without the availability of any such tool. This component provides pre-designed network solutions for all kind of application and user group management.

Some other OpenStack components and their functions:

Horizon – It is a dashboard for administrators or end-users for accessing the backend services.

Nova Compute – It takes requests from end-users and manages virtualization through API or dashboard to form Virtual Instances.

Glance – it is a repository of images and used for maintaining a catalog of images.

Keystone – It is used for managing authentication services, like authorization, authentication and other credentials.

OpenStack is a 100% python based cloud environment with pre-designed and existing python libraries. Use of MySQL is also integrated in this. OpenStack is a great tool to manage an entire data center environment.
Compute’s architecture is designed to scale horizontally on standard hardware with no proprietary hardware or software requirements and provide the ability to integrate with legacy systems and third-party technologies.

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