What is OpenStack?

OpenStack has been revolutionizing the world of cloud computing for years now, thanks to its scalability. Several organizations found this platform crucial to the smooth running of their businesses owing to its many features and benefits. However, OpenStack is a complex technology that releases new features on a six-monthly basis. These features are the primary focus of hackers, as they make it simple for them to conduct attacks against the platform.

Because of the numerous assaults documented over the years, it is essential for you, as a user, to have a solid understanding of what OpenStack is and how it functions. Therefore, in this post, we will have a look at the general overview of the OpenStack platform, including how it functions, the advantages of using OpenStack, and the limitations of using OpenStack.

What is OpenStack?

OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing platform designed for creating and managing private, public, and hybrid cloud computing systems. It comprises a set of fundamental components that provide the architecture and tools required to create and manage a virtualized cloud environment.

OpenStack has become an increasingly crucial component of many cloud computing projects, providing a simple and effective approach to managing and deploying cloud resources. The platform is built on the open-source Apache 2.0 license, which allows developers to customize and extend the platform to match their individual needs.

Why is OpenStack Important?

OpenStack is an important tool for businesses looking to build cloud-based infrastructure. It allows customers to manage their cloud resources efficiently and securely while providing an easy-to-use interface for deploying and administering apps. In addition, OpenStack is cost-effective, allowing users to minimize their total cost of ownership by utilizing economies of scale and leveraging the latest technology.

OpenStack is also a wonderful platform for developers, with a powerful set of APIs and command line tools for managing and delivering applications. This feature allows developers to construct and deploy cloud applications.

History of OpenStack

OpenStack was originally developed in July 2010 as a joint venture between NASA and Rackspace. The project’s goal was to create an open-source cloud platform that would provide users with the same flexibility and scalability as existing public cloud platforms.

Since then, the platform has developed dramatically, with over 50 members of the OpenStack Foundation and over 500 organizations contributing to the project. As a result, the platform is now widely used by businesses, from small startups to major corporations.

Overview of OpenStack

OpenStack is a platform for building and managing a cloud computing environment. It comprises a set of fundamental components that provide the architecture and tools required to create and manage a virtualized cloud environment.

OpenStack is designed to provide users with easy access to cloud computing resources and allows businesses to deploy and manage application services. OpenStack provides the user with a dashboard to manage virtual machines, storage, networking, and other resources.

How Does OpenStack Work?

OpenStack can perform its functionality because it allows users to construct virtual machines, also known as instances, on a virtual server. These instances can provide applications, data storage, and various other services.

Additionally, OpenStack comes with a set of tools and application programming interfaces (APIs) that is available to manage and install apps. These technologies make it possible for developers to construct and distribute software applications faster.

OpenStack is an employable platform for constructing and managing cloud computing infrastructures. The platform comprises several essential components that supply the architecture and tools necessary for developing and administering a virtualized cloud environment. These components are responsible for the platform’s overall functionality.

OpenStack Components

OpenStack platform consists of several key components that offer users the tools they need to design and operate a cloud-based infrastructure. OpenStack’s core components include computed (Nova), storage (Swift), networking (Neutron), image service (Glance), dashboard (Horizon), and identity service (Keystone).

  • Compute (Nova): This is a cloud computing platform that allows users to create and manage virtual machines. In addition, it provides customers with an easy-to-use interface for managing, deploying, and scaling applications and services.
  • Storage (Swift): This is a distributed object storage system that allows users to store and manage massive volumes of data. In addition, it allows users to store data safely and easily access it when needed.
  • Networking (Neutron): A software-defined networking service that provides users with the tools necessary to build and maintain network infrastructure. It gives users the ability to build their own private networks and connect those networks to other networks.
  • The Image Service (Glance): This is a repository for pictures that customers can utilize to store and manage virtual machine images. In addition to this, it takes only a few minutes for customers to construct virtual machines and distribute images.
  • Dashboard (Horizon): This web-based graphical interface allows users to administer and monitor their OpenStack system. It provides customers with a unified dashboard that displays all their OpenStack resources and allows them to manage and configure them quickly and easily.
  • Identity Service (Keystone): This is an identity and access management service that allows users to identify, authorize, and manage people and applications. It creates users and groups and manages access control in an OpenStack environment.
  • Orchestration (Heat): This is a service that allows users to define, deploy, and manage applications and services using a simple template-based language. It enables users to construct and manage complex applications and services with minimal effort.
  • Database (Trove): This is a database as a service (DBaaS) solution that allows customers to rapidly and simply provision, administer, and scale databases. In addition, it enables users to deploy and administer databases in the cloud at a prompt.

What Can I Do With OpenStack?

OpenStack is useful in various contexts, including web hosting infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and private cloud deployments, among other uses. In addition, it is also effective in managing and deploying applications such as web platforms, mobile applications, and big data analytics.

OpenStack is popular with many of the largest companies in the world, including AT&T, Bloomberg, Comcast, Dell, Goldman Sachs, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Rackspace, and Yahoo. Among the companies that use OpenStack are also IBM and Intel.

The benefits of utilizing OpenStack include the following:

  • Scalability: Scalability is one of the most significant advantages of using OpenStack. Depending on the demands of an organization, OpenStack may be swiftly and easily scaled up or down. This feature makes it an excellent alternative for enterprises looking to scale their cloud service without delay.
  • Cost Savings: Because OpenStack is an open-source platform, it is free to use. This advantage makes it an excellent choice for small enterprises or organizations trying to maximize their money.
  • Flexibility: Because OpenStack is so adaptable, it is ideal for organizations with complex cloud requirements. The platform also supports various applications, from web hosting to analytics.
  • Security: OpenStack is highly secure, making it an excellent choice for organizations needing a secure cloud platform. It features built-in security safeguards that are adjustable to match the demands of every company.
  • Automation: OpenStack includes automation capabilities that can help to streamline the cloud deployment and management process. This component allows enterprises to swiftly and efficiently implement cloud services.
  • Support: OpenStack offers a wide variety of support options, making it easy for companies to get assistance whenever they require it.
  • Open Source: Because OpenStack is an open-source platform, developers can easily customize and extend it to meet the requirements of their organization.
  • Integration: OpenStack is an excellent choice for organizations that need to integrate their cloud services because it can become integrable with other cloud services.
  • Agility: OpenStack’s high level of agility enables businesses and other organizations to rapidly and effortlessly deploy cloud services.
  • Reliability: OpenStack is a reliable and stable platform, making it an excellent choice for businesses that require a reliable cloud platform.

OpenStack Capabilities

OpenStack offers a comprehensive set of utilizable functionalities for managing cloud-based applications and services. This includes the following:

  • Software that automates the provisioning and deployment of applications
  • The automatic expansion or contraction of available resources in response to changes in demand
  • The automation of data backup and recovery processes
  • Management of multiple cloud environments.
  • Capabilities in terms of both storage and networking
  • Assistance with a diverse selection of programmable languages
  • Integration with previously established cloud platforms

 OpenStack’s limitations

OpenStack is a formidable cloud platform, but it has significant limits. One of its shortcomings is the absence of interaction with some existing cloud platforms and the complexity of installation and setup.

The fundamental constraint of OpenStack is the difficulty in managing complex deployments. As a result, it is inappropriate for applications, such as those requiring extremely high performance or running on specialist hardware. Furthermore, there are more cost-effective alternatives for specific use cases than OpenStack.

 Final Thought!

OpenStack is a powerful and flexible cloud platform that provides many benefits and capabilities. It can help you save money, increase efficiency, and improve the reliability of your applications and services. However, the OpenStack platform has some limitations you should be aware of before deciding to opt for the platform.

If you are serious about the security of your data stored and processed on OpenStack Infrastructure, you should definitely test Storware Backup and Recovery. Use the free Trial or contact us if you are interested in a one-on-one demo.

Learn more about the OpenStack:

  • 10 OpenStack Security Best Practices [HERE]
  • OpenStack Security: How to Protect Your Cloud [HERE]
  • OpenStack is more than virtualization, so what? [HERE]
  • Getting Started with OpenStack – Components and Data Resiliency [HERE]


Marcin Kubacki

text written by:

Marcin Kubacki, CSA at Storware