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Posted: June 2, 2023 | by Michael Bright

OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing platform that enables the creation and management of private and public clouds. It provides a set of software tools and components for building and managing infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) environments, allowing organizations to deploy and manage their own cloud infrastructure.

Key components and features of OpenStack include:

  1. Compute (Nova): Nova is the primary computing component of OpenStack. It provides the ability to create and manage virtual machines (VMs) and handles tasks such as VM lifecycle management, scheduling, and resource provisioning.
  2. Networking (Neutron): Neutron enables the management of network resources in OpenStack. It offers a flexible and programmable framework for defining networks, subnets, routers, and other network components. Neutron allows users to create and manage virtual networks and configure network connectivity for their cloud resources.
  3. Storage (Cinder, Swift): OpenStack provides multiple storage options. Cinder is a block storage service that allows users to attach and manage persistent block devices to their VMs. Swift is an object storage service that enables scalable and durable storage of large amounts of unstructured data.
  4. Identity and Access Management (Keystone): Keystone provides authentication and authorization services for OpenStack. It manages user accounts, roles, and permissions, ensuring secure access to OpenStack resources. Keystone integrates with external identity providers, such as LDAP or Active Directory, for centralized user management.
  5. Dashboard (Horizon): Horizon is the web-based graphical user interface (GUI) for OpenStack. It allows users to interact with OpenStack services and perform various administrative tasks, such as managing VMs, networks, and storage resources. Horizon provides a user-friendly interface for managing and monitoring the cloud infrastructure.
  6. Orchestration (Heat): Heat is the orchestration service in OpenStack, allowing users to define and manage cloud application stacks. It provides a template-based approach to automate the deployment and scaling of complex applications, combining multiple resources from different OpenStack services.
  7. Telemetry (Ceilometer, Aodh, Gnocchi): OpenStack offers telemetry services for monitoring and metering cloud resources. Ceilometer collects and measures usage data, while Aodh provides alarm management and notification capabilities. Gnocchi is a time-series database used for storing and querying metrics data.
  8. Database Service (Trove): Trove is a database-as-a-service (DBaaS) component of OpenStack. It simplifies the provisioning, management, and scaling of databases, allowing users to easily deploy and manage various database engines within the cloud environment.

OpenStack is highly scalable and can be deployed across multiple physical servers, creating a distributed and highly available cloud infrastructure. Its open-source nature enables customization, extensibility, and integration with other systems and technologies.

OpenStack is used by organizations of various sizes, including enterprises, service providers, research institutions, and government agencies, to build and manage private, public, and hybrid clouds. It provides the flexibility, control, and cost-effectiveness required to meet the demands of modern cloud computing environments.

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