OpenStack is an open-source software platform for cloud computing, mostly deployed as an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) within cloud providers.
The OpenStack software platform consists of interrelated components controlling hardware pools of processing, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center. OpenStack has become a powerful contender for building private clouds to automate:
- Storage, backup and recovery
- Networking and content delivery
- Data and analytics
- Security and compliance
- Management tools
- Development tools
- Application services
OpenStack also offers challenges in integration and staying efficiently optimized.
OpenStack started as a joint project between Rackspace and NASA in 2010. It has seen support come and go from vendors such as Cisco, Dell and HP over the years. As OpenStack emerged as a viable candidate it’s adaption and promotion grew significantly among the big hardware players. However, as the virtualization market dollars shrunk that support has waned. NASA removed itself from the community in 2013 but still uses the technologies and has RFP’s on the street for OpenStack deployments.
There are two questions regarding OpenStack that continually emerge from discussions with Enterprise and HPC clients over the past few years:
- Does this mean OpenStack adoption is waning for more traditional virtualization platforms such as VMware or Hyper-V?
- How are my colleagues implementing OpenStack? What tools are they using?
The answer to the first question – what does the volatility in the OpenStack community mean for the future is different for the Enterprise and the HPC space. While most enterprise organizations are moving toward commercialized hypervisors productized and supported by professional teams, there are some organizations including web services, academia, and research turning toward OpenStack.
Eight out of ten organizations that are using OpenStack said that they found an orchestration platform to aide significantly in implementing the solution. Of them, nearly all were moving toward a specialized vendor such as Platform 9 or Bright Computing for that orchestration.