How OpenStack Paves the Way to the Private Cloud



At last week’s OpenStack Summit, Forrester Research published a report entitled, “OpenStack Is Ready — Are You?” In it, Senior Analyst Lauren Nelson argues that the open-source cloud platform has “become a compatibility standard for the private cloud market.” However, many IT professionals remain in the dark as to what OpenStack is and how it can facilitate the move to the private cloud.

There are two components of OpenStack. OpenStack software is a cloud operating system that controls large, scalable pools of compute, storage and networking resources. These resources are centrally managed and can be provisioned by users through an online interface, reducing management overhead.

Developed by Rackspace and NASA, OpenStack has also grown to form a global community of software developers and cloud computing experts who collaborate to make cloud services accessible on commodity equipment using the OpenStack platform. This community is constantly working together to improve the system.

One major advantage of OpenStack is its flexibility. Different systems are available for private, public and hybrid clouds, all of which can be highly customized according to business needs, thanks to the open-source nature of the system. Because there is no vendor lock-in, users have the freedom to evaluate more services and tools from more vendors. OpenStack also provides greater agility, regardless of the type of cloud platform being used. This enables organizations to quickly and easily deploy their cloud systems, introduce new services and respond to changing business requirements.

The Forrester report notes that much of the available information about OpenStack has tended to inflate both its strengths and weaknesses. Many IT professionals lack information on the challenges they’ll face when it comes to OpenStack deployment.

Those who use the OpenStack system will face a learning curve, including a new terminology. For example, a hypervisor is called a “compute node,” while a virtual machine deployed in the cloud is called an “instance.” “Flavor” refers to hardware related to a particular instance. A “tenant” is a group within the OpenStack architecture, such as a group of users or instances. Because OpenStack has its own language, it can be difficult to understand and complicated to deploy. However, a number of leading vendors are offering products that ease the transition to OpenStack and the cloud.

In a previous post we discussed the release of VMware vSphere 6 and its emphasis on the hybrid cloud. As part of that release, the company introduced VMware Integrated OpenStack, which enables organization to run enterprise-grade OpenStack on top of VMware infrastructure.

As a result, if you already use VMware infrastructure and have in-house VMware expertise, it makes sense to run OpenStack on top of your VMware foundation by deploying VMware Integrated OpenStack. This enables you to take advantage of developer-friendly services, vendor-neutral APIs, VMware’s robust software-defined data center infrastructure, simplified deployment and operation, and a single support contact for both OpenStack and the VMware system.

Technologent is a VMware technology partner with a long track record of designing and implementing VMware solutions. Let us show you how integrating the OpenStack system with your VMware infrastructure makes it possible to take full advantage of cloud computing.

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