OpenStack is a free cloud operating system from the OpenStack Foundation and enables the implementation of cloud environments with virtual machines. Developed by Texas-based web host Rackspace and NASA, the first version of OpenStack was released in October 2010. As open source software, OpenStack reduces the risk of lock-in from proprietary cloud platforms
Infrastructure as a Service( IaaS) with Openstack enables short-term provisioning of multiple instances of a virtual machine. So-called flavors define the hardware characteristics of the virtual machine, including the number of virtual central processing units and hard disks, RAM and disk size. Stored in a database, this data enables consumption values to be evaluated for billing purposes for individual components
The components of OpenStack
OpenStack is written in the Pythonprogramming language and licensed under Apache. OpenStack consists of several OpenStack components that are centrally configured and managed via the OpenStack dashboard (Horizon) and a web interface. These components include Compute (also referred to as Nova) for managing the central processing unit, memory, networks and disks, and Object Storage (Swift) for managing mass storage. The virtualized systems can be distributed across any number of network nodes
The Openstack component Swift enables distributed, redundant data storage in containers and objects in the cluster. The containers contain objects and register them in a directory with freely definable metadata fields. The disk images are assigned to the virtual machines via the Glance image service and stored with their metadata in a database such as MySQL or SQLite.
The OpenStack Foundation
The OpenStack Foundation coordinates the development as well as distribution of OpenStack. The organization consists of a community of over 6,000 members and over 800 organizations and considers itself an alternative to Amazon Web Services. Companies that support OpenStack include Dell, Canonical, Citrix, HP, Oracle and Intel, as well as NASA; among OpenStack's users are Deutsche Telekom and CERN.