Get started with OpenStack

Get started with OpenStack

The OpenStack project is an open source cloud computing platform for all types of clouds, which aims to be simple to implement, massively scalable, and feature rich. Developers and cloud computing technologists from around the world create the OpenStack project.

OpenStack provides an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution through a set of interrelated services. Each service offers an application programming interface (API) that facilitates this integration. Depending on your needs, you can install some or all services.

The OpenStack services

The following table describes the OpenStack services that make up the OpenStack architecture:

OpenStack services
Service Project name Description
Dashboard Horizon Provides a web-based self-service portal to interact with underlying OpenStack services, such as launching an instance, assigning IP addresses and configuring access controls.
Compute service Nova Manages the lifecycle of compute instances in an OpenStack environment. Responsibilities include spawning, scheduling and decommissioning of virtual machines on demand.
Networking service Neutron Enables Network-Connectivity-as-a-Service for other OpenStack services, such as OpenStack Compute. Provides an API for users to define networks and the attachments into them. Has a pluggable architecture that supports many popular networking vendors and technologies.
Object Storage service Swift Stores and retrieves arbitrary unstructured data objects via a RESTful, HTTP based API. It is highly fault tolerant with its data replication and scale-out architecture. Its implementation is not like a file server with mountable directories. In this case, it writes objects and files to multiple drives, ensuring the data is replicated across a server cluster.
Block Storage service Cinder Provides persistent block storage to running instances. Its pluggable driver architecture facilitates the creation and management of block storage devices.
Identity service Keystone Provides an authentication and authorization service for other OpenStack services. Provides a catalog of endpoints for all OpenStack services.
Image service Glance Stores and retrieves virtual machine disk images. OpenStack Compute makes use of this during instance provisioning.
Telemetry service Ceilometer Monitors and meters the OpenStack cloud for billing, benchmarking, scalability, and statistical purposes.
Orchestration service Heat Orchestrates multiple composite cloud applications by using either the native HOT template format or the AWS CloudFormation template format, through both an OpenStack-native REST API and a CloudFormation-compatible Query API.
Database service Trove Provides scalable and reliable Cloud Database-as-a-Service functionality for both relational and non-relational database engines.
Data Processing service Sahara Provides capabilities to provision and scale Hadoop clusters in OpenStack by specifying parameters like Hadoop version, cluster topology and nodes hardware details.

The OpenStack architecture

The following sections describe the OpenStack architecture in more detail:

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Except where otherwise noted, this document is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. See all OpenStack Legal Documents.