OpenStack is an open source platform that lets you build an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud that runs on commodity hardware.
OpenStack believes in open source, open design, and open development, all in an open community that encourages participation by anyone. The long-term vision for OpenStack is to produce a ubiquitous open source cloud computing platform that meets the needs of public and private cloud providers regardless of size. OpenStack services control large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center.
The technology behind OpenStack consists of a series of interrelated projects delivering various components for a cloud infrastructure solution. Each service provides an open API so that all of these resources can be managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering users to provision resources through a web interface, a command-line client, or software development kits that support the API. Many OpenStack APIs are extensible, meaning you can keep compatibility with a core set of calls while providing access to more resources and innovating through API extensions. The OpenStack project is a global collaboration of developers and cloud computing technologists. The project produces an open standard cloud computing platform for both public and private clouds. By focusing on ease of implementation, massive scalability, a variety of rich features, and tremendous extensibility, the project aims to deliver a practical and reliable cloud solution for all types of organizations.
As an open source project, one of the unique aspects of OpenStack is that it has many different levels at which you can begin to engage with it—you don’t have to do everything yourself.
You could ask, “Do I even need to build a cloud?” If you want to start using a compute or storage service by just swiping your credit card, you can go to eNovance, HP, Rackspace, or other organizations to start using their public OpenStack clouds. Using their OpenStack cloud resources is similar to accessing the publicly available Amazon Web Services Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) or Simple Storage Solution (S3).
However, the enticing part of OpenStack might be to build your own private cloud, and there are several ways to accomplish this goal. Perhaps the simplest of all is an appliance-style solution. You purchase an appliance, unpack it, plug in the power and the network, and watch it transform into an OpenStack cloud with minimal additional configuration.
However, hardware choice is important for many applications, so if that applies to you, consider that there are several software distributions available that you can run on servers, storage, and network products of your choosing. Canonical (where OpenStack replaced Eucalyptus as the default cloud option in 2011), Red Hat, and SUSE offer enterprise OpenStack solutions and support. You may also want to take a look at some of the specialized distributions, such as those from Rackspace, Piston, SwiftStack, or Cloudscaling.
Alternatively, if you want someone to help guide you through the decisions about the underlying hardware or your applications, perhaps adding in a few features or integrating components along the way, consider contacting one of the system integrators with OpenStack experience, such as Mirantis or Metacloud.
If your preference is to build your own OpenStack expertise internally, a good way to kick-start that might be to attend or arrange a training session. The OpenStack Foundation has a Training Marketplace where you can look for nearby events. Also, the OpenStack community is working to produce open source training materials.
However, this guide has a different audience—those seeking flexibility from the OpenStack framework by deploying do-it-yourself solutions.
OpenStack is designed for horizontal scalability, so you can easily add new compute, network, and storage resources to grow your cloud over time. In addition to the pervasiveness of massive OpenStack public clouds, many organizations, such as PayPal, Intel, and Comcast, build large-scale private clouds. OpenStack offers much more than a typical software package because it lets you integrate a number of different technologies to construct a cloud. This approach provides great flexibility, but the number of options might be daunting at first.
This book is for those of you starting to run OpenStack clouds as well as those of you who were handed an operational one and want to keep it running well. Perhaps you’re on a DevOps team, perhaps you are a system administrator starting to dabble in the cloud, or maybe you want to get on the OpenStack cloud team at your company. This book is for all of you.
This guide assumes that you are familiar with a Linux distribution that supports OpenStack, SQL databases, and virtualization. You must be comfortable administering and configuring multiple Linux machines for networking. You must install and maintain an SQL database and occasionally run queries against it.
One of the most complex aspects of an OpenStack cloud is the networking configuration. You should be familiar with concepts such as DHCP, Linux bridges, VLANs, and iptables. You must also have access to a network hardware expert who can configure the switches and routers required in your OpenStack cloud.
Cloud computing is quite an advanced topic, and this book requires a lot of background knowledge. However, if you are fairly new to cloud computing, we recommend that you make use of the Glossary at the back of the book, as well as the online documentation for OpenStack and additional resources mentioned in this book in Resources.
There are other books on the OpenStack documentation website that can help you get the job done.
Describes a manual installation process, as in, by hand, without automation, for multiple distributions based on a packaging system:
This book contains several parts to show best practices and tips for the repeated operations for running OpenStack clouds.
We wrote this book because we have deployed and maintained OpenStack clouds for at least a year and we wanted to share this knowledge with others. After months of being the point people for an OpenStack cloud, we also wanted to have a document to hand to our system administrators so that they’d know how to operate the cloud on a daily basis—both reactively and pro-actively. We wanted to provide more detailed technical information about the decisions that deployers make along the way.
We wrote this book to help you:
We wrote this book in a book sprint, which is a facilitated, rapid development production method for books. For more information, see the BookSprints site. Your authors cobbled this book together in five days during February 2013, fueled by caffeine and the best takeout food that Austin, Texas, could offer.
On the first day, we filled white boards with colorful sticky notes to start to shape this nebulous book about how to architect and operate clouds:
We wrote furiously from our own experiences and bounced ideas between each other. At regular intervals we reviewed the shape and organization of the book and further molded it, leading to what you see today.
The team includes:
Many individual efforts keep a community book alive. Our community members updated content for this book year-round. Also, a year after the first sprint, Jon Proulx hosted a second two-day mini-sprint at MIT with the goal of updating the book for the latest release. Since the book’s inception, more than 30 contributors have supported this book. We have a tool chain for reviews, continuous builds, and translations. Writers and developers continuously review patches, enter doc bugs, edit content, and fix doc bugs. We want to recognize their efforts!
The following people have contributed to this book: Akihiro Motoki, Alejandro Avella, Alexandra Settle, Andreas Jaeger, Andy McCallum, Benjamin Stassart, Chandan Kumar, Chris Ricker, David Cramer, David Wittman, Denny Zhang, Emilien Macchi, Gauvain Pocentek, Ignacio Barrio, James E. Blair, Jay Clark, Jeff White, Jeremy Stanley, K Jonathan Harker, KATO Tomoyuki, Lana Brindley, Laura Alves, Lee Li, Lukasz Jernas, Mario B. Codeniera, Matthew Kassawara, Michael Still, Monty Taylor, Nermina Miller, Nigel Williams, Phil Hopkins, Russell Bryant, Sahid Orentino Ferdjaoui, Sandy Walsh, Sascha Peilicke, Sean M. Collins, Sergey Lukjanov, Shilla Saebi, Stephen Gordon, Summer Long, Uwe Stuehler, Vaibhav Bhatkar, Veronica Musso, Ying Chun “Daisy” Guo, Zhengguang Ou, and ZhiQiang Fan.
The genesis of this book was an in-person event, but now that the book is in your hands, we want you to contribute to it. OpenStack documentation follows the coding principles of iterative work, with bug logging, investigating, and fixing. We also store the source content on GitHub and invite collaborators through the OpenStack Gerrit installation, which offers reviews. For the O’Reilly edition of this book, we are using the company’s Atlas system, which also stores source content on GitHub and enables collaboration among contributors.
Learn more about how to contribute to the OpenStack docs at OpenStack Documentation Contributor Guide.
If you find a bug and can’t fix it or aren’t sure it’s really a doc bug,
log a bug at OpenStack
Manuals. Tag the bug
under Extra options with the
ops-guide tag to indicate that the bug
is in this guide. You can assign the bug to yourself if you know how to
fix it. Also, a member of the OpenStack doc-core team can triage the doc