The Components of OpenStack

OpenStack cloud computing platform for infrastructure as a service has started its implementation phase in real world business scenarios. Rackspace cloud hosting company who is also the major stakeholder of this project has already implemented it into their cloud services. Another cloud hosting service provider based in Canada “VEXXHOST” has also followed the Rackspace footprints. This trend is expected to increase very rapidly very soon.

OpenStack software was first build by the integration of two different software modules of both NASA and Rackspace. These two components were Nebula of NASA and Cloud File codes of Rackspace. Both these codes were integrated to form two important components of OpenStack platform. Other components have also been developed. There are three major components of OpenStack Software that are available in this open source platform. These components are described here in detail as given below.

Compute (NOVA): Nova is the code name of OpenStack component called “Compute”. It is the most basic component of OpenStack cloud computing software that deals with administrative issues and application development related matters. OpenStack Compute can be connected by two different ways; application developers can connect through APIs while the administrator who configures the services and controls can be connected through web browsers. Compute architecture is very dynamic and versatile, which allows horizontal scalability of the standard hardware infrastructure. Thus this component enables the companies the most economical and scalable and efficient use of cloud resources.  This is very open component; you do not need any proprietary software for integration of other applications. You can integrate any third party applications and legacy system applications. Thus, you get great flexibility and you are not locked in at all. This supports any type of virtual software and hypervisors. The typical uses of compute or NOVA are – provision of the services at higher stack, processing of big data through Hadoop, scale up, and scale down of the resources, and HPC or high performance computing.

Object Storage (Swift): Code name of object storage is “Swift”. This is another important component of OpenStack open sources cloud computing platform. This component is a complete replacement module for Cloud File of Rackspace Company. This component is very dynamic and scalable storage system of this open source platform. Swift code is capable of supporting both object storage and block storage. This component also provides you many options for both types of storage solutions. These options relate many great features of storage solutions.   This component support API-accessible and fully distributed storage platform that could be integrated with third party application for different activities on the cloud computing systems for retention of data, archiving data and making backups of the data. This component is of distributed nature, not like the traditional file systems; therefore, it has great flexibility of redundancy and reliability because of its distributed nature of processing and storing.

Image Service (GLANCE): Image service component is developed under the code name “glance”. This component allows the users to register different stores, and save different disk images on those stores. You can register for new disk image and also you can query for existing disk images through this component.

Author: Maria Dehn

Maria Dehn is a Writer at She has held editorial management positions for numerous print and Web publications. She has more than 17 years of Information Technologies and journalism experience and has written many books on cloud computing. She can be reached at [email protected]

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