Openstack: What is it, and why is it the future?

At NetNerd, our entire infrastructure runs on Openstack, so here’s a quick introduction to explain the basics.

In the world of cloud computing, few names are written larger than that of OpenStack. First
launched in 2010, this Python-based, cross-platform system has grown to dominate the cloud
computing arena, and it seems as though its best days are still ahead of it. As great an impact
as it has made already, OpenStack is not content to be the present of cloud computing; it is
also determined to be its future.

What is OpenStack?

OpenStack is a free, open-source platform for cloud computing. Often deployed as IaaS
(Infrastructure-as-a-Service), virtual servers and various other resources are made available
for the use of its consumers. OpenStack consists of a series of interrelated components used
to control a variety of diverse hardware pools of storage, networking, and processing
resources through a bespoke data centre. OpenStack customers can manage the service via
command-line tools, a web-based dashboard, or a RESTful web service. Since its inception in
2010, the project has attracted over 500 companies to its pool of developers, including such
heavyweights as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Samsung, Fujitsu, Time Warner, Linux, Twitter, and
Johns Hopkins University.

Is OpenStack really the future?

With the sort of technological and corporate weight that OpenStack has behind it, the
platform could be forgiven if it chose to rest on its laurels. However, the platform continues
to attract investment and development from companies both large and small, providing an
ever-evolving set of tools for its users.

Flexibility and versatility

Versatility and flexibility are two of the main selling points of the OpenStack platform,
allowing it to benefit businesses of every size and shape looking to make the most of cloud
computing. Its extensive collection of systems and modes provide an opportunity for any
company, be it a start-up enterprise or a global corporation, to come up with the solution that
best enhances its technological infrastructure.

Agility

When it comes to success in business, speed is paramount and, in today’s technocentric
corporate environment, the need for speed and agility will only increase its importance.
OpenStack offers a transparent user interface, allowing operators to implement their systems
swiftly and efficiently, no matter what cloud service they use. The platform includes its own
hybrid cloud management solutions to assist with the operational issues involved in cross-
platform cloud systems.

A collaborative environment

As an open source nature platform, OpenStack offers its users a level of customisation above
many comparable services. The system can be configured and modified to offer the greatest
benefit to your business, in collaboration with thousands of other users and its deep developer
pool. It is this collaborative element that holds the key to the platform’s future development.
The source code is available to all to freely modify and share their developments. As more
users join the platform, this offers the potential for unlimited growth in the years to come.

No lock-in

As an open-source system, OpenStack offers companies the freedom to explore the benefits
of cloud computing without fear of committing to a long-term contract.
With such significant benefits to its existing and future users, OpenStack is poised to increase
its domination of the cloud computing sector and is well worth the consideration of any
company casting an eye towards this essential aspect of corporate development.