OpenStack is a collection of open source software modules (known as Projects) that provides a framework to create and manage both public cloud and private cloud infrastructure.
OpenStack software controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacentre, managed through a dashboard or via the OpenStack API. OpenStack works with popular enterprise and open source technologies making it ideal for heterogeneous infrastructure.
OpenStack is open source software, which means that anyone who chooses to can access the source code, make any changes or modifications they need, and freely share these changes back out to the community at large. It also means that OpenStack has the benefit of thousands of developers all over the world working in tandem to develop the strongest, most robust, and most secure product that they can.
Hundreds of the world’s largest brands rely on OpenStack to run their businesses every day, reducing costs and helping them move faster. OpenStack has a strong ecosystem, and users seeking commercial support can choose from different OpenStack-powered products and services in the Marketplace.
What OpenStack does?
To create a cloud computing environment, an organization typically builds off of its existing virtualized infrastructure, using a well-established hypervisor such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V or KVM. But cloud computing goes beyond just virtualization. A public or private cloud also provides a high level of provisioning and lifecycle automation, user self-service, cost reporting and billing, orchestration and other features.
When an organization installs OpenStack software on top of its virtualized environment, this forms a “cloud operating system” that can organize, provision and manage large pools of heterogeneous compute, storage and network resources. While an IT administrator is typically called on to provision and manage resources in a more traditional virtualized environment, OpenStack enables individual users to provision resources through management dashboards and the OpenStack application programming interface (API).
An organization can use OpenStack to deploy and manage cloud-based infrastructure that supports an array of uses cases, including web hosting, big data projects, software as a service (SaaS) delivery, or deploying high volumes of containers.
OpenStack competes most directly with other open source cloud platforms, including Eucalyptus and Apache CloudStack. Some also see it as an alternative to public cloud platforms like Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
Benefits of Open Stack
The benefits of using OpenStack stem, in part, from the fact that it is a cloud platform and all cloud platforms offer similar benefits. But there are advantages to OpenStack that stem from the way this particular open source cloud platform was created and developed.
OpenStack boosts business agility, availability, and efficiency by providing a platform with on-demand, resource pooling, self-service, highly elastic, and measured services capabilities. If this sounds like cloud computing, that’s because it is. OpenStack is basically your key to building your own cloud infrastructure.
Well, first of all, Open Stack comes with practically all of the benefits of cloud computing.
Enables rapid innovation
OpenStack’s orchestration and self-service capabilities offers developers and IT staff with faster and better access to IT resources as developers can provision machines rapidly and on-demand, they can significantly reduce development and testing periods and have more freedom to experiment with new ideas.
Cuts down time-to-market
Faster deployment of IT resources also means end users and business units no longer have to wait days or weeks to start using the network services and applications they need. In turn, they would be more capable of rolling out and completing projects earlier than before.
Boosts scalability and resource utilization
Although not as scalable as public clouds, OpenStack private clouds still offer a significant degree of scalability. You can still spin up and spin down servers on-demand. So, for example, if one department encounters a surge in demand for computing resources, IT resources may be temporarily redirected from other departments to the one that currently needs it the most.
In addition, OpenStack also provides the following advantages over public clouds and proprietary cloud solutions:
Eases regulatory compliance
Because OpenStack enables the construction of private, on-premise clouds, it can help in regulatory compliance endeavours. If your cloud is in your own data centre, you’ll have more control of access privileges, security measures, and security policies. You can personally take charge of ensuring that policies for securing personal data, financial data, and other confidential and regulated information are actually enforced and not just printed on a piece of paper.
Devoid of vendor lock-in
One major problem with using a proprietary solution is vendor lock-in. If you’re not happy with the vendor’s services or the vendor closes shop, you cannot easily hop on to the next. OpenStack supports a variety of proprietary technologies and can operate in a smorgasbord of hypervisor and bare metal environments. Its ability to work with commodity hardware gives you more flexibility in choosing solutions based on a wider range of costs and competencies.
Challenges of Using OpenStack in Your Business
In case you haven’t noticed, we didn’t include “cost savings” as one of the benefits of using OpenStack. That’s because if you really compute for the total cost of ownership (TCO), the OpenStack route of building a private cloud won’t be significantly cheaper than the proprietary route. In fact, in some cases, it could end up higher.
Scarcity of talent
Like many open source solutions, OpenStack initially appears to provide a much cheaper alternative to proprietary counterparts when, in reality, it’s often not the case. Generally speaking, the talent pool for most open source solutions is quite limited.
As a result, the hourly rates of the experts in the field tend to be much higher. Thus, what ever you may save on license fees will usually be offset by professional fees, especially if you’re a small business and don’t have the required talent in-house.
May take longer to implement
Even assuming you have your own IT department and you decide to send out one or two staff members for training, that’s still going to cost you. Besides, because OpenStack involves a rather steep learning curve, it might take some time before your staff can fully implement what they learn. That delay should be taken into consideration as well.
On the flip side, if available support for a particular proprietary solution starts to decrease or totally disappears (like if the developers go bankrupt), the pay scale of engineers of that solution and its associated technologies will naturally go up. An OpenStack environment won’t be as exposed to this kind of risk because it’s free from vendor lock-in.
Gartner predicts that by 2020, an overwhelming majority of corporations will do away with “no-cloud” policies, adding that cloud-first policies could also shift to cloud-only policies. There’s no question that the cloud will ultimately be the direction you’re headed. But when you do decide to turn your plans into policy, you might want to put OpenStack private clouds into consideration.
OpenDaylight (ODL) is a modular open platform for customizing and automating networks of any size and scale. The OpenDaylight Project arose out of the SDN movement, with a clear focus on network programmability. It was designed from the outset as a foundation for commercial solutions that address a variety of use cases in existing network environments.
ODL is driven by a global, collaborative community of vendor and user organizations that continuously adapts to support the industry’s broadest set of SDN and NFV use cases. With over 1000 developers, 50 member organizations and supporting approximately 1 billion subscribers around the world, OpenDaylight is quickly evolving integrated toolchains for leading use cases.
OpenDaylight code has been integrated or embedded in more than 50 vendor solutions and apps, and can be utilized within a range of services. It is also at the core of broader open source frameworks, including ONAP, OpenStack, and OPNFV.
In addition to community efforts towards an open source solution, well-known networking vendors such as Cisco and Brocade are building on OpenDaylight’s foundation, using its codebase to develop commercial versions of their controllers to enable SDN and NFV. Meanwhile, other vendors are proposing customization and commercial support for OpenDaylight-based SDN solutions. With these factors in mind.
SDN and NFV
To create a network that adapts to application requirements, SDN separates the control plane from the data plane within the network to enable central network management while abstracting the underlying physical network. Creating an adaptive network is a work in progress, with the industry standardizing protocols such as OpenFlow, and OpenDaylight looking to leverage more open source development to create industry solutions. In addition, NFV is leveraging virtual compute, storage, and networking to improve network agility while bringing down the cost.
On February 8, 2013, a software defined networking site reported an industry coalition forming around SDN. The goal of the coalition was not known at the time, with most information consisting of rumors and insider discussions.
On April 8, 2013, The Linux Foundation announced the founding of the OpenDaylight Project as a community-led and industry-supported open source framework to accelerate adoption, foster new innovation and create a more open and transparent approach to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). The project’s founding members were Arista Networks, Big Switch Networks, Brocade, Cisco, Citrix, Ericsson, HP, IBM, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, NEC, Nuage Networks, PLUMgrid, Red Hat and VMware.
Reaction to the goals of open architecture and administration by the Linux Foundation have been mostly positive. While initial criticism centered on concerns that this group could be used by incumbent technology vendors to stifle innovation, most of the companies signed up as members do not actually sell incumbent networking technology. Of the original Platinum members, Ericsson, Intel, IBM, Microsoft, VMware, Red Hat, and Citrix would not be considered “incumbent” technology providers in the networking segment. Only Brocade, Cisco and Hewlett Packard Enterprise would typically fall into that category.
By 2015, user companies had begun participating in upstream development, and by the Boron release in September 2016, half of new projects were proposed by user organizations, including Comcast, Intel, AT&T and Telefonica. At the time of the Carbon release in May 2017, the Project estimated that over 1 Billion subscribers were accessing OpenDaylight-based networks, in addition to use within large enterprises.
The modularity and flexibility of Open Daylight allows end users to select whichever features matter to them and to create controllers that meets their individual needs. More focus is made to create a very supportive, growing and active community of hundreds of developers who are continuously evolving and expanding the platform. There is a continuous focus to build capabilities to support active and emerging use cases in mobile carriers, webscale enterprises, cable operators, and IoT consumers from healthcare to utilities.