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OpenStack is open source software that is designed to control your public or private cloud environment. The idea behind it is to relatively easily automate and manage your compute, network, storage , and security resources in a virtualized environment.
OpenStack runs on many of the Linux distributions. It is built of components for controlling the various aspects of your cloud. As you can see from our topic, these components and their purpose if the main point of this section of your evolving technologies blueprint.
Some of the main ideas behind OpenStack are the ability to add new capabilities through components and to use open standards. Here are some of the components currently in existence:
- Nova – This component is to host, provision, and manage virtual machines. This is the compute component of the OpenStack solution. It functions with all kinds of hypervisors like EXSi and Hyper-V to orchestrate various hypervisors seamlessly using APIs.
- Neutron – This component provides an API to dynamically request virtual networks. While the primary focus is on Layer 2, extensions exist to provide many other services. You can equate this component to roughly that of the Nexus 1000V.
- Swift – This component provides a REST-based API to provide a distributed object storage system. This is very useful for backups and the storage of unstructured data.
- Cinder – This component is all about providing block storage. The most common scenario it to provide storage to virtual machines. The actual physical storage might be provided thanks to iSCSI, NFS, or Fibre Channel.
- Horizon – this is the GUI dashboard element for controlling other components.
- Heat – this is the OpenStack orchestration program. The idea here is to be able to control the entire lifecycle of infrastructure and applications through text-based templates.
- Ironic – This is the OpenStack component that provides Bare Metal Services, this enable users to manage and provision physical machines.
How might Cisco integrate with something like OpenStack? One example is how Cisco developed an open source plug-in for OpenStack Neutron that allows OpenStack tenants to transparently configure and manage a network based on Cisco ACI.