An OpenStack management guide for the enterprise

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Introduction

Unlike AWS, Azure and Google, OpenStack is an open source cloud computing platform. This offers an enterprise more flexibility in terms of cloud infrastructure deployment and can help alleviate vendor lock-in concerns.

This flexibility, however, often comes at the cost of complex OpenStack management challenges. In addition to being more of a DIY cloud platform for enterprises, OpenStack constantly evolves. While this means new functionality around containers, security and more, it also introduces more moving parts for cloud admins to manage.

Fortunately, there are a number of native OpenStack management services, third-party tools and best practices that can help simplify the deployment and ongoing operation of the platform. Use this comprehensive guide to navigate the ins and outs of the OpenStack platform and overcome the toughest management hurdles.

1Manage OpenStack resources

OpenStack management tools and best practices

OpenStack management is no easy task, and with over 30 unique services available on the platform, it can seem overwhelming. Admins should become familiar with native OpenStack tools for monitoring, orchestration and resource provisioning. One must-use component on the platform is Horizon — a dashboard through which IT teams can manage and monitor OpenStack cloud services. Enterprises can also add third-party tools into the mix to support any unique needs, such as those related to troubleshooting. And regardless of what components an enterprise chooses to deploy, an effective OpenStack management strategy always requires automation.

2OpenStack and containers

Container management on OpenStack

As enterprises seek greater workload portability across hybrid and multi-cloud models, containers are often the answer. With the popularity of Docker and Kubernetes, the OpenStack community has evolved the platform to support these services, alongside some native container tools. Through Magnum, for example, users have access to popular container orchestration engines, including Kubernetes. Additional tools, such as Kolla and Kuryr, enable enterprises to deploy production-ready containers and connect them to other containers and VM instances. However, some of these container services still have some growing up to do.

3OpenStack security

Manage OpenStack security and testing

There are potential risks with any cloud platform, but OpenStack security challenges are especially unique, given the technology’s open source nature. What’s more, some of the platform’s security components are still relatively immature — though admins should expect new functionality in the future. Either way, with proper testing strategies and a large community to turn to, enterprises can protect their OpenStack cloud from threats and downtime.

4Test your OpenStack knowledge

How much do you know about OpenStack?

OpenStack has many components, such as Nova, Heat and Glance, that cover a range of services — but do you know what each of them does? Put your knowledge to the test.


Take this quiz

5OpenStack terminology

Review these OpenStack definitions

The first step toward successful OpenStack management and deployment is to know these key terms and tools.



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