openstackDo you need a Cloud Management Platform for your company? OpenStack is a good choice of many organizations. This open-source platform enables companies to benefit from cloud computing and manage their resources. But is it a good solution for your business? What are its benefits and drawbacks?

OpenStack – cloud management platform for business

This platform allows you to manage private and public clouds. It is quite a complex CMP, usually used for controlling large infrastructure of enterprises, although this doesn’t mean that it can’t be the right tool for handling a cloud for a small business. You should just consider carefully if you require such an advanced cloud management platform.

OpenStack consists of various “projects” – tools that can be leveraged by platform users in order to manage cloud-based services and resources. This is one of the most popular pieces of software that can be used for creating a business cloud environment.

OpenStack’s most important components

  1. Nova is the most basic element of OpenStack, but also the most complex. It runs in the background on Linux servers and supports virtualization technologies, container technologies, and other components of OpenStack so they can perform their tasks.
  2. Swift is a scalable and distributed storage system. Users can store their resources (like documents, images, backups and any unstructured data) in Swift, and Swift API enables you to send or receive data over HTTP. This component also stores copies of stored data in order to prevent data loss.
  3. Cinder – provides virtual storage for virtual machines in the system. Data is kept separate from the servers – this helps protect data in case the server is deleted.

There are many more components, like Glance, Keystone or Horizon, which have other functions. All together, the elements of OpenStack create a powerful cloud management platform that helps you to use your cloud computing services more efficiently.

Is OpenStack the best choice?

You’ve probably heard about CloudStack and you know that it is one of OpenStack’s most popular rivals. There are a lot of articles like cloudstack vs openstack. What you need to know is that OpenStack has a strong and huge community, which has a big influence on working with it day-to-day. The possibility to consult other users makes it easier to overcome eventual challenges.

You also need to know that OpenStack runs only on the Linux operating system. This Apache software is open-source, which means that it can be used completely for free by anyone for any tasks. It needs to be set up at the very beginning, but for many it is one of the most affordable solutions for cloud management.

Has somebody told you that OpenStack is not for your small business? That may not be true. Many small and medium companies use OpenStack with big success. Scalable solutions allow you to start small and then scale when you grow. It may take some time before you learn to use it, but the huge community is the most important advantage – you can use the help of other users if you have any problems.

OpenStack’s Challenges

OpenStack is more complex than, for example CloudStack, so you may find its installation quite difficult. This CMP may scare you at the beginning with its multiple projects that have to be configured to suit your specific needs. You’ll need a team of specialists to set it up for managing your resources. It will be neither fast nor easy, but it will pay off in the long-run.

This platform has a huge community, but rather poor documentation. The reason for that is mainly its open-source character. Accessible documentation varies in quality because it has been created by different experts using this platform. It can still be useful though.

Except for the community that chooses OpenStack for its projects, there is no professional support. This may be a problem for some companies, but with experienced employees and help from other users, you should benefit from using OpenStack in no time.

Benefits of using OpenStack

  1. With OpenStack CMP you’ll boost your company’s agility and efficiency, while gaining scalability.
  2. It is open-source, so you can use it for free and set it up to best suit your company’s specific needs.
  3. Using it, you can build your own cloud infrastructure. That gives you more control over your data, as you won’t need to entrust sensitive information to third parties.
  4. OpenStack enables fast development and reduces testing periods for the solutions you produce – in short, it cuts down time-to-market.
  5. This CMP offers advanced features for data protection and there are specialists who are continuously working on finding and fixing security issues.