OpenStack: The Catalyst of the Public Cloud Market 

In the last two decades, we have advanced toward cloud computing and rely heavily on it for our data and infrastructure management. Even though public clouds were initially viewed with skepticism, Statista states that 60% of corporate data is now housed in the cloud.  OpenStack-ACE-1 Moreover, according to a forecast by Gartner, high-end public cloud services will experience rapid growth in the coming years, which is set to bolster cloud computing technologies.  Cloud computing allows setting up a virtual office with the flexibility of connecting businesses anywhere, at any time. Though cloud computing is a blessing for businesses, it does come with several drawbacks, including data security, scalability, a scarcity of qualified staff, network compatibility, and performance issues. As a result, businesses are hesitant to transition to cloud computing. However, with the OpenStack tools and modules, it becomes easy for people to manage their cloud services, automate tasks, apply security controls and improve the performance of VMs. It is a set of cloud infrastructure deployment and management tools that sorts out all the challenges of cloud computing.   

Introduction to OpenStack 

OpenStack is a set of open-source software modules and tools that serve as a foundation for building and managing public and private cloud infrastructure. OpenStack allows users to create VMs (virtual machines) and other instances for a cloud environment with ease. It helps to provision, pool, and manage enormous clusters for computing, storage, and network resources for infrastructure-as-a-service platforms. OpenStack dashboard and APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) help manage bare metal hardware, VMs, and containers.    The vast developer community is working and improving OpenStack every day, making it more robust and highly secure. Other OpenStack components enable high-availability operations by providing orchestration, fault management, and services. As per a report by Statista, the OpenStack market size has grown from 0.85 billion USD in 2014 to 6.73 billion USD in 2021.  OpenStack-ACE-2 

Top 5 Advantages of opting for OpenStack 

The public cloud market is a competitive space, with many players trying to capture the growing market share. OpenStack has impacted this area as well and offers benefits for your business. The key to its success is providing a solution that allows customers, developers, and cloud providers greater control over their infrastructure than other platforms. It offers robust features and supports large-scale deployments, high availability, data protection, scalability, flexibility, and reliability. Here are the top 5 reasons to opt for OpenStack for your business: 
  1. Top-notch industry supportOpenStack was founded as a framework for allowing enterprises to deliver free and open-source cloud computing services using even basic hardware. Since its establishment, many IT behemoths have supported it and invested in its growth, giving rise to a robust developer community that collaborates with users to provide the ideal platform for each business requirement.
  2. Compatible OpenStack APIs work with public cloud systems, making them compatible and allowing easy porting of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) client applications from proprietary public cloud platforms to OpenStack-based IaaS providers.
  3. ScalableOpenStack public clouds are highly scalable as they allow enterprises to obtain more servers than just deploying larger servers. It is designed to control large pools of computing, storage, and networking resources throughout a data center, giving businesses the ability to spin servers up and down quickly.  
  4. Highly secure – Securing an OpenStack cloud is like securing any other IT infrastructure. It necessitates a diverse collection of tools and abilities and a thorough grasp of security with the help of role-based access restrictions with varying levels of access.
  5. Convenient control panel – OpenStack has an easily accessible control panel that gives visibility, control, and quick access to power management capabilities. As a result, customers find it extremely simple to monitor and control their cloud services by gaining a clear picture of resource utilization.

How does OpenStack play a crucial role in Public Cloud? 

According to Statista, OpenStack is the most widely used open-source platform for constructing public cloud environments. The fact that you can use OpenStack to deploy your cloud regardless of the size of your company or business is something worth emphasizing. It offers a robust basis for your cloud solutions, from containers to virtual machines, being both practical and economical, irrespective of your industry.  OpenStack is more than just virtualization technology and provides orchestration capabilities to help you manage your infrastructure more efficiently. It utilizes your current virtualized infrastructure, built using a well-known hypervisor (such as KVM, VMware vSphere, or Microsoft Hyper-V) to construct a cloud computing environment such as a public or private cloud. It allows broad provisioning, lifecycle automation, orchestration, user self-service, cost reporting and billing, and other functions. 

What are the use cases of OpenStack? 

OpenStack is drastically changing the rules of IT infrastructure, providing users with a path toward software-defined virtual data centers. Enterprise clients and service providers use OpenStack to transform their business models by reshaping their IT use cases.  Here are a few examples of how enterprises are leveraging the agility and scalability of OpenStack: 
  1. Public cloud – OpenStack is one of the most popular open-source platforms for deploying public cloud infrastructure. Whether your organization is a multibillion-dollar publicly listed corporation or a startup, you may use it to set up public clouds with services that compete with large public cloud providers.
  2. Creating containers – Container portability requires developers and operations to effectively develop, test and deploy applications across public and private environments. OpenStack provides an accessible platform for large-scale container orchestration, and it also allows a single, wizard-driven means of provisioning new clusters and scaling existing ones. Moreover, containerized applications are deployed on OpenStack with full automation, including virtual machines and networks.
  3. Network functions virtualization – As OpenStack is an open-source platform for virtualization, it enables service providers and corporations to deploy network functions on commodity server hardware and handle their workloads. These applications also rely on OpenStack for their hosting in the cloud.
  4. Private Cloud – OpenStack’s private cloud distributions can provide more significant benefits than custom-coded private clouds. Hosted private cloud (where businesses pay a cloud service provider for support and maintenance) or on-premise private clouds are more secure but come with the cost of more maintenance and higher expenses for running them as organizations need to hire employees for running the servers. 

How does OpenStack work?  

OpenStack leverages two more fundamental technologies: a base operating system like Linux and a virtualization platform like VMware or Citrix. The virtualization engine oversees the visualized hardware resources required by OpenStack projects, while the OS handles the instructions and data transferred from OpenStack.  Administrators may supply and manage the instanced resources that applications require once the OS, virtualization platform, and OpenStack components have been correctly deployed and configured. The dashboard’s actions and requests result in a sequence of API calls authenticated by the security service and forwarded to the destination component, which performs the corresponding duties.  An administrator, for example, logs into OpenStack and oversees the cloud environment via a dashboard. They may build, connect, and define network behavior for new computing and storage instances and can also use the API to connect to other services, such as monitoring the performance of a provided sample and using resource billing and charge-back. 

Major Components of OpenStack

Most OpenStack users start with a modest set of core components and gradually add more to expand their cloud’s operational and business capabilities over time.   OpenStack comprises several components with different code names and a modular design. Let us take a quick look at the OpenStack components:   Components of openstackLet us know about each of them in detail:  
  1. Dashboard (Horizon) – OpenStack Horizon is the official graphical interface for automating cloud-based resources and is the only component visible to users as a Dashboard. It provides third-party services such as monitoring, billing, and other management tools to service providers and commercial vendors.
  2. Identity Service (Keystone) – OpenStack Keystone keeps a master list of all OpenStack cloud users, matched to all cloud services for which they have permission. It connects with current back-end services like LDAP while serving as a centralized authentication mechanism for the cloud computing infrastructure. The catalog also includes an endpoint registry of a searchable list of services installed in an OpenStack-based cloud.
  3. Object Storage (Swift) – OpenStack Swift builds redundant and scalable data storage. The stored data can then be used, retrieved, and modified. It features a distributed design that improves redundancy, scalability, and performance. Swift is object storage that is widely available, shareable, and finally consistent and hence enables businesses to store substantial amounts of data in a secure, cost-effective, and efficient manner. Swift guarantees data replication and distribution across several devices, making it perfect for scale-out storage at a low cost.
  4. Image Service (Glance) – OpenStack Glance assists in discovering, registering, and restoring virtual machine images. It has a client-server architecture and provides a REST API allowing users to query virtual machine image information and receive the actual image. Glance uses the cached pictures as templates for deploying new VM instances.
  5. Networking (Neutron) – OpenStack Neutron provides networking capabilities like network management and IP address management. It makes sure that the network isn’t a bottleneck in cloud infrastructure deployment by giving customers control over network parameters through self-service. Users may use it to establish their networks and link devices and servers to one or many of them.
  6. Block Storage (Cinder) – OpenStack Cinder offer compute instances with application-specific block-level storage devices. Cloud users may regulate their storage demands by integrating block storage volumes with Dashboard and Nova. Cinder supports all major storage platforms and is perfect for storing databases and creating scalable file systems.
  7. Compute (Nova) – OpenStack Nova is the primary compute engine behind OpenStack. OpenStack Compute is a cloud computing fabric controller that works with virtualization technologies, bare metals, and high-performance computing architectures to manage pools of computer resources. Nova’s architecture allows for cloud design freedom without the need for proprietary software or hardware and the capacity to integrate legacy systems and third-party products. The service manages hypervisors and virtual instances.   
ACE has chosen to use OpenStack to deploy its public cloud infrastructure because of its popularity, unlimited scalability, and diverse developer community, making it better over time and the most cost-effective option in the long term.  

Why should you choose the OpenStack-based ACE public cloud for your business? 

Ace Cloud Hosting is an Intuit authorized QuickBooks hosting and managed cloud service provider that offers application hosting services, including Sage Cloud, Tax software hosting, VDI solutions, and many more benefits to SMBs, accountants, CPAs, and firms. With IaaS, an infinitely scalable platform that leverages innovative technology such as OpenStack, you will receive prolonged, scalable, and practical solutions to your cloud problems. Consider the following pointers that make OpenStack the leading-edge technology for the ACE public cloud: 
  • Manage and maintain virtual processors (CPU), configure servers, storage disks (SSDs and HDs), and technical requirements for RAM. 
  • Use resources such as compute and storage on a pay-as-you-go basis to rent servers, networks, VMs, OS, and other on-demand IT resources. 
  • Assess resource usage, view active virtual machines, gain visibility, control, and easy access to power management tools.  
  • Retrieve and control resource utilization at the level of users, roles, and projects with role-based access controls. 
  Choose ACE public cloud for fulfilling all your cloud requirements and let ACE manage your infrastructure for you so you can focus on growing your business. Contact our experts to help you get started with it.  

About Nolan Foster

With 20+ years of expertise in building cloud-native services and security solutions, Nolan Foster spearheads Public Cloud and Managed Security Services at Ace Cloud Hosting. He is well versed in the dynamic trends of cloud computing and cybersecurity.
Foster offers expert consultations for empowering cloud infrastructure with customized solutions and comprehensive managed security.

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