OpenStack: An Open Source Cloud Operating System

OpenStack: An Open Source Cloud Operating System

Enterprise Cloud Hosting Solutions for Publishing, Media, & Ecommerce

Many of the largest web hosting companies in the world use OpenStack to manage their data centers and offer cloud solutions to clients based on virtualization hypervisors such as KVM, Hyper-V, Xen, & VMware. Cross-platform compatibility is a major advantage for OpenStack, as it functions as an elastic cloud operating system in launching and managing virtual web server instances for the most demanding websites, mobile apps, & business communications. OpenStack offers a base software configuration in a modular architecture that can be used by web hosting companies, as well as a number of advanced platform distributions from major IT companies that provide cloud solutions for research, government, biomedical, ecommerce, & media industries. OpenStack’s popularity in enterprise IT has led to the creation of thousands of new jobs for programmers, systems administrators, and network engineers while processing billions of dollars in online transactions for the financial sector & ecommerce stores.

Enterprise Cloud Hosting Solutions for Publishing, Media, & Ecommerce

OpenStack – Original Partnership Between Rackspace & NASA

The OpenStack project began as a joint partnership between NASA and Rackspace in 2010, with the code being open sourced in 2012 to be placed under the management of the OpenStack Foundation subject to the Apache software license. OpenStack installs as a layer between the hypervisor and virtual machines in a data center environment, allowing for systems administrators to create custom configurations of hardware and software according to the requirements of their project or business.

There are OpenStack installations targeted at web hosting, web application support, enterprise IT requirements, public and private cloud networks. OpenStack software includes a dashboard that can be used to manage all of the computation, storage, and networking resources in a data center, with possibilities to be further extended through an API to integrate with many third-party vendor solutions.

  • Web Applications – OpenStack is used to run load-balanced web servers for the largest sites on the internet in elastic cloud deployments (,, AT&T, Time-Warner)
  • Big Data – OpenStack was developed by NASA, used by CERN for quantum physics research, and trusted by companies like Comcast, Bloomberg, & Walmart for “Big Data” requirements.
  • eCommerce – OpenStack is used to manage the data centers of eBay, PayPal, BestBuy, Staples, & Nike whose simultaneous online user communities can scale to millions of customers at a time.
  • Video Processing and Content Delivery – OpenStack can be used to launch elastic cloud server networks for streaming music and video applications that need advanced platform support.
  • High Throughput Computing – OpenStack is used by CERN for processing data related to the Large Hadron Collider and is deployed in data centers to scale to 100,000+ simultaneous nodes.
  • Container Optimized – OpenStack integrates seamlessly with Docker, Kubernetes, & Apache Mesos for container management allowing for powerful flexibility in systems administration.
  • Web Hosting – OpenStack is used by GoDaddy, Rackspace, DreamHost, and other major web hosting companies to launch innovative new cloud hosting services to web developers.
  • Public Cloud – OpenStack is used by China Mobile to operate more than 100 data centers with 200,000 rackmount servers and by the Postal Savings Bank of China to support 490 million users.
  • Compute Starter Kit – OpenStack offers the starter kit as an easy way for people to install and learn about the platform on a single server in order to test the different modules and tools.
  • DBaaS – OpenStack can be used to deploy Database as a Service products for cloud software solutions like CRMs or ecommerce portals based on MySQL/MSSQL/NoSQL frameworks.

OpenStack offers customized base software configurations for each of these main use-case scenarios that can be installed and then further extended with third-party modules. The OpenStack Marketplace contains a number of distributions from IT companies that have developed additional proprietary software solutions based on the OpenStack core codebase, as well as a list of companies providing web hosting and consulting services. OpenStack is one of the most popular software platforms available for use in managing public and private cloud server networks. The OpenStack elastic cloud network platform is also popular in academic research to scale to advanced levels of supercomputing power.

OpenStack – Introductory Video

OpenStack 101 – What Is OpenStack? “OpenStack is an open source cloud operating system and community founded by Rackspace and NASA in 2010.” Follow OpenStack on Twitter.

OpenStack – Cloud Web Hosting & Data Center Management

Many of the major web hosting companies have deployed OpenStack in developing custom cloud solutions for customers that can be sold as “Platform as a Service” (PaaS) products. The new cloud computing platform at GoDaddy includes integration with Bitnami for extremely fast full-stack virtual server deployments that can be saved and transferred easily through snapshots. DreamHost’s cloud computing platform is based on OpenStack with object storage, CDN integration, and metered pay-as-you-go billing. Rackspace’s managed public and private cloud services implementing OpenStack are recognized as best in the industry. Rackspace’s company transformation to develop an emphasis on consulting services for enterprise IT clients illustrates some of the many ways that corporations are using OpenStack to outsource data center requirements to remote cloud specialists for long-term support. The ability to develop custom solutions based on OpenStack’s modular software architecture has led to many competing distributions for web hosting companies available in the marketplace.

Enterprise Cloud Hosting Solutions for Publishing, Media, & Ecommerce

OpenStack Software OpenStack uses a modular architecture that can be deployed in different configurations for multiple requirements in cloud server management. Learn More about OpenStack.

OpenStack – Open Source & Proprietary Platform Distributions

The OpenStack Marketplace includes both open source and proprietary software solutions from some of the largest IT companies, most popular Linux distributions, & new cloud start-up companies. The major enterprise IT companies are generally offering customized versions of OpenStack with built in integration with their main software and database products to promote complete solutions to customers. In many instances, the OpenStack distributions offered by the major IT companies all provide similar services but with unique custom code for the support of branded platform service products. The Linux distributions enable easy network management with KVM virtualization & Ceph storage. Cloud start-up companies building on the OpenStack platform typically offer a combination of completely new software solutions, API integrations, and consultation services.

  • Enterprise IT Companies – Oracle, Cisco, VMware, Dell, Rackspace, Fujitsu, IBM, & HP
  • Linux Distributions – Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, & SUSE
  • Cloud Start-Up Companies – Mirantis, AWcloud, Aqorn, Platform9, StratoScale, EasyStack, SwiftStack, UnitedStack, Bright OpenStack, Ultimum, Hyper-C, & Breqwatr

The advantages of using a customized OpenStack distribution are determined by the requirements of a web hosting project or business IT needs primarily. It can save a lot of time, energy, and development costs to deploy a third-party PaaS product vs. the cost of custom coding the same solutions individually. The same principle applies to OpenStack consulting, where it can be cheaper for businesses to hire remote experienced experts on a contract basis than to hire and train local employees or maintain in-house hardware for web hosting and ecommerce requirements. OpenStack also offers businesses an opportunity to modernize legacy database applications being run on VMware virtualization to scale more effectively while maintaining custom stack software configuration requirements.

OpenStack – Tutorial Video

OpenStack Horizon“Attend the OpenStack Summit Boston, May 8-11, 2017, to learn about the mix of open technologies building the modern infrastructure stack.”  Learn more about OpenStack Summit.


OpenStack Marketplace – Public & Private Cloud Management Services

Public clouds, managed private clouds, paid consulting, and integration services are featured aspects of the OpenStack Marketplace with web hosting platforms, enterprise IT corporations, and cloud start-up companies all competing for the business. There are over 50 different projects from third-party development teams that layer on top of the OpenStack core installation. Through the diversity of available modules, a custom dashboard and web interface can be created for cloud hosting configurations with network resource usage monitoring. The solutions available in the OpenStack Marketplace are recognized as some of the most advanced and innovative applications available for data center management, cloud network deployment, and cluster-based supercomputing at this time. Familiar names like Red Hat, Rackspace, Ubuntu, Oracle, IBM, Cisco, DreamHost, Tata, & InterNap lead development in the OpenStack Marketplace, which also creates new space for start-up companies to prosper by building next-generation cloud software solutions. The IT spend from corporations and start-ups in the service areas addressed by the OpenStack Marketplace is estimated to exceed over $100 billion USD annually at the global level, illustrating the huge business potential of new PaaS products in the sector. Programmers for the OpenStack platform, usually Python coders, are some of the most sought after specialists in the industry.

Enterprise Cloud Hosting Solutions for Publishing, Media, & Ecommerce

Cloud PlatformsGoDaddy, Rackspace, DreamHost and other major web hosting companies are using OpenStack to manage their data center cloud networks more efficiently. Learn more about OpenStack.


OpenStack Certification – Requirements for Systems Administrators

For those who would like to develop career opportunities in OpenStack network administration, there is a “Certified OpenStack Administrator Exam” that can be taken which establishes professional certification for the platform. Systems administrators should be familiar with all of the hardware and software aspects of a cloud network, as well as being able to manage domains on web servers as a introduction. The use of disk images and stack snapshots in installing web server hardware should be routine. OpenStack administrators need to know how to manage flavors, instances, and network resources like routers & subnets. Most importantly, OpenStack systems administrators need to be familiar with all of the platform modules like Nova, Neutron, Cinder, Swift, Heat, Dashboard, etc. including how to configure and deploy them in data center network management across multiple hardware instances. Other aspects such as network security, data back-ups, logging, debugging, and upgrades will also need to be studied thoroughly in order to pass the OpenStack certification examination. The COA exam costs $300 and is administered by the OpenStack Foundation online.

Video Seminar – Getting Started With OpenStack

OpenStack Foundation “This workshop will walk participants through an overview of the most deployed OpenStack components and offer practical suggestions and resources for learning OpenStack.”  Learn more about the OpenStack Foundation.

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