What is OpenStack?

Piston Staff  /  May 23, 2013  / 

While it’s true that OpenStack has been around for a while, many people are still asking the most basic question, “What is OpenStack?” Luigi Tiano of 1 Cloud Road did a good job covering this topic in a blog post on the 1 Cloud Road site. We’d like to share a few of the highlights in this post.

What drove Tiano to create a beginner’s guide to OpenStack? He simply couldn’t find one, so he dove right in with some research and put it all down in a single comprehensive post.

His guide includes a section on OpenStack’s history, which famously involves Rackspace Hosting and NASA personnel (including Piston co-founders Josh McKenty, Gretchen Curtis and Christopher MacGown) joining forces and integrating code in 2010 to create and offer organizations cloud computing services that run on standard hardware.

OpenStack is an open source framework for cloud computing. The code is freely available under the Apache 2.0 license. The OpenStack Foundation consists of 9429 individual members and 850 organizations (it’s grown so much that we took that bit straight from OpenStack.org; Luigi’s blog, though written in December 2012, cites numbers quite a bit smaller than this).

Luigi then goes on to lay out the architecture of OpenStack in what he calls a technical beginner’s guide. He offers a pretty succinct answer to the question, “What is OpenStack?” when he quotes OpenStack.org/software:

OpenStack is a cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter, all managed through a dashboard that gives administrators control while empowering their users to provision resources through a web interface.

Of course, with a little shameless self-promotion, we here at Piston would like to point you to another resource that Luigi cites: Josh’s OpenStack 101 video and OpenStack 101 whitepaper.

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Posted in: OpenStack