Why we need to talk on OpenStack?

OpenStack is the upcoming revolution in the cloud domain. It has already shaken the tech savvy world with its publicly available source code. Yes! You heard it right. Open stack is fully open source and the code is readily available over the internet. Most people ask me that you are an evangelist of Big Data technology why you are diving into Openstack cloud infrastructure. Well, let me pen down my thoughts on why I am beating my brain out on this technology.

OpenStack was founded by the collaboration team of RackSpace and NASA. They wanted to create a platform for cloud domain which will be open sourced and having support for BigData and cloud based applications.

The first question when I heard about this technology was

Why OpenStack is needed?

Traditional IaaS
Apps were having less knowledge of the Infrastructure.
Not designed for legacy application, designed for new technologies like big data and cloud.
Whether it is VMware, or Microsoft the technology tend to be closed source

Completely open source and community based, readily source code available.
Few Intelligent logic related to the application’s knowledge on how to scale up or down

Dynamic scaling supported, Application has the knowledge how to scale up and scale down.
Storage is file based or block storage based

Storage will be object based, http based put and get request

Keeping my statement concise and clear, I want to give a high level picture of the importance of OpenStack versus the traditional IaaS through the above mentioned table.
Currently there are 160 companies which have signed for OpenStack. The another question that popped in my mind was

Is it a gamble to support OpenStack?

The answer will be “Apparently not”. Currently if I want to name major cloud providers they will be – Microsoft Azure, Amazon EC2, Google App Engine etc. It can be personified as big countries like US, China, India, UK etc. To have a mutual understanding and have a balance in economy all these major 20 players have to follow some open standards which are defined in G20 summit. Unless there is a common platform and some rules to abide it will be very difficult to balance the economy. Likewise in the cloud domain considering the major players in business there is still no standards which can be followed to have a mutual understanding. Challenges like security and privacy of data sharing between 2 major cloud providers are still not addressed properly. Such standards cannot be written on basis of proprietary clouds. 

OpenStack is a platform that is making those standards possible. It is a great platform, where companies like Microsoft, Citrix, Hp, Dell etc. are contributing mutually to bring forth a potent platform that will help cloud providers follow some set of guidelines and standards.

Every cloud has a pro and a con. My next question was it is not possible to have a fully equipped cloud, then

What are the cons of OpenStack?
In comparison to the high availability of traditional Iaas, OpenStack currently has less availability. It cannot guarantee a 99% uptime SLA aas in case of Microsoft Azure. As it supports cloud and big data technologies, the network layer has to be built intelligent logic, which is prone to failure, considering the nascent stage of the platform.

But such failures are hardly bothering the organizations to think a lot about OpenStack. As it is readily available supported by open source technologies it is turning out to be a wonderful platform to learn and gain experience of creating a private or commercial cloud. With the advent of OpenStack mid size companies are now jumping into the cloud infrastructure horizon and contributing to the open community which ideally should be the essence of our technology.

Thus I felt to eat the sweet fruit from the tree it is necessary to sow a productive seed. Let me describe OpenStack a little bit more in my next blog. As of now I will content myself with this introductory view.


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