OpenStack as a Cloud Provider
What is OpenStack?
OpenStack is a cloud platform which can be utilized as a private or public cloud. Within the world of cloud computing consisting of giant public cloud providers like Amazon and Windows Azure which offer paid services , OpenStack has come as an inexpensive solution to cater to infrastructure resource requirements for small to large scale business operations.
It is Open Source
Being an open source software , you may access the source code and customize it according to your needs. It is currently managed by OpenStack Foundation and is backed up by some of the big names like Rackspace , HP, at&t , redhat and more. Millions of developers world wide are contributing to OpenStack with a very fast release cycle of 3 months. Currently , OpenStack has come up with many releases like Folsom, Grizzly ,Havana and latest release of Ice House which has many interesting additions like Database as a Service .
Performance wise OpenStack is well reputed and can spin virtual images within couple of minutes(depending upon image size). It provides features such as visualization, creating and managing networks , load balancing, firewalls, auto scaling etc. OpenStack provides a very easy and thin client dashboard for managing your instances, networks , security and other infrastructure resources. You may upload various OS images like RHEL , Windows , Ubuntu in OpenStack specified formats and can have many flavors of these images depending upon your needs in terms of RAM , CPU and disk.
Setting up your own OpenStack cloud
Setting up your OpenStack cloud can be as simple as running three commands and can even hardly take 15-20 minutes. All you need is a linux machine to setup OpenStack cloud and follow the RDO community guidelines. This community provides the easiest way of installing OpenStack in your lab.
Or, if you want to have a quick feel of how OpenStack works , you may use TryStack and spin some virtual machines and play around with it.