How to Start Your Journey to OpenStack Deployment


Table of Contents

For enterprise users, the journey to OpenStack deployment is fueled by the business opportunity of what lies ahead. IT systems were previously misunderstood as a crutch of sorts — something that plays a backseat role to the overlying business activities. However, with today’s emphasis on the cloud and particularly the opportunity with OpenStack, IT’s role has shifted into a driver of business outcomes — largely due to its ability to expedite business processes with an efficient foundation upon which business can thrive. Executives at the top understand that the future of IT is cloud-based and express the urgency to build a cloud that will scale to support growing customer demands.

With an improved underlying infrastructure layer, IT bottlenecks are a thing of the past, and positive ripple effects are felt across the organization. Suddenly, developers have self-service, on-demand access to compute network and storage resources. They no longer have to rely on the central IT team to help facilitate their progress, allowing the organization to be faster to market and positioned more competitively.

OpenStack provides freedom from vendor lock-in and elasticity of clouds — both are imperatives when planning for long-term success. This innovative foundation allows organizations to disrupt business as usual, shorten their time to market, and ultimately create a unique cloud environment that addresses their specific business needs. What is exciting is how impactful and streamlined this shift to OpenStack can be. Whether it saves enterprises time or money, they are now able to rededicate resources towards core business functions.

As you start your OpenStack journey, it’s important to remember the bright future that lies ahead of this transformative foundation tailored to your business needs. Each OpenStack deployment takes different tracks to get there, but ultimately, organizations reach the same desired outcome.

Understanding OpenStack and its Components

A. Cloud Computing and OpenStack

Cloud computing is a concept that allows users to access and utilize computing resources, like machines, storage, and applications via the internet. It provides on-demand availability, scalability, and flexibility to meet the changing needs of organizations.

OpenStack plays a role in enabling cloud computing infrastructure. With its open source nature and robust architecture OpenStack serves as a platform for managing and orchestrating resources within a cloud environment.

B. Overview of OpenStack Deployment

OpenStack deployment refers to the process of setting up and configuring an OpenStack cloud infrastructure. It empowers organizations to build and manage public or hybrid clouds based on their requirements.

By deploying OpenStack organizations can establish an integrated cloud platform that offers an array of services including compute power, storage capabilities, and networking functionalities. This empowers them to efficiently allocate resources while improving scalability and overall operational efficiency.

C. Components and Terminologies in OpenStack

OpenStack comprises components that collaborate harmoniously to form a cloud infrastructure. These components include compute nodes for processing tasks, storage modules for data management purposes as well and networking elements ensuring seamless connectivity.

  • Compute Nodes: These nodes, also known as hypervisors, are responsible for hosting and managing machines in an OpenStack environment.
  • Storage: OpenStack offers storage services, such as Object Storage (Swift) and Block Storage (Cinder) to effectively manage and store data.
  • Networking: OpenStack provides networking services like Neutron that facilitate communication between machines and external networks.

In addition, it’s essential to grasp terms related to deploying OpenStack:

  • Hypervisor: It refers to a software or hardware layer that enables the creation and management of machines.
  • Orchestration: This involves automating and managing tasks and workflows within an OpenStack environment.
  • Scalability: It refers to the ability to dynamically adjust resource allocation based on demand ensuring performance.
  • High Availability: This denotes the capability of a system to remain operational and accessible, during failures or disruptions.

Preparing for OpenStack Deployment

Before embarking on the journey of deploying OpenStack it is crucial to prepare for the process. In this section, we will cover the steps and considerations to ensure the deployment of OpenStack.

A. Planning and Pre-Deployment Considerations

When planning for the deployment of OpenStack it is important to assess your requirements. Understanding your needs and goals will help you tailor the deployment process accordingly. It is also critical to evaluate infrastructure, software, and networking prerequisites to ensure a seamless deployment.

  • Evaluating requirements for deploying OpenStack: Take the time to analyze your organization’s needs, including resource allocation, scalability, and future growth. This analysis will enable you to design a solution that aligns with your requirements.
  • Assessing infrastructure, software, and networking prerequisites: Make sure that your infrastructure and network can handle the demands of deploying OpenStack. Identify the hardware, software, and networking capabilities required for a deployment.
  • Identifying challenges and solutions: Anticipate any obstacles that may arise during the deployment process of OpenStack. By taking an approach, to addressing these challenges upfront you can devise solutions that minimize disruptions.

B. Licensing and Deployment of OpenStack

It is essential to understand the open-source license of OpenStack when deploying the platform. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the terms of the license and consider how they may impact your deployment strategy. Addressing licensing concerns and considerations specific to enterprises is crucial for ensuring compliance and avoiding any consequences.

  • Understanding the implications of OpenStack open source license for deployment: The open source license of OpenStack offers flexibility and freedom allowing customization to suit your needs. However, it is crucial to have an understanding of the license terms to navigate the deployment process confidently.
  • Addressing licensing concerns and considerations for enterprises: Enterprises often have requirements and considerations regarding licensing. To prevent conflicts or legal issues in the future ensure that your OpenStack deployment aligns with these requirements.

OpenStack Deployment Best Practices

A. Security Considerations, during Deployment

Ensuring the security of your OpenStack deployment is crucial for safeguarding your infrastructure and sensitive data. By adhering to these recommended practices you can enhance the security of your OpenStack environment:

  • Keep your OpenStack components up to date. Apply patches to benefit from the latest security enhancements.
  • Implement network security measures, such as isolating control and data planes to bolster protection.
  • Employ robust authentication mechanisms. Enforce access controls for both users and services.
  • Safeguard data in transit by encrypting communications between OpenStack components.
  • Regularly. Monitor your OpenStack environment for any activities that may arise.

B. Scalability and High Availability Strategies

To effectively handle the increasing demands on your infrastructure consider implementing these practices for scalability and high availability in OpenStack deployment:

  • Optimize scalability by adding compute, storage, and network resources as required.
  • Utilize load-balancing techniques to evenly distribute traffic across your OpenStack infrastructure.
  • Ensure fault tolerance by deploying components and leveraging distributed storage systems.
  • Continuously monitor resource utilization to identify bottlenecks and optimize performance.

C. Automating Deployment with DevOps and Containerization

Simplifying the OpenStack deployment process can be achieved through the adoption of DevOps practices. Leveraging containerization technologies.

Here are some recommendations, for optimizing your OpenStack environment:

  • Embrace the concept of infrastructure as code. Streamline the provisioning of OpenStack resources by employing tools like Ansible or Terraform.
  • Improve scalability and efficiency by containerizing your applications and services using technologies like Docker.
  • Utilize orchestration tools such as Kubernetes to effectively manage, scale, and orchestrate your OpenStack workloads.
  • Automate the testing and deployment of OpenStack updates and configurations, through CI/CD pipelines.

These practices will help enhance the performance and management of your OpenStack infrastructure.

Questions to Start Planning Your OpenStack Deployment

  1. Will you partner with a vendor-managed distributor (Red Hat, SUSE, Canonical, Mirantis, Upstream)?
  2. Will you deploy KVM or on a proprietary hypervisor?
  3. Which release and projects will you adopt?
  4. On what proportion of your infrastructure will you implement and what is your rollout strategy?

What Type of Organization Should You Partner With?

When deploying OpenStack, you can select a prepackaged distribution or you can take the DIY approach and build it from scratch. Although you may be quick to take the DIY approach to save costs, it is important to note that partnering with a distributor can ultimately save 45% of engineering costs. Getting support from a systems integrator or distributor is extremely valuable in setting up your journey for success. This partner will help you avoid bottlenecks and general confusion as you too are familiarizing yourself with OpenStack.

Deciding on a distribution partner for your OpenStack deployment is an important decision: you need specific skill requirements as well as emotional ones. It is worth taking the time to do thorough research to evaluate the technical capabilities of each OpenStack distribution. The systems integrator or distributor you choose will become an extension of your team, working closely with you to build and implement OpenStack in your organization. As you anticipate this journey, it’s important to highlight the areas in which you can delegate work or streamline processes to make the adoption easier for everyone. This will proactively alleviate the challenges that may be ahead.

Top OpenStack Purchasing Factors

  • Price
  • Long-term support: you’ll want to work with companies that will be around for the foreseeable future to ensure that you have a steady partner in your journey
  • Existing relationship: consider partners you already have in place if you’re currently working with a Systems Integrator. Additionally, evaluate distributions that are offering OpenStack, as well as options for using proprietary software.
  • Reputation in the community: many desire to use vendors that are involved in the OpenStack community and contribute code
  • One-stop shopping

Taking the First Step

There is no perfectly defined path to deploy OpenStack in your organization. It is a creative process that is different for each organization. There are many reasons why organizations adopt OpenStack and even more guiding principles that influence a company’s OpenStack deployment. With preparation, creativity, and flexibility, the options with OpenStack are infinite. As you start your journey, we’ve compiled a list of valuable resources to kick-start your research:

  • Anticipate the learning curve by getting familiar with the resources created by the strong community the OpenStack Foundation has fostered. Using videos from past OpenStack Summits, you can get a wide understanding from many perspectives no matter where you are in the process.
  • Need a good introduction to OpenStack? Watch this 30-minute overview with Sandy Walsh from Rackspace.
  • Watch a short video to see all of the verticals currently running on OpenStack.
  • A great place to get started is by consulting distributions like SUSE, Canonical, Rackspace, Mirantis, and VMware. These partners will not only guide you through the journey, but they also provide enhanced tools that the foundation doesn’t.
  • Consider subscribing to an OpenStack mailing list to learn more about topics that are relevant to you.
  • Attend the global summits hosted twice a year to engage with the vibrant community and learn about OpenStack updates.
    • As you start your journey, the strong community is an invaluable resource of OpenStack experts who are eager to help. At the global summits hosted twice a year, the vibrant, friendly community is a great resource and sounding board that acts like a one-stop shop for all of your OpenStack needs.

Final Thoughts

Implementing OpenStack is a step when it comes to building a cloud computing infrastructure. By utilizing the power of open-source technology organizations can leverage the flexibility, scalability, and cost-effectiveness of OpenStack to meet their requirements.

Throughout this guide, we have explored the elements of OpenStack. Gained a deeper understanding of its structure and features. We have also discussed the preparations for a deployment process and highlighted the best practices to ensure an efficient and secure implementation.

As you embark on your journey to deploy OpenStack it is important to keep in mind resources like Rackspace OpenStack deployment guide. This comprehensive guide can be your trusted companion providing insights, tips, and techniques that will help you achieve success.

Whether you are a startup or a large enterprise the open source nature of OpenStack offers possibilities for innovation and growth. By harnessing the power of OpenStack you can build a scalable and flexible cloud infrastructure that adapts to the evolving needs of your business.

In summary, deploying open-source OpenStack has become an element in today’s world of cloud computing. Embrace its potential. With Rackspaces OpenStack deployment guide as your ally, embark on your path, towards an implementation.

Further Reading on OpenStack Deployment