OpenStack-The Future of Cloud Computing

By CIOReview | Wednesday, July 26, 2017
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OpenStack has evolved as a fundamental platform for enterprises to deploy standard open source private cloud systems. However, the tedious tasks and the lack of inbuilt features in OpenStack have thwarted its acceptance, resulting as a niche product rather than a widespread technology.

Initially, open source private cloud platform was started as a joint project between NASA and managed cloud provider Rackspace in 2010. Their goal was to build an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) platform that would allow vendors as well as enterprises to effortlessly connect to various cloud systems and avoid supplier lock-in.

With the help of OpenStack’s flexible ecosystem, hundreds of world’s largest brands are able to run their business and support mission-critical applications successfully, while reducing costs. As OpenStack gets matured, it brings in plethora of innovations coupled with use cases in a variety of configurations. Looking at its rapid evolution, the long-term vision for OpenStack looks really bright.

The OpenStack platform has overtaken some of the renowned open source private cloud platforms such as Apache CloudStack, and emerged as a leading player in this space. This is because of the transparent, practical nature of OpenStack, meaning users can implement their systems with ease and speed, across any cloud platform.

Implementation

Although the platform was appreciated by most of the companies, it has not been impressive for few firms. One of the reasons why the platform is not embraced widely is because of its complex structure. These cloud systems are dependent on various elements such as virtualization, servers, storage, networking resources and security, which have their own large protocol stacks. The complex structure of each stack makes the deployment of the platform very difficult. To intensify this, the shortage of installation tools is almost crippling IT vendors to go public. In a nutshell, to implement the OpenStack successfully in the cloud platform, any firm would need an army of technical resources and technically skilled staff.

The first few versions of the platform had issues during development stage, like networking reliability, scalability and load balancing features. The OpenStack Foundation, a corporate entity is on its feet to fill in the voids. The foundation usually oversees the OpenStack software development process and formally releases patches and version updates. However, mostly the additions are immature, and bugs are often found in the latest components. Another factor that is hindering the growth of OpenStack is the shortage of qualified technicians.

Challenges during Deployment

Most companies fall short of apt resources while deploying newer technology. Nearly half of them who implement the open source private cloud platform fail to achieve their goals. To overcome these challenges, enterprises these days are opting for proprietary cloud platforms from industry giants such as Microsoft and VMware. OpenStack cloud solution providers are putting great efforts to improve their private cloud products and public cloud services.

For the years to come, the OpenStack Foundation will fill out product areas, by increasing the production, deploying higher level automation tools and hiring technically skilled employee. But looking at the amount of projects, it looks like the foundation is more focused towards innovation.

OpenStack is on the verge of becoming the de facto open source option for implementing private clouds, a landscape that is significant now and should remain important in the near future.