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OpenStack Compute

Provision and manage large networks of virtual machines


The OpenStack cloud operating system enables enterprises and service providers to offer on-demand computing resources, by provisioning and managing large networks of virtual machines. Compute resources are accessible via APIs for developers building cloud applications and via web interfaces for administrators and users. The compute architecture is designed to scale horizontally on standard hardware, enabling the cloud economics companies have come to expect.

Flexible Architecture

OpenStack is architected to provide flexibility as you design your cloud, with no proprietary hardware or software requirements and the ability to integrate with legacy systems and third party technologies. It is designed to manage and automate pools of compute resources and can work with widely available virtualization technologies, as well as bare metal and high-performance computing (HPC) configurations.

Administrators often deploy OpenStack Compute using one of multiple supported hypervisors in a virtualized environment. KVM and XenServer are popular choices for hypervisor technology and recommended for most use cases. Linux container technology such as LXC is also supported for scenarios where users wish to minimize virtualization overhead and achieve greater efficiency and performance. In addition to different hypervisors, OpenStack supports ARM and alternative hardware architectures.

Popular Use Cases

  • Service providers offering an IaaS compute platform or services higher up the stack
  • IT departments acting as cloud service providers for business units and project teams
  • Processing big data with tools like Hadoop
  • Scaling compute up and down to meet demand for web resources and applications
  • High-performance computing (HPC) environments processing diverse and intensive workloads

Learn more about OpenStack's storage and networking, or take a tour of the dashboard.

Features & Benefits

The features below are available in the current release.

Features & Benefits

The features below are available in the current release.

Feature Benefit

Manage virtualized commodity server resources
CPU, memory, disk, and network interfaces

Racks of commodity servers as pools of computing
Improved utilization and automation of resources for greater cost efficiencies

Manage Local Area Networks (LAN)
Flat, Flat DHCP, VLAN DHCP, IPv6

Programmatically allocate IPs and VLANs 
(for rapid provisioning of network capabilities and security features)
Flexible networking models to suit needs of each application  and/or user group

API with rate limiting and authentication

Designed for automation and security
(to make it easy for you to manage who has access to compute resources and prevent users from impacting each other with excessive API utilization)

Distributed and asynchronous architecture

Massively scalable and highly available system
(for increased assurance of system uptime)

Virtual Machine (VM) image management

Easily store, import, share, and query images
(to make it easy for you to spin up new standardized VMs)

Live VM management
Run, reboot, suspend, resize, terminate instances

Increase productivity with lifecycle management
(from a single user interface and using the APIs)

Floating IP addresses

Ability to assign (and re-assign) IP addresses to VMs

Security Groups

Flexibility to assign and control access to VM instances by creating separation between resource pools 

Role Based Access Control (RBAC)

Ensure security by user, role and project

Projects & Quotas

Ability to allocate, track and limit resource utilization

VNC Proxy through web browser

Quick and easy CLI administration

Store and Manage files programmatically via API

Automates resource management/provisioning

Least privileged access design

Root access separation for management & services

Dashboard with fully integrated support for self-service provisioning

Learn more about the OpenStack Dashboard

VM Image Caching on compute nodes

Faster provisioning of VMs