The public cloud hosting market is large and growing, with 50,000 companies worldwide competing for customers. With 80 percent of the market occupied by small and medium providers, it’s clear that businesses today need to stand out and provide innovative service to their clients.
OpenStack, a massive open-source software platform for cloud computing, has already been called “the next Linux” and “the dominant platform for private cloud.” Originally launched in 2010 as a collaboration between NASA and cloud computing company Rackspace, OpenStack now includes thousands of users and more than 500 businesses as part of the project. If your company isn’t already using OpenStack, here are 20 good reasons to join the party.
- OpenStack is growing: The software is being adopted by more and more large enterprises, and many vendors are offering OpenStack tools and solutions. In 2015, the OpenStack market was worth an estimated $1.25 billion, and the value is projected to grow to $5.38 billion in 2020.
- A thriving community: OpenStack is one of the largest open-source projects in the world. This means that some of the potential drawbacks to open-source software, like poor maintenance and documentation, aren’t relevant for OpenStack.
- Widespread adoption: OpenStack is currently used by 11 companies in the Fortune 100 and five in the Fortune 50. Companies like Intel, AMD, Cisco, AT&T and Time Warner Cable have all become involved with the OpenStack community.
- Open API: As an open-source project, OpenStack naturally has an open API for developers to use. This makes it easier for you to create innovative applications that build on the OpenStack code.
- Stability and maturity: Since its introduction in 2010, the OpenStack code has dramatically changed to be more stable and secure. Recent updates usually focus on bug fixes and usability instead of pushing out major new releases.
- Modular design: OpenStack contains a stable core and several complementary projects that are all designed in the open with published specifications. OpenStack allows for specific customization and access to other open-source technologies like Docker and Kubernetes, instead of building duplicate functionalities.
- More plugins and tools: Instead of being a singular organization, OpenStack is managed like a consortium with support from vendors like Dell, HP, IBM, Red Hat and Rackspace. This means that the OpenStack community has more to offer when it comes to plugins, tools and the chance for one vendor to patch the deficiencies of another.
- Avoid vendor lock-in: Cloud computing is a constantly evolving domain, and new and interesting features are coming out all the time. By adopting an open-source approach, your company is able to focus less about the whims and vagaries of any specific vendor.
- Many deployment options: OpenStack’s open-source nature makes it a transparent and versatile piece of software with many options to deploy it. Including prepackaged Linux distributions with optional commercial support available, but also more advanced devops tools: Ansible, Chef or SaltStack.
- Less costly: OpenStack gives you the chance to lower your operating costs by paying less for software licenses. OpenStack itself is free and even though you may pay for some integration tools and services there are reports of to 90% cost reduction when compared to legacy solutions.
- It scales: OpenStack is scaleable, letting you more easily expand your operations as your company grows. Organizations like Walmart and CERN both run OpenStack on more than 100,000 cores.
- Good security: The OpenStack Security project contains members from more than 30 companies working to make the platform more secure. As an open-source project, OpenStack also allows anyone to track the current security flaws through a simple interface based on the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures dictionary.
- Network management: The OpenStack networking system, also known as Neutron, is a software-defined networking (SDN) project that provides users with networking-as-a-service in virtual environments. Neutron is designed to relieve network stress while giving organizations control over security and compliance policies and the deployment of services like firewalls and VPNs.
- AWS compatibility: Because OpenStack is compatible with Amazon Web Services, you can port your infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) client applications from AWS to your IaaS infrastructure based on OpenStack.
- Hybrid environments: Your customers can easily transition their computing and storage needs from their private cloud to your OpenStack public cloud. Businesses can enjoy the best of both on-premises and cloud-based architectures, including reduced costs and improved data security.
- Orchestration and scaling: OpenStack Heat, part of OpenStack’s IaaS platform, is an orchestration service that lets you use technologies like containers, making it easy to move workloads between OpenStack, VMware and public clouds like Amazon EC2 and Google AppEngine. Heat also tackles the complex problem of horizontal scaling, making it easier for you to run your applications on multiple servers.
- Reusable templates: When you work with OpenStack Heat, you can define your own orchestration templates to be reused later on. Heat reads and interprets these templates as instructions to set up and configure web servers and database servers automatically, saving you the pain of having to configure a virtual server yourself.
- Powerful dashboard: The OpenStack dashboard, known as Horizon, provides you with a clear, easy-to-use interface from which you can manage storage, monitor resource usage and user activity and view active virtual machines. It also accommodates third-party tools like the Fleio control panel for billing and management.
- Saving time: Because OpenStack is a complete platform for cloud operations and management, it already includes capabilities for computing, networking and storage. This frees you up from having to integrate these various elements, and lets you focus on building applications.
- Wide range of cloud services: OpenStack includes more than a dozen software projects allowing a web hoster to offer innovative solutions to his customers. From cloud computing virtual machines and storage management software to bare metal servers provisioning, message queue, containers automation, database-as-a-service, elastic map reduce and higher level cloud resources orchestration application.
Your customers want more than the classic shared hosting or VPS account. And with OpenStack, the most significant open source cloud computing initiative, you can now jump on the train and start offering public cloud services.
The “20 Reasons Why Web Hosting Companies Should Embrace OpenStack” article first appeared on the Fleio Blog.