Essential Guide

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An OpenStack management guide for the enterprise

As OpenStack continues to mature and expand, it confronts admins with a new set of management challenges. Use this essential guide to streamline OpenStack deployment and keep the platform running smoothly.


Unlike AWS, Azure and Google, OpenStack is an open source cloud computing platform. This offers an enterprise more flexibility in terms of cloud infrastructure deployment and can help alleviate vendor lock-in concerns.

This flexibility, however, often comes at the cost of complex OpenStack management challenges. In addition to being more of a DIY cloud platform for enterprises, OpenStack constantly evolves. While this means new functionality around containers, security and more, it also introduces more moving parts for cloud admins to manage.

Fortunately, there are a number of native OpenStack management services, third-party tools and best practices that can help simplify the deployment and ongoing operation of the platform. Use this comprehensive guide to navigate the ins and outs of the OpenStack platform and overcome the toughest management hurdles.

1Manage OpenStack resources-

OpenStack management tools and best practices

OpenStack management is no easy task, and with over 30 unique services available on the platform, it can seem overwhelming. Admins should become familiar with native OpenStack tools for monitoring, orchestration and resource provisioning. One must-use component on the platform is Horizon -- a dashboard through which IT teams can manage and monitor OpenStack cloud services. Enterprises can also add third-party tools into the mix to support any unique needs, such as those related to troubleshooting. And regardless of what components an enterprise chooses to deploy, an effective OpenStack management strategy always requires automation.


Ease OpenStack deployment, management with Ansible playbooks

OpenStack installation can be a complex and time-consuming process. Learn how Red Hat Ansible playbooks use automation to lift deployment and management burdens off IT's shoulders. Continue Reading


Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director simplifies OpenStack operations

Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director assists teams from the OpenStack planning stage through production. Explore how the tool can keep your OpenStack environment running smoothly. Continue Reading


Four ways to manage OpenStack instances

Admins have four options to stop and restart a Nova compute instance in OpenStack: pause, suspend, shelve or stop. An incorrect action, however, could waste resources or even make the instance unrestorable. Continue Reading


Customize OpenStack Horizon to suit your management needs

OpenStack management is easier when admins can view information about their cloud resources that's most meaningful to them. Learn how to customize aspects of the OpenStack Horizon dashboard, such as themes, navigation and alerts. Continue Reading


Orchestrate OpenStack resources with flexible Heat templates

As an open source platform, OpenStack constantly changes, which means static template files are a poor fit. Discover how to gain more flexibility with Heat environment files. Continue Reading


Boost scalability with these OpenStack services

Users have struggled with issues around OpenStack scalability, but the Ocata release of the platform offered some relief. Review how key updates, such as the Cells module, can help scale your deployment. Continue Reading


OpenStack simplifies autoscaling with Senlin and Heat

OpenStack Senlin is a clustering service that, when used with Heat templates, optimizes autoscaling tasks. Follow these sample configurations to get started. Continue Reading


Evolve your OpenStack environment for multi-cloud deployment

Hybrid and multi-cloud continue to rise in popularity, including within the OpenStack community. But before you move toward one of those models, prepare for these possible data management and portability challenges. Continue Reading


OpenStack native and third-party tools aid troubleshooting

OpenStack provides two tools, Ceilometer and Monasca, to help admins debug and monitor deployments, but they are still in their early days. Evaluate these third-party tools to fill in the gaps. Continue Reading

2OpenStack and containers-

Container management on OpenStack

As enterprises seek greater workload portability across hybrid and multi-cloud models, containers are often the answer. With the popularity of Docker and Kubernetes, the OpenStack community has evolved the platform to support these services, alongside some native container tools. Through Magnum, for example, users have access to popular container orchestration engines, including Kubernetes. Additional tools, such as Kolla and Kuryr, enable enterprises to deploy production-ready containers and connect them to other containers and VM instances. However, some of these container services still have some growing up to do.


OpenStack Kolla and Kuryr expand container support

As enterprise interest in containers grows, the OpenStack community continues to add and expand more services, such as Kolla and Kuryr, to support them. Continue Reading


OpenShift on OpenStack can combat container management challenges

For many IT teams, the introduction of containers into an existing virtualized environment brings a new set of management challenges. The OpenShift platform, according to Red Hat, is one way to address these issues on OpenStack. Continue Reading


Use container orchestration engines through OpenStack Magnum

Container orchestration tools help enterprises monitor and manage clusters of containers. OpenStack Magnum supports three of the most popular container orchestration engines, including Kubernetes. Continue Reading


Access production-ready container images with OpenStack Kolla

OpenStack Kolla and other subprojects associated with it work to create a more consistent container deployment process for admins, but they still need more work. Continue Reading

3OpenStack security-

Manage OpenStack security and testing

There are potential risks with any cloud platform, but OpenStack security challenges are especially unique, given the technology's open source nature. What's more, some of the platform's security components are still relatively immature -- though admins should expect new functionality in the future. Either way, with proper testing strategies and a large community to turn to, enterprises can protect their OpenStack cloud from threats and downtime.


Build a winning OpenStack security strategy

Security is a top concern when an enterprise moves to any cloud platform, and OpenStack is no exception. Follow these best practices around authentication certificates, operational policies and more to keep your deployment secure. Continue Reading


Perform OpenStack updates with minimal risk and downtime

Regular OpenStack updates are critical to ensure operations stay stable and bug-free. Explore automation tools and these tips to minimize downtime and risks during the update process. Continue Reading


How to alter default OpenStack security group rules

Standard rules within default OpenStack security groups don't always align with how an enterprise wants to manage access to instances. Follow these steps to customize and add your own rules. Continue Reading


Test your OpenStack platform with Tempest

Given OpenStack's ever-evolving nature, enterprises need to perform tests to ensure their deployments work as expected. The Tempest tool and its three testing models -- API, Scenario and Unit -- can help. Continue Reading

4Test your OpenStack knowledge-

How much do you know about OpenStack?

OpenStack has many components, such as Nova, Heat and Glance, that cover a range of services -- but do you know what each of them does? Put your knowledge to the test.

Take this quiz

5OpenStack terminology-

Review these OpenStack definitions

The first step toward successful OpenStack management and deployment is to know these key terms and tools.

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