In one of our recent blogs, we described the main components of OpenStack for you. The blogs provides an overview of the main OpenStack components and describes them briefly. However, in this blog we will dive a little deeper into the various components of OpenStack and their features. If you are interested in reading our previous blog with the OpenStack components overview, you can find it through the following link: https://fairbanks.nl/recap-of-openstack-services/
OpenStack components overview
Some components of OpenStack are needed for the basic functioning of OpenStack, while others can be added depending on use cases.
The following OpenStack components are required for the basic functioning of OpenStack:
Additionally, when it comes to the main OpenStack components you can choose to add:
Aside from these main OpenStack components, OpenStack has many more components that can be used, including OpenStack Adjutant, Aodh, Barbican, Blazar, Ceilometer, Cloudkitty, Cyborg, Designate, Ec2-api, Freezer, Glance, Ironic, Manila, Masakari, Mistral, Monasca-api, Monasca-events-api, Murano, Neutron, Octavia, Placement, Sahara, Senlin, Solum, Storlets, Tacker, Vitrage, Watcher, Zaqar, Zun.
However, in this blog we will discuss the main components Nova, Cinder and Neutron. In a follow-up blog, we will discuss the remaining main components of OpenStack. Which are Keystone, Glance, Swift, Horizon, Heat, Trove and Magnum. So, keep an eye out on our LinkedIn or website to read the follow-up blog on the main OpenStack components.
OpenStack component Nova
OpenStack Nova is the compute component of the OpenStack cloud computing platform. It provides the ability to provision and manage virtual machines (VMs) running on OpenStack. Nova enables users to create, launch, and manage VMs in a distributed environment, with features such as instance types, scheduling policies, and live migration.
The main features of Nova include:
- Instance provisioning: Nova allows users to provision virtual machines on demand, with the ability to choose from different types of instances based on their performance, memory, and CPU requirements.
- Hypervisor support: Nova supports multiple hypervisors, including KVM, VMware, Hyper-V, and Xen. This allows users to choose the best hypervisor for their workload and infrastructure.
- Networking integration: Nova integrates with the OpenStack Neutron networking component, allowing users to create virtual networks and attach them to their virtual machines.
- High availability: Nova provides high availability through its ability to automatically recover from node failures and restart virtual machines on healthy nodes.
- Live migration: Nova supports live migration, allowing users to move virtual machines between hosts without interrupting their operation. This enables users to perform maintenance, upgrade, or load balancing operations without downtime.
- API: Nova provides a RESTful API that allows users to manage virtual machines and instances programmatically. The API is compatible with the OpenStack Identity service (Keystone) for authentication and authorization.
- Scheduling: Nova provides scheduling policies that allow users to control how virtual machines are distributed across the available nodes. Scheduling policies can be based on different criteria, such as CPU utilization, memory usage, or affinity rules.
- Security: Nova provides security features such as secure boot, encryption, and integration with the OpenStack Identity service for authentication and authorization.
In addition to the main features of OpenStack Nova that I mentioned above, here are some more details about how Nova works and some of its advanced capabilities:
- Instance types: Nova provides the ability to create different instance types based on the performance, memory, and CPU requirements of the workload. Instance types can be customized and configured with different flavors, such as tiny, small, medium, and large, providing flexibility and granularity for resource allocation.
- Images and snapshots: Nova provides the ability to create and manage images and snapshots of virtual machines. Users can create templates of virtual machines that can be used to provision new instances, and take snapshots of running instances to preserve their state.
- Compute nodes: Nova allows users to create and manage compute nodes that provide the processing power for virtual machines. Compute nodes can be scaled up or down based on demand, and can be deployed in a distributed architecture to provide high availability and fault tolerance.
- Availability zones: Nova provides the ability to create and manage availability zones, which are logical groupings of compute nodes that are geographically distributed or segregated based on user requirements. Availability zones provide redundancy and high availability for virtual machines running on OpenStack.
Nova is a powerful and flexible compute component of OpenStack. Its support for multiple hypervisor drivers, integration with the Neutron networking component (which we will discuss in the next part of this blog), live migration, high availability, and API make it a critical component for building scalable and flexible cloud infrastructures.
OpenStack component Neutron
OpenStack Neutron is the networking component of the OpenStack platform. It provides a software-defined networking (SDN) platform that enables users to create and manage virtual networks, subnets, routers, and other network resources. Neutron allows users to define and manage network topologies, configure network services such as firewalls and load balancers, and allocate IP addresses to virtual machines.
The main features of Neutron include:
- Virtual networking: Neutron provides a virtual networking platform that allows users to create and manage virtual networks, subnets, and routers. Users can also define network security policies and configure network services such as firewalls and load balancers.
- SDN integration: Neutron integrates with SDN controllers to provide a programmable network infrastructure. This enables users to automate network provisioning and configure network services dynamically based on application needs.
- Multi-tenancy: Neutron supports multi-tenancy, allowing users to create and manage isolated network environments for different projects and users.
- Plugin architecture: Neutron uses a plugin architecture that allows users to use different network backends, such as Open vSwitch, Cisco Nexus, and VMware NSX.
- API: Neutron provides a RESTful API that enables users to manage network resources programmatically. The API is compatible with the OpenStack Identity service (Keystone) for authentication and authorization.
- Network function virtualization (NFV): Neutron supports NFV, which allows users to deploy virtual network functions such as firewalls, load balancers, and intrusion detection systems.
In addition to the main features of OpenStack Neutron that I mentioned above, here are some more details about how Cinder works and some of its advanced capabilities:
- Network overlays: Neutron supports network overlays such as Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN), Geneve, and Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) that allow users to create virtual networks across physical network segments. These overlays enable users to create logical networks that span multiple data centers, providing a more flexible and scalable network architecture.
- Network segmentation: Neutron provides network segmentation that allows users to isolate traffic between virtual machines or groups of virtual machines. Network segmentation can be achieved through VLAN tagging, VXLAN, or other network overlay technologies.
- IPv6 support: Neutron supports IPv6, allowing users to create virtual networks and assign IPv6 addresses to virtual machines.
- Load balancing: Neutron provides a load balancing service that enables users to distribute traffic across multiple virtual machines or groups of virtual machines. The load balancing service can be deployed as a virtual appliance or as an SDNF.
- Firewall: Neutron provides a firewall service that allows users to apply security policies to virtual machines or groups of virtual machines. The firewall service can be deployed as a virtual appliance or as an SDNF.
- VPN: Neutron provides a virtual private network (VPN) service that allows users to create secure connections between virtual machines or groups of virtual machines across public networks. The VPN service can be deployed as a virtual appliance or as an SDNF.
- QoS: Neutron supports quality of service (QoS) policies that allow users to specify the bandwidth, latency, or priority of their virtual networks or virtual machines. QoS policies can be applied to individual virtual networks or groups of virtual networks.
- Network monitoring: Neutron provides network monitoring capabilities that allow users to monitor the performance and availability of their virtual networks and virtual machines. Monitoring can be achieved through various tools and protocols, such as SNMP, NetFlow, or sFlow.
Overall, Neutron is a critical component of OpenStack that provides a flexible and scalable networking platform for managing virtualized network resources. It enables users to create and manage virtual networks, configure network services, and allocate IP addresses to virtual machines, making it an essential component of any OpenStack deployment.
OpenStack component Cinder
OpenStack Cinder is the block storage component of the OpenStack cloud computing platform. It provides persistent storage to virtual machines (VMs) by allowing users to manage, attach and detach block storage volumes to their VMs.
The main features of Cinder include:
- Block storage provisioning: Cinder allows users to provision block storage volumes and attach them to VMs. Cinder supports multiple types of storage backends, including local storage like Ceph, network-attached storage (NAS), and storage area networks (SANs).
- Snapshot and backup: Cinder provides snapshot and backup functionality, enabling users to take a point-in-time snapshot of their volumes and create backups for disaster recovery purposes.
- Multi-tenancy: Cinder supports multi-tenancy, allowing users to create and manage isolated storage environments for different projects and users.
- API: Cinder provides a RESTful API that allows users to manage block storage volumes and snapshots programmatically. The API is compatible with the OpenStack Identity service (Keystone) for authentication and authorization.
- Volume types and QoS: Cinder supports volume types and quality of service (QoS) policies, allowing users to create customized storage volume types and specify performance characteristics such as IOPS and throughput.
- Volume migration: Cinder supports volume migration between different storage backends, enabling users to move their volumes between different storage types and providers.
In addition to the main features of OpenStack Cinder that I mentioned above, here are some more details about how Cinder works and some of its advanced capabilities:
- Volume creation: With Cinder, users can create block storage volumes in different sizes and formats, such as raw, qcow2, and vmdk. Users can also set additional properties for their volumes, such as encryption, bootable, and read-only.
- Volume backup: Cinder supports volume backups that can be scheduled or taken manually. The backups can be stored in different backends, such as object storage (Swift), file storage (CephFS), or tape libraries.
- Volume snapshots: Cinder allows users to create snapshots of their volumes at any point in time. Snapshots can be used for data protection, testing, and cloning. Cinder snapshots are point-in-time copies of the volume data, and they do not consume additional storage space until the data changes.
- Quality of service (QoS): Cinder also supports QoS policies that allow users to limit the bandwidth, IOPS, or latency of their volumes. QoS policies can be applied to individual volumes or groups of volumes, depending on the user requirements.
- Volume encryption: Cinder provides encryption support for data at rest, using different encryption mechanisms, such as LUKS, DM-crypt, or Barbican. Cinder encryption can be applied at the volume level, and the encryption keys can be stored in different key management systems, such as Barbican or Vault.
Cinder is a flexible and powerful block storage component of OpenStack that provides users with the ability to create and manage persistent storage for their virtual machines. Cinder’s advanced capabilities, such as volume backups, snapshots, migration, volume types, QoS, and encryption, make it a crucial component for building robust and scalable cloud infrastructures.
There you have it. Our deep dive into the main components of OpenStack part 1. Do you have any questions about this? Feel free to reach out to me through LinkedIn or send a message to my personal e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org . Lastly, keep an eye out to the next part of this blog: Deep dive into the main OpenStack component’s part 2, where we will discuss the remaining main components of OpenStack.