Introduction to Cloud Computing Benefits
The following article provides an outline for Cloud Computing Benefits. Cloud is essentially a set of resources and services offered through the internet. It can range from a varied source of services, such as office applications, desktop machines, or just a web service. Today Cloud has penetrated almost everything that is associated with the internet. We use many cloud services every day. Filled with our smartphones are apps, which all synchronize remotely with a cloud. On our desktop, we use services such as Picasa, which manages its interface remotely.
Cloud Computing Concept
The cloud computing basics At the back end of the Cloud, are lines of server racks, each of them having lots of data storage and processing power. These high server machines have a lot of processing power in it.
It is these processing machines, a warehouse of which has been set up remotely, that power the hardware behind the cloud. Using a technology called Virtualization, these machines power-up and provides their computing resources to anything that is required.
From remote hosting several virtual machines or VMs, which provide entire infrastructure to anyone required, to providing a framework for software development, Virtualization takes a lot of responsibility in orchestrating and providing the technology behind Cloud.
Here are cloud computing basics on Open-stack So where does OpenStack come into the picture? OpenStack is essentially a piece of open-source software, to manage this entire cloud ecosystem. By cloud ecosystem, we mean the entire hardware, the virtualized instances running on that hardware, and other such latest cloud technologies that run on the backend of those smartphones and desktops.
It provides an essential management layer to run the cloud atmosphere. Let us take some more examples of cloud computing basics, shall we? Let us assume you are using a web service app, and are using it to develop a framework for running software.
For that to happen, you need to rent out a virtual machine in order to test your framework. Therefore, you buy a cloud virtual machine from a cloud vendor like Amazon and use the billing system of pay as you use.
Now how does the vendor would ensure that fair billing will happen? You are paying to use their hardware. So how do you ensure that the proper statistics of your users are calculated? To fill that gap, the management layer comes in between. Open-stack is the open-source management software for that.
The cloud computing benefits OpenStack is a cloud operating system software, which happens to be open source. Therefore, the development of the entire software is heavily dependent on the vibrant and active community.
The community releases new features and enhancements to the software every six months and is backed by IT powerhouses such as IBM, Oracle etc.
The main thing is required in cloud computing basics. Their main requirement is that “Cloud must be simple to implement and should be massively scalable”. This means that Open-Stack software focuses more on ease of use and on the flexibility of adapting to the latest technological advancement by absorbing more developed components easily.
The cloud computing benefit is that Although OpenStack covers a deep range of cloud technologies, it is typically deployed by vendors and IT companies alike as infrastructure as a service (IaaS). What this means is that OpenStack technology is mainly in use to monitor the entire IT infrastructure of corporations or private usage.
On their website, you can go and download their entire software. The OpenStack project comes with different flavors; however, their core components remain the same.
Types of Cloud Computing Benefits
The open-stack project provides three main components as part of their project which going to help you to know more about the cloud computing basics and cloud computing benefits:
Compute resources in the project provide the developers an entire set of APIs to enable them to develop different cloud applications. To the general user and data center administrator, it provides a web interface to monitor the running virtual infrastructure.
The entire computing architecture is additionally horizontally scalable, meaning it provides a framework for development according to individualistic or corporate requirements.
2. Object Storage
OpenStack object storage provides necessary features of storage options. It provides a cost-effective solution to store user’s data and deploys alongside other computing platforms or as a standalone storage mechanism. The key feature of object storage projects is distributed access. It provides a set of APIs for developers to use this distributed access feature to enable object storage platform application development.
For end-users, it provides integration with other applications and provisions for backup and retention of data.
3. Compute + Object Storage
The complete OpenStack functionality, it provides both the computing power and the storage platform features of OpenStack. It includes the entire set of core services used by OpenStack as software. It is generally used to independently deploy and monitor infrastructure at the data center level. For developers, it provides the complete set of APIs, and for end-users, it provides a sophisticated software suite that manages every aspect of a virtual machine, including deployment, image management, backups, and billing systems.
OpenStack deploys with these core projects, their own set of core components, and several optional components. Core components are the essential building blocks of the software, without which OpenStack will not function. Core components are shipped with every release of the software, more or less with enhancements and support for optional components. It is only through these core components optional components integrate. Optional components of the OpenStack software suite are set of developed components with the emerging cloud technology evolution.
What this means is that it provides extra features on top of OpenStack, making the entire OpenStack software very flexible in terms of scalability, which was the primary requirement of OpenStack software in the first place. Some of these optional components provide enhanced graphical access such as Horizon (OpenStack Dashboard), while others provide emerging features such as a database on demand (TROVE). However, the heart of OpenStack lies with the core components. Hence this was the point on the cloud computing basics.
Core Components of Open Stack
Given below are the core components of open stack:
Falling under the category of Object storage service, it provides features to access the data objects via a RESTful HTTP-based API mechanism. What this essentially means is that it provides features to access your data using the web interface or browser. A software, which successfully implements some of Swift’s object storage features, is Google Picasa. As in the same manner, you access your images using URLs, Swift allows similar data access using the HTTP-based mechanism called REST.
Through means of object replication, it provides features of distributed data storage. It can be deployed in multitudes of architecture, being highly scalable. It is different from traditional file storage systems in the sense that the data being stored would be in the form of objects. Therefore, the data stored would be converted into bytes and would be distributed among different system architectures with a meta-data file connecting them. In distributing the data in such a way, Swift provides the provision of replicated data storage, making it highly fault-tolerant and providing a secure and highly reliable method of data storage.
Cinder provides a persistent storage medium for running virtual machines. This essentially means that Cinder acts as a regular hard disk, providing actual physical storage space to anyone who requires it. It acts and stores data as a traditional file system, with chunks of sectors created on a physical disk. However, what makes Cinder unique is that it provides the feature of pluggable architecture.
This means that Cinder can be used as an external hard disk. Therefore, data of one device can be stored in the cloud and can be taken out virtually and be attached to any other device. The virtual storage mechanism would ensure that the actual contents of the data remain unharmed. However, unlike Swift, Cinder does not have any data replication feature. Meaning that if the actual physical device is damaged or the partition is lost, there is no way to recover data.
Nova is the component of the computer project. Nova does all the dirty work of facilitating the entire virtual machine provisioning. Meaning, Nova provides the APIs and mechanism to interact with all other underlying and running OpenStack components or services.
Using them, Nova launches the virtual machine to be used as a service. It also assigns the required necessary details behind the virtual machine, such as storage space, IP address for the network, the number of virtual CPUs, the memory required and other such essential parts of a virtual machine.
Essentially, it acts as the computing software, which uses its own set of algorithms to spawn a virtual machine. Besides just spawning the virtual machine, it also does the job of rescheduling, decommissioning and managing the entire inventory of running virtual machines.
If Nova would be the heart of OpenStack software, Neutron would be the brains behind it. It provides the feature of networking as a service, using which, OpenStack assigns and monitors the entire networking aspect of virtual machines. It provides access to the users and APIs to the developers to define describe and create their own networks as per their requirements. The networks created can be highly flexible, with additional components integration in the form of plugins.
These extra attachments allow developers and users to deploy OpenStack and provide their virtual machines any kind of computer network topology required. This includes support for virtual networking technologies of many vendors such as Cisco, NEC etc. So using Neutron and Cisco router plugins, one can create their own Cisco virtual router, and use it with OpenStack to test their software on Cisco routers.
Keystone is the gatekeeper and the essential security mechanism of OpenStack. OpenStack uses RESTful API, which means that every request-response mechanism has to be authenticated by a valid token. Keystone comes in the picture here and provides the necessary token mechanism for request-response exchanges between different components. It provides authorization of different components’ request, using which; other components can base their responses because at a time there are several hundreds of request-response mechanisms going on, between each of the several virtual machines spawned.
Keystone is a very necessary feature of OpenStack and is the only component that is deployed in all of the OpenStack projects. This is because keystone acts as a central access mechanism, where each OpenStack component, be it core or optional, meets. In other words, Keystone acts as an important catalog to monitor all the OpenStack components. The security mechanism feature of Keystone prevents any unauthorized access. It clearly separates the software suite into different levels of user access, with only admin being given the highest permission to access the software in its entirety.
The final core component of OpenStack would be the image provisioning service. Glance provides a comprehensive image management suite. Nova interacts with glance heavily to select the list of available images. These images are nothing but virtualized instances of the virtual machines. The images are used extensively in virtualization technology to spawn a virtual machine.
These virtual machines, which are spawned by Nova, are stored in these images and used when running the virtual machines. These images can include anything, from a customized framework to an entire operating system. Open-stack uses Glance to keep a list of all the available images and provide the user the list of options using Glance.
Summary of Cloud Computing Benefits
Cloud and OpenStack are quickly becoming synonymous terms. This is because OpenStack provides a range of cloud software suites, which enables easier management of several of the cloud technologies.
At the base of OpenStack lies virtualization technology, which provides the provisions to deploy a virtual machine. Typically used as Infrastructure as a service (IaaS).
OpenStack uses this virtualization technology to provide the necessary framework to enable this Cloud feature. Lying in the middleware of the cloud architecture, it is bundled with six core components and several optional components and this is all about the cloud computing basics.
Using cloud computing basics components, OpenStack manages to provide a highly scalable software architecture for easier cloud management. The core components provide the computing power, storage, network, authentication and image management feature, in the form of Nova, Cinder, and Swift, Neutron, Keystone and Glance respectively.so these is the cloud computing benefits.
In addition, with a vibrant and very active Open-stack community, new features and bug fixes are done on an almost daily basis. Open-stack continues to evolve in its current form and seems poised to become the leading cloud management platform in the future. This is all about the cloud computing basics.
This is a guide to Cloud Computing Benefits. Here we discuss the introduction and types of cloud computing benefits. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –
- Cloud Computing Interview Questions
- Cloud Computing vs Virtualization
- Cloud Computing Public vs Private
- Types of Cloud Computing