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Five Ways to Get Your Hands on OpenStack

OpenStack is commonly seen as part of operating systems, usually based on Linux

OpenStack, the cloud computing project that works as an “Infrastructure as a service (IaaS),” has been one of the fastest growing open-source software projects in recent years. Originally part of a NASA project which became available for the public in 2010, Open Stack is managed by the non-profit OpenStack Foundation. With a highly modular architecture, OpenStack consists of a series of projects which are interrelated, handling different aspects like storage, networking and processing; all of which can be controlled by administrators through a dashboard. Such a system gives users a fair bit of autonomy in provisioning resourcing through web interfaces.

Though it is a stand-alone and portable software, OpenStack is commonly seen as part of operating systems, usually based on Linux. But there are multiple ways to get one's hands on the software, some of which do not even involve any installing procedures.

Source Code: these are obviously aimed more at the developers and those who want get a more “hands-on” approach on to the project. Source codes for all the different OpenStack modules/projects (codenamed Nova, Swift, Glance, Cinder, etc.) pertaining to the latest version 2013.1 Grizzly, is available online both in md5 as well as sig formats.

Linux Distributions: most of the major Linux distributions today include OpenStack in their software repositories. Debian GNU/Wheezy, Fedora/RHEL/CentOS, OpenSUSE/SLES 11 SP2 and Ubuntu 12.04 all can get OpenStack installed via their software repositories. The entire core of OpenStack Essex components are available on these Debian/Linux distributions.

DevOps Installers: this is a more interesting concept that foregoes a regular install in favor of a deployment of OpenStack using automated installers. There are several options available online. Puppet Labs has a set of OpenStack puppet modules on their site for this purpose. A juju charm from Canonical is another interesting option.

Developer Installers: for developers looking for a tailor-made install option of OpenStack to suit their special requirements, dedicated installation options are available. These installers create a core development environment (CDE) of OpenStack on your system. Devstack is the official release for developers from OpenStack. There is another option also available, ANVIL, which is basically a version of Devstack written in Python.

As a Service: rather than downloading and installing OpenStack, one can also go to online cloud services that use OpenStack to see the project in action. TryStack is one of the easiest ways to get up close with OpenStack as a service. Other options include RackSPace Cloud and HPCloud.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.