Defining the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
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2h 2m

This course covers the Red Hat OpenStack Platform, a flexible infrastructure project that allows you to virtualize your cloud resources and use them when you need them. The course kicks off with an introduction to the basics of cloud computing, before defining the Red Hat OpenStack Platform and explaining how it can be used in conjunction with compute, storage and network functions. The course also explains the ways in which OpenStack is highly available and finally, it talks about deployment of the platform. Demonstrations and use cases throughout the course allow you to see how the Red Hat OpenStack Platform can be used in real-world situations.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the basics of cloud
  • Understand what Red Hat OpenStack Platform is
  • Learn how Red Hat OpenStack works with compute, storage and network resources.
  • Learn how to deploy the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform

Intended Audience

  • IT leaders, administrators, engineers, and architects
  • Individuals wanting to understand the features and capabilities of Red Hat OpenStack Platform


There are no prerequisites for this course.


Now, in this video, we're going to take a look at defining Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, and more importantly, take a look at a few of the benefits of cloud computing. Traditional virtualization has limited scalability. While provisioning software can be used to integrate more computing resources, there is a loose link between such technology and the underlying virtualization infrastructure. It requires more planning and more time to meet the demand. On the other hand, cloud computing is an abstraction of the underlying infrastructure. It's designed to use the same approach independently of the underlying computer resource. Administrators are able to focus less on available hardware and more on sizing and application requirements.

While virtualization infrastructures can be considered stateful, cloud infrastructures are stateless. The application can run anywhere, and data is virtually made available from any computing node. If computing capacity needs to be increased or decreased, there is not any downtime as the data is transitioned or made available on the next available cloud resource. Cloud computing also allows the abstraction of a lot of services: DNS infrastructures, firewalls, databases. In the end, every consumable resource benefits from the same deployment and strategy approaches.

It gives administrators and application developers the ability to work with a coherent infrastructure. APIs, of course, are the cornerstone of cloud computing. This is what gives developers the ability to write their own infrastructure. For example, you could take firewall rules, creating them the same way that a new web server is created. By being infrastructure agnostic, cloud computing is a flexible framework to create and deliver high-performance applications.

So, Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is really suited for companies who want to propose an on-demand fast provisioning infrastructure, companies who are requiring an environment able to scale the resource for applications, and companies who need multi-tenancy and isolation across customers and projects.

So, what is OpenStack? OpenStack was founded in 2010 by Rackspace and NASA. It's now managed by the OpenStack Foundation established in 2012. In fact, as we look at this diagram, you see those three cornerstones of infrastructure: compute, networking and storage, all working across some OpenStack shared services on standard hardware. And it's through those APIs that your applications can be modifying or creating those resources, and, of course, we still have a dashboard to work from. 

When did Red Hat get involved? Well, here's a quote from an announcement that was made back in 2012. It says, "Today, Red Hat is announcing the availability of a preview release of Red Hat OpenStack." The reality is when this announcement came out, we had already been working with OpenStack for over a year. We actually had quickly become one of the top contributors to the open source project and that just continued to expand over those years, and we were a founding member of that OpenStack Foundation.

A few years later, we introduced Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. And what do we do here? Well, we took a number of those OpenStack services, put them together to create this modular architecture. Administrators are able to deploy only the services that they need, and reuse existing pieces of infrastructure with this OpenStack environment.

Well, let's go through some of the terms, some of the names of these services. We start with at the top here Horizon. This is our dashboard. It's a web interface for managing those OpenStack services. Of course, one of the key shared services is off to the right there, Keystone. This is a centralized identity service that provides authentication and authorization for all of the other services so they know they're allowed to do things with each other. So, it's not just about authentication of you and I as the administrators or the cloud consumers. It's also for the services to be allowed to talk to each other.

Let's jump into the middle there, Neutron, the key element for managing networking. Neutron is a service that handles the creation and management of the virtual networking infrastructure in the OpenStack cloud. We will take a closer look at Neutron in a later video.

For storage, we have three elements. There is Cinder, which is providing us with block storage or a volume. This is a service that's going to manage storage volumes that we are providing to those virtual machines or instances. Another storage-oriented service is Glance. This is the service that acts as the registry for those virtual machine images. This is what allows users to be able to copy those server images for immediate storage and execution. The last of our storage elements pictured here is Swift. It performs object storage. This allows users to store and retrieve files.

Now, this might seem a little much, what's the separation between these three? Well, Glance is focused on images, Swift is focused on objects or files, and Cinder is focused on blocks or discs.

We also have Nova. Nova is our compute service. This is a service that's going to manage, in fact, all of the virtual machines running on those nodes, and request access to those other pieces that we need, like networking resources or storage resources.

For some of our monitoring, we have Ceilometer. Ceilometer can do both monitoring and telemetry. It is collecting the information from the other services, and can ultimately be used for that chargeback mechanism.

We also have Heat. Heat is orchestration. This is what will allow us to manage and create, for example, multiple composite cloud applications, and that is a template format that we just saw in the demo.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is not part of our product portfolio in isolation. It is part of a broader offering that is providing you with not only Infrastructure-as-a-Service, but also the necessary management components. So, Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure is a single subscription offering that consists of several integrated Red Hat technologies.

At the top of our picture here, we have Red Hat CloudForms. CloudForms provides cloud management and orchestration across multiple hypervisors, public cloud providers and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

I mean, as we jump to the bottom of this diagram, there you see Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform providing us with the massively scalable fault-tolerant platform for the development of a managed private or public cloud or for cloud enabled workloads. It's based upon OpenStack technology that's been optimized for, and integrated with, Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

But let's say you had some of those traditional workloads. Also pictured here is Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization. This provides us with data center virtualization hypervisor and management for traditional workloads, and CloudForms can be used to manage both environments. It can also be used to manage some of your existing virtualization technologies or some of the public cloud offerings you may decide to connect to.

Red Hat Satellite, sitting here in the middle, provides us with those elements of lifecycle management across all of the Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure.

Of course, underlying all of these things is Red Hat Enterprise Linux itself. It forms the basis for both RHEL-OSP and RHEV at the hosted operating system layer. In addition, a customer can opt to purchase Red Hat Cloud Infrastructure with Red Hat Enterprise Linux unlimited guests.

See, today's data center demands are rapidly evolving as new technology standards are being adopted, such as the cloud-enabled workloads that are significantly different from traditional workloads. To maintain a competitive edge, organizations must adopt these technologies while cost-effectively using your existing investments. You need to prevent vendor lock-in and enable innovation. We can achieve that with the open, hybrid cloud approach. It lets you keep the old, and have the new without compromise.

One path to giving you that choice in full control is, of course, through OpenStack. Recently, our CEO published an article, and in it he identified that financial executives need to know several things about this new road to the cloud. He felt that you should know that standardization is at its foundation. I mean, the promise of the cloud has greatly eliminated the days when large technology providers tried to one-up each other with giant closed systems, but that promise is dependent on standardization.

It must also offer less costs with more innovation. Most IT departments are focused on keeping the lights on, not necessarily providing innovative solutions. The flexibility and low cost of OpenStack has helped to alleviate this by freeing up IT to focus on new applications, solutions and service delivery rather than inflexible, underlying infrastructures.

It also needs industry-wide support. OpenStack has received widespread support from some of the most important players in the technology industry, all of which have come together to help companies break away from being locked into a particular cloud vendor. While some of these players offer their own flavor of OpenStack, hey still commit to the ideals of an open, standardized cloud.

Its success calls for change. In the same way the corporate logistics departments were radically changed by the interstate highway system, cloud computing will require significant changes to IT processes and culture. The whole scale out versus scale up requires a change in your application development. OpenStack is dispensing with the historic approach to IT, which often involves people working in separate silos, in favor of a world of possibilities centered on a homogeneous inclusive infrastructure.

It's also continually emerging. The original design of the interstate system took 35 years to complete. Even then it wasn't done. It continues to grow and evolve. Similarly, OpenStack is evolving, is an evolving technology and companies need to be prepared for updates and maintenance. So far we've gotten at least two new releases every year. That keeps OpenStack fresh and evolving, but it also keeps you and I on our toes. 

So, in this video, we took a look at Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. We revisited some of the benefits of an Infrastructure as a Service implementation, and we took a look at some of the core services of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. We'll now go in and look to dive in a little bit further on each of those elements.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Jeremy is a Content Lead Architect and DevOps SME here at Cloud Academy where he specializes in developing DevOps technical training documentation.

He has a strong background in software engineering, and has been coding with various languages, frameworks, and systems for the past 25+ years. In recent times, Jeremy has been focused on DevOps, Cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP), Security, Kubernetes, and Machine Learning.

Jeremy holds professional certifications for AWS, Azure, GCP, Terraform, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS).

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