Whether you are stepping into cloud hosting for the first time or have been using it for quite some time, you have likely heard some of the hype about OpenStack. It may seem like a no-brainer. It is free, open source and supported by a large community of developers and corporations. It is what some might call the “Linux” of the cloud. But is OpenStack ready for mission critical cloud hosting at this juncture? A lot of that depends on your mission.
To understand how OpenStack may or may not be able to help you, it is important to understand what it is and how to use it. Because the word “cloud” is attached to it, people tend to think OpenStack is a drop-in cloud platform, similar to some of the platforms you might get from cloud service providers. In reality, it is much more robust and flexible than that. With it you can essentially create your own cloud platform however you want, and if you are up for the task, those results can be very rewarding.
If you are not up for the task, you might find it difficult, just as you would find it difficult to install a community Linux distribution and attempt to get it enterprise ready, rather than purchasing the license for a supported enterprise distribution out of the gate. Those familiar with developing a private cloud will thrive with OpenStack, while those who are not might flounder.
The good news is that you can still benefit from OpenStack even if you are not building your own private cloud. Many cloud service providers now offer public, private and hybrid cloud solutions using OpenStack technology. If you want the power and flexibility but still need help harnessing it, these cloud hosts may be what you need. Is OpenStack ready for mission critical cloud? Yes. Are you ready for it? Only you can answer that.