Companies looking for both the ease of cloud computing and the versatility of Linux will be glad to know there are options available. OpenStack is the open source cloud initiative that has tongues wagging in the world of technology. It’s evolving as a cloud service model that’s distinctive and reminiscent of Linux.
What is Linux?
Linux was one student’s dream for a computer operating system to fill in all the holes found in the reigning champions, DOS and Unix. Operating systems run on a kernel, a nucleus that ties all the applications together with the processing hardware. In 1991, Linus Torvalds started building a kernel that would serve as the core component for Linux.
Torvalds posted about his hobby project in MINIX, an open source community. This brought other hobbyists onboard to add code to the system. Eventually, the project took on a life of its own and become Linux, a free and open source software package.
Benefits of the Linux System
The primary benefit Linux offers over operating systems like Windows is flexibility. By definition, the Linux platform is Unix-like. This means it has all the same bells and whistles as Unix, plus the stable environment allows for multiple users and applications.
Linux is fast, portable and provides rich computing power that will work with a variety of products without all the restrictions that come with other operating systems. It houses an advanced graphical interface with a windows manager to make it user-friendly.
One of the key advantages of Linux is the open source environment. With the Linux system, users have access to thousands of applications, applets, tools and programs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all system. The flexibility allows users to customize Linux operating systems to fit their needs.
What is OpenStack?
The OpenStack project began in 2010 when cloud hosting company Rackspace collaborated with NASA. The goal was to provide an environment where any organization could build and offer cloud computing services utilizing standard hardware. Simply put, to provide a platform that any company could us for cloud computing without stringent hardware restrictions. They wanted to build something more versatile than other environments.
OpenStack is a fluid project that is growing by leaps and bounds, just like Linux did in the beginning. Large corporations such as AT&T, Dell, Amazon, Hewlet Packard and IBM are becoming players in the OpenStack game.
Linux is a system that offers expansion and flexibility. These two elements are also the most prevalent features of OpenStack. Closed cloud platforms will also evolve over time, but not with the fluidity of an open source environment. Open source allows different players the opportunity to build and customize.
As more corporations come aboard the OpenStack train, the system will improve. This cloud computing service model is taking on a life of its own just like another open source project did once upon a time. The future of cloud services may be in the system proving to be the next Linux. With a vibrant community and an open standard gaining traction, OpenStack has a good chance of being the basis for many cloud projects and providers in the coming years.