Sunday, December 13, 2015

Book Review for "Learning OpenStack" by Packt Publishing

Book review for "Learning OpenStack" by Packt Publishing

I'm going to jump right to the conclusion for those in a hurry: If you are new to OpenStack and seek a book that lays out very clearly how to get up and running, this book is for you.  It's clear, concise and informative.  The components of OpenStack are briefly, but adequately described.  It's a good book.

If you haven't heard of OpenStack before:  OpenStack is an open-source software platform for cloud-computing, mostly deployed as an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).  It's backed by many major industry players.  This book is aimed at the entry-level OpenStack user.

The contents, roughly:

Chapter 1 describes why an orchestrator is necessary in a good cloud environment.  It compares OpenStack services to AWS equivalents, lists dependencies between components, and outlines a 4 node sample.  It also lists the various components of OpenStack and lists what they do.  As you'll see, these components are then covered in detail in the chapters that immediately rollow.

Chapter 2 covers Keystone, the Authentication and Authorization component.

Chapter 3 - Data storage with Swift, Glance and Cinder

Chapter 4 - Nova cloud fabric controller

Chapter 5 - Networking with Neutron

Chapter 6 - The OpenShift Portal

Chapter 7 - Using Openstack.  This includes adding users, making a project, mapping users to roles, adding a network and adding vms.  It provides an outline of how everything works (which services are called, for which purpose) as OpenStack operates.

Chapter 8 - Building on the cloud with Heat and Ceilometer.  Heat is an orchestration engine, it can be scripted.  Ceilometer is a metering system that collects usage statistics, it can be used for billing.

Chapter 9 - Titled "Looking ahead", it compares OpenStack offerings from different vendors, lists pros and cons of each.

There is an appendix, it compares different release versions of OpenStack.  Installation and Configuration tips for different versions.

The book is adequately illustrated.  Diagrams are simple and convey good information about the major components of OpenStack.

The book provides very plain step-by-step instructions on how to install and configure OpenStack, without being too dry. 

All things considered, I'd call this book a very good resource for those learning to use OpenStack.

The book can be found here.

Happy Cloud computing!