Components of OpenStack

Components of OpenStack

OpenStack has many components such as Neutron, Glance, Swift, Ironic, Horizon, Ceilometer, Manila, Heat, Keystone, Searchlight, Sahara, Zaqar, Barbican, Nova, Cinder, Mistral, Designate, Trove, and so on. Day by day, more components are being added to it.

This blog post talks about only some of the components as explaining all of them is beyond the scope of this post. I will explain what tasks each component performs, and will give you a little bit of additional information about each of the components.


  • What it is and what it does: Nova is one of the most important components of OpenStack. Its main task is to compute. It performs various computing tasks in OpenStack.
  • More information: Python and some of its external libraries have been used to implement Nova. The external libraries that have been used are Eventlet, SQLAIchemy, and AMQP. These libraries have been used for respectively concurrent programming, database access, and for communication.


  • What it is and what it does: Swift is an OpenStack component that provides you with a storage system. Swift is an object storage that is scalable and redundant.
  • More information: As Swift is better than the product called Cloud Files, it is used as a replacement for Cloud Files.


  • What it is and what it does: Horizon, a web app, is the dashboard of OpenStack. It provides you with a graphical interface. The administrators can access and manage various aspects of OpenStack.
  • More information: Horizon is the easiest way to access OpenStack.


  • What it is and what it does: Web developers use Zaqar, a cloud messaging component of OpenStack. Zaqar uses the RESTful API to perform necessary tasks.
  • More information: You can connect other components with Zaqar to achieve better functionalities and to perform your necessary tasks.


  • What it is and what it does: Manila is the shared file system of OpenStack. Using this component, you can manage shares through an API.
  • More information: This component support many storage appliances such as IBM, Oracle, HP, Hitachi, NetApp, etc.


  • What it is and what it does: Searchlight is a very useful OpenStack component that lets you perform advanced search operations on the OpenStack platform.
  • More information: You can use Searchlight from the OpenStack dashboard. This can also be accessed from command-line.


  • What it is and what it does: Neutron makes the networking process easier. Neutron connects the OpenStack components and enables them to communicate with each other.
  • More information: Neutron allows you to manage various network services through an extension framework. It assists you in managing these services: VPN, load balancing, firewalls, IDS, etc.


  • What it is and what it does: Keystone is an identity service. It provides you with a list of users who have access to the OpenStack cloud. This component gives you an excellent authentication facility. It gives different kinds of login options. The authentication facilities that you will get are normal login where users type username and password, login option used in AWS, and token based login feature.
  • More information: LDAP, which is a backend directory service, can be integrated with this component.

This blog post
talked about the components of OpenStack. It gave you a brief idea about what
roles they play in the OpenStack platform. The components have made OpenStack
the best choice for enterprise owners by giving them lots of useful cloud
functionalities. As OpenStack is open-source, you always have the option to add
new components so that you can get what your business requires.

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