OpenStack Vocabulary

Published on: November 4, 2016

The following is a list of definitions to common OpenStack terms.

Name Definition
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)  A service that provides infrastructure resources such as virtual machines, networking, storage, etc. This is revolves around the concept of self-service.
OpenStack A suite of software that is designed to provide IaaS via various API endpoints.
Nebula HostDime’s implementation of a public OpenStack cloud.
Keystone (Authentication) The service used for authenticating with OpenStack.
Nova (Compute) The virtualization service used to run virtual machines.
Neutron (Network) The network service for creating and managing private and public networks.
Token  A randomly generated hash that is used for temporary authentication. This reduces the need to continually send a username and password across the Internet to services.
Block Storage A device that provides a medium to read/write information to.
Cinder (Block Storage) A service used for provisioning virtual hard drives.
Glance (Image Block Storage) A service used for managing cloud operating system images.
Swift (Object Storage) An infinitely scalable static file storage.
Singularity HostDime’s implementation of the Swift service.
Heat (Orchestration) A service used to deploy customized servers automatically based on a given template.
Instance A virtual machine.
Project/Tenant  An account that is allowed to utilize OpenStack resources.
User  A user is used to authenticate with Keystone to gain access to a project.
Roles  Access control lists (ACLs) that define what a project or user can and cannot do.
 Network  A network is a local area network (LAN) that connects instances to a virtual switch.
Router  A virtual router provides public routing to the Internet.
Port  A virtual device that is attached to a network and/or router.
Floating IP A public IP address that can be associated with a local network IP to route out via NAT.
ext-net HostDime’s public floating IP network. Newly created virtual routers that need connectivity to the Internet should use this network.
Security Groups A sub-service of Neutron where firewall rules can be defined for packets before they reach a instance.
Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) A sub-service of Neutron where firewall rules can be defined for packets before they reach a router.
Load-Balancing-as-a-Service (LBaaS)  A sub-service of Neutron that is used to automate load balancing from a public floating IP to multiple private IPs.


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