WavebreakMediaMicro - Fotolia

An introduction to the 6 OpenStack orchestration components

Cloud orchestration is a critical part of workflow simplification and task automation. If you prefer open source options, see what OpenStack has to offer.

Automation and orchestration are key elements to reduce manual tasks in cloud computing. While major providers, such as AWS, Microsoft and Google, offer their own suite of services, OpenStack is an open source alternative for those wary of vendor lock-in.

A cloud orchestration strategy is made up of numerous moving parts and OpenStack can help enterprises achieve their goals with offerings that integrate with related services and other cloud platforms. However, it can be difficult to dig through OpenStack documentation to find out what does what.

Check out this quick list of the six primary OpenStack orchestration offerings.

OpenStack Heat

Heat is one of the main OpenStack orchestration components and uses a declarative template format. Heat templates, which are written in YAML text files, define a cloud application's infrastructure. The template also outlines the relationships between resources. Heat integrates with other OpenStack components to address high availability, autoscaling and more.

OpenStack Senlin

Senlin is a clustering service that manages homogenous cloud objects. It is used to simplify orchestration because it can create and group similar resources. Senlin has various plug-ins for object profile management, policy enforcement and event notification. It also uses an asynchronous execution engine to maintain consistency for clusters and nodes.

cloud orchestration

OpenStack Mistral

Mistral is a workflow service that executes and manages tasks in a specific order without users having to write any code. Once a task is executed, it takes care of state management, implements synchronization and ensures high availability. It is made up of six major components that work together to undertake these tasks: API server, Engine, Task Executors, schedulers, notifier and persistence.

OpenStack Zaqar

Zaqar is a cloud messaging and notification service that enables web and mobile app components to communicate with each other. Developers can use either the HTTP-based RESTful API or the WebSocket-based API for their communication transport. It offers various notification types, such as email and webhook, as well as support for common patterns such as task distribution and point-to-point messaging. The service is highly available and horizontally scalable.

OpenStack Blazar

Enterprises use Blazar to reserve physical and virtual resources, such as compute hosts and instances. They can specify the type and amount of resources to allocate for a certain time period.

OpenStack Aodh

Aodh is an alarming service that helps monitor cloud resource health. Alarms are set based on event data and metrics from Ceilometer or Gnocchi, as well as the defined rules for the information. It can take multiple forms of actions once an alarm is raised such as logging, HTTP callbacks and sending notifications to Zaqar.

Dig Deeper on Cloud infrastructure design and management

Data Center