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In Cloud Computing and DevOps Last updated: November 30, 2022
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Manage OpenStack efficiently with these open source tools.

In the world of the cloud, the prime fundamental is to automate everything when it appears to on-demand cloud services. Working in software production usually comes down to continuous deployments and operating an environment distributed all over the world, specifically with the on-demand cloud services.

OpenStack is an open-source platform that lets you build an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud that goes on commodity hardware. The technology behind OpenStack consists of a sequence of similar projects delivering various components for a cloud infrastructure solution. It can handle a large pool of storage, and network resources either within a data center as an individual cloud or outside as a public cloud.

To manage the OpenStack cloud infrastructure, you require to manage the configuration of the individual cloud services. The primary advantage of OpenStack is that it is composed of horizontal scalability, so it becomes obvious to add networks and storage systems to grow the cloud over time.

To learn OpenStack, check out this essential course.

The essential part of cloud scalability is the value of time required to set up and run the cloud and thus scale up, as well as reducing the operational costs. For all this, what is needed is an automated deployment and configuration infrastructure that incorporates configuration management systems.

Many open-source tools are available to install, manage, and run the OpenStack cloud. The most important question is how to choose the best one.


Chef is a great automation framework that makes it simple to set up servers and applications to any real, virtual, or cloud location, no matter the extent of the infrastructure. Chef is a product simply focussed on its developer user base. Chef includes cookbooks for engaging with different preferences of OpenStack.

It makes use of Ruby as a programming language and consists of a searchable portal where one can get community-contributed techniques and cookbooks. Chef automates the handling of managing configurations, making sure that systems are configured properly and consistently.

Chef has an agent-based architecture that involves a client on each VM or server instance while being led by a central master agent. Chef also enjoys broad support in the form of a wealth of cookbooks and documentation. Some of its features include:

  • Use simple declarative definitions for simple administrative tasks.
  • Configure a variety of cloud-based SaaS services, and integrate cloud provisioning APIs
  • It presents a single process to manage on-premises and cloud estates.
  • makes the infrastructure highly flexible, versionable and accurately testable
  • Ensures consistent configurations across the development lifecycle
  • Automatically correct configuration drift
  • It comprises of the Chef Development Kit, which has robust testing tools for validating infrastructure changes

This IT automation and configuration tool is well appropriated to development centric Infrastructure projects. It provides configuration management and much infrastructure management tasks using Recipes.


Ansible is an infrastructure automation tool, which gives support to configure systems, deploy software, and set up more advanced IT-intensive tasks like consistent deployments and zero downtime while installing updates. Ansible OpenStack modules can be utilized to manage all sorts of cloud operations.

Ansible goes beyond more than simple deployment.

Ansible’s main goals are simplicity and ease-of-use. It further has a substantial focus on security and reliability. Ansible provides powerful tools for setting up and managing OpenStack — to provision, configure and deploy applications and works on top of the cloud.

It is based on a simple, agentless architecture, so there is no need to configure VMs or workstations before installation. Ansible can normally work with them through the command line. Some of its features include:

  • It provides simple solutions for all configuration management issues.
  • Allows reliable and repeatable IT infrastructure configuration
  • It is designed to easy-to-learn for administrators and developers.
  • Provides systems administrators a control language that uses modules or routines to produce all sorts of tasks on nodesMost secure remote configuration management system
  • It consists of 1300+ modules with an active community for support and development.


Fuel is a GUI based tool for systems administrators to set up and manage OpenStack Cloud. Fuel is an upstream OpenStack project that concentrates on automating the deployment and testing of OpenStack and a range of third-party options.

Fuel automatically detects all virtual nodes connected from the grid. It consists of several separate components. Some components can also be reused separately from the Fuel without any modifications, and some involve little tweaks. The following are some of its features.

  • It performs post-deployment checks and also performs tests for validating the OpenStack Cloud deployed.
  • It can spin up and manage multiple OpenStack clusters
  • It includes support for CentOS and Ubuntu
  • It helps the sysadmin to track real-time logs via the GUI of OpenStack Cloud.


Puppet is a Declarative Language for ‘write once deploy many’ packages for on-demand Openstack configuration and version management. Puppet is deployed in a client/server setup or in the serverless mode, where clients periodically poll the server for the needed state and deliver back status records to the server.

Puppet can plan, upgrade, and manage nodes throughout their life cycle. All modules and configurations are produced with a Puppet-specific language based on Ruby or Ruby itself, and therefore, will require programmatic expertise in extension to system administration skills. It involves a Web UI and reporting tools.

Puppet Enterprise allows for real-time management of nodes using prebuilt modules present on the master servers. The reporting tools are fully developed, giving in-depth details on how agents are performing and what changes have been made. Some of its features include:

  • It supports full-scale automation with specific reporting and compliance factors.
  • It has integrations and modules from the Forge
  • Makes patching and updating stress-free.
  • Creates hardened baseline configurations to meet regulatory standards
  • Automate and enforce patch management and reduce potential vulnerabilities.


Compass is for the automated deployment and management of OpenStack.

It reduces complexity, manages time, and controls all sorts of blunders in the data center server management. It supports in bootstrapping the server pool correlated with any cloud platform from exposed metal nodes.

Compass assists systems administrators in determining hardware, deploying the OS and hypervisor, and also gives comprehensive configuration management. Some more features as below.

  • Allows implementation of different configuration flavors through metadata.
  • Assists in the infrastructure bootstrapping prepare and also provides programmability for operators to do this.
  • Implements extensibility through the assimilation of several tools OpenStack cluster configuration.
  • The Compass core blends with many other tools for resource discovery, OS planning, and package deployment.


You should check out and test each of the tools from your end to make sure which of these meets your requirements. When it comes to OpenStack, there are enough tools and techniques to reduce the headache of installation and setup; I suggest using Fuel or Ansible if you are considering to set up a private cloud. You will also love to read about 8 Cloud Object Storage to Store Public & Private Data.

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