O'Reilly logo
live online training icon Live Online training

OpenStack for Cloud Architects

Designing and operating successful OpenStack cloud architectures

Ben Silverman

This course covers some of the most important decision points you’ll encounter while designing and architecting an OpenStack private cloud. We will take a step-by-step workshop based approach to understand how an OpenStack architecture is custom built for an enterprise.

We will start by reviewing OpenStack, it’s business case and what challenges it solves. By understanding OpenStack’s value to a business, students will be able to make intelligent choices in design.

We will next cover the major design areas when contemplating an OpenStack install including compute, network and storage. We explore the questions that must be asked before moving forward with a design and we demonstrate how to document and plan a design. We will cover the design document in detail and go over its uses.

We continue our class by setting up our own OpenStack cloud and exploring both the command line and UI interfaces while discussing what each project represents and their function. Each project will include lecture, examples and a lab.

Finally we will cover day-2 operational topics like security, governance, and monitoring using various open source and 3rd party software.

Our final section is on OpenStack troubleshooting, preparing for the Certified OpenStack Administrator exam and where to go from here.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

  • How to properly plan an OpenStack deployment using real data.
  • Design an OpenStack environment that is best for your use case.
  • Install a basic OpenStack cloud on your own infrastructure.
  • What all the core projects are and what they do.
  • What to consider when planning OpenStack operations
  • How to troubleshoot basic OpenStack problems
  • How to use open source and 3rd party tools to quickly resolve issues.

This training course is for you because...

This training is for architects and administrators of other infrastructure management platforms (like VMware, Hyper-V, AWS/Azure/GCP), system administrators, and developers who are interested in running OpenStack in production. While OpenStack has the reputation of being complex, we will break it down into easily understood concepts that will demonstrate the stability and flexibility of the OpenStack platform.


  • It is not important to know how install or operate OpenStack prior to this session, however, knowing how to install packages, find basic configuration files, run an editor in Linux and other basic administration tasks is essential.

Course Set-up

To prepare for this session, it is essential to know what you’re going to use your cloud for. Gather a list of applications you, or your organization, would like to host on a new OpenStack cloud. If you’re not associated with an organization, think of applications and workloads that run on clouds today choose a few that interest you. We will be discussing a few common use cases and their unique requirements as well as how to plan for them.

Materials, Downloads, or Supplemental Content needed in advance

A bare metal or VM host system that meets the following requirements prior to deployment:

Host system requirements: - Machine with at least 4 GB RAM - Processors with hardware virtualization extensions - At least one network adapter on host. - CentOS 7 in a VM (Oracle VirtualBox [Free]) - Root access is required to the VM or host system. - Internet access is required to the VM or host system.

To setup the environment ahead of time, please have the following done before the session, otherwise you may not have enough time to complete the lab:


OpenStack for Architects - Second Edition (book)

About your instructor

  • Ben is currently the Chief Cloud Officer for the Service Provider/Telco team at OnX. He is also the co-author of the book "OpenStack for Architects" "Mastering OpenStack" and was the Technical Reviewer for "Learning OpenStack" (Packt Publishing).

    When Ben is not writing books he is an active in the OpenStack Superuser Editorial Board and a technical contributor to the OpenStack Foundation Documentation Team (Architecture Guide) He also leads the Phoenix, AZ OpenStack User Group. Ben often speaks about cloud adoption, implementation, migration and cultural impact of the cloud at OpenStack conferences, meetups, and special vendor events.

    Prior to OnX, Ben was a Senior Cloud/System Architect at Mirantis, a top OpenStack distribution, where he was responsible for creating enterprise OpenStack architectures for some of the most prominent telecommunications and Fortune 100 companies worldwide.

    Before joining Mirantis, Ben was the Lead Technical Architect and Engineer for the OpenStack cloud at American Express and was directly responsible for the architecture and deployment of the largest U.S. financial services cloud in production at the time. Today, this same cloud supports over 10,000 workloads.

    Ben holds a degree in English communications and Master’s degree (MSc) in Information Management from Arizona State University. When he's not out evangelizing more people into the cloud lifestyle he likes to spend time with his beautiful wife and two crazy boys in Phoenix, Arizona.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing


Section 1: What is cloud? What is OpenStack? Why is everything changing? Duration: 30 min

  • Lecture: What is cloud? What is the cloud and why has it become so important in business today? We will explore what cloud really is and what has led to this infrastructure revolution. We will discuss where we’ve come from and how that has led to so many as-a-service offerings.

Section 2: Now that we know what cloud is, what is OpenStack? Duration: 1 hour

  • Lecture: An introduction to OpenStack, from its inception to today. We will cover the core services, the architecture, the interfaces and the use cases that are most common. We will discuss architecting OpenStack and why an architectural design document is important. We’ll discuss hypervisors, as well as hardware requirements and selections for compute, storage and network.
  • Lab: Use architectural design templates to fill in some of the requirements of your use cases. Specify any business or technical requirements. Continue to the hypervisor, compute, storage and network sections.

Break: 10 mins

Section 3: Installing your own OpenStack. Duration: 2 hours

  • Lecture: When installing OpenStack, there are a lot of options to explore. We will walk through the configuration of a simple all-in-one install and use it as the basis for connecting hardware requirements to OpenStack configurations.
  • Lab: Deploying OpenStack to a VirtualBox VM and launching your first instance.

Break: 10 mins

Section 4: OpenStack Architecture Overview: 1 hour - Lecture: An introduction to OpenStack architecture. We will be discussing how OpenStack handles the orchestration and virtualization of compute, storage and networking. We will also discuss OpenStack process flow and API interactions. - Lab: Using the new OpenStack lab to provision resources and watching the process flow through logs and the console. Introduction to troubleshooting.


Section 5: Planning a production OpenStack cloud by exploring business challenges and technical requirements: Duration: 1.5 hours

  • Lecture: How to plan a proper OpenStack deployment by documenting requirements and matching them with functionality.
  • Lab: A real life example will be presented along with planning collateral so that students can attempt to plan an OpenStack cloud architecture and deployment.

Break: 10 mins

Section 6: Advanced discussion about OpenStack architecture and use cases like NFV, Big Data and other special clouds: Duration: 1.5 hours

  • Lecture: Explore some real life production architectures as well as emerging use cases like edge clouds that are presenting new challenges for even the most experienced architects.
  • Lab: Brainstorming exercise on what kinds of special demands exist on new cloud use cases including Mobile Edge and Hybrid clouds.

Break: 10 mins

Section 7: Developing a final architecture and deployment plan for a production cloud. What it takes and what is delivered: 30 Min

  • Lecture: It’s one thing to postulate about how to create a well architected cloud, but what does it take to complete a full deployment plan? We will discuss process, from discovery, to requirements, through deployment and day 2 operations.
  • Lab: Developing a deployment plan, timelines and technical considerations for deployments.

Break: 10 mins

Wrap-up: Summary, Discussions (30 min)

  • Interactive Discussion on the basic and ground-breaking aspects of the course