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OpenStack services cheat sheet for the AWS developer

AWS-savvy developers that have to work in OpenStack can use this handy cheat sheet as a quick reference to each vendor's cloud services.

Each public cloud provider has its own language. A compute resource or instance in Amazon Web Services, for example, is called Elastic Compute Cloud while OpenStack dubs its instance Nova. Developers familiar with one cloud provider often need a cheat sheet to help understand varying terms.

When one collaboration software provider moved its product to OpenStack, its AWS-savvy developers created an AWS to OpenStack cheat sheet to help ease the transition. Table 1 translates OpenStack services into more familiar AWS concepts.

Service

OpenStack

AWS

A compute resource or instance

Nova

Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

A file resource

Swift

Simple Storage Service (S3)

Raw block storage

Cinder

Elastic Block Store (EBS)

A system for managing networks and IP addresses

Neutron

Route 53

Graphical interface to cloud resources

Dashboard

AWS Management Console

User and security management

Keystone

AWS Directory Service

Directory of machine images

Glance

Amazon Machine Instance

Billing system

Ceilometer

AMS Management Console

Service orchestration

Heat

CloudFormation

Database as a service

Trove

Relational Database Service

Bare-metal provisioning

Ironic

None

Messaging

Zaqar

SQS

Hadoop MapReduce

Sahara

Elastic MapReduce

Table 1. List of AWS and OpenStack services by name.

In general, OpenStack services are limited compared to AWS. In many categories, AWS has multiple offerings; OpenStack has one. While OpenStack does have a full range of offerings that may make sense for certain organizations, its limitations suggest that companies should perform due diligence to ensure OpenStack meets their needs now and in the future. Table 2 shows a glossary for AWS offerings that lack a comparable OpenStack service. However, many OpenStack foundation members or providers may offer these services.

Category

AWS offering

NoSQL database

Dynamo

Data warehouse

Redshift

In-memory cache

ElastiCache

Data archive

Glacier

Data import and export

Import/export

Integration of on-premises and cloud storage

Storage Gateway

Content Delivery Network

CloudFront

Docker integration

EC2 Container Service; OpenStack support for Docker is scheduled for mid-2015.

Real-time streaming

Kinesis

Security

CloudHSM and KMS for key management

Federated and mobile user management

Cognito, Directory Service and Security Token Service

Deployment

OpsWorks and CodeDeploy

Application services

Simple Queue Service, Simple Workflow Service, Simple Email Service, Simple Notification Service, CloudSearch, CloudTrail

Reactive programming

Lambda

Table 2. AWS offerings not available as OpenStack services.

In general, both public cloud providers support deploying applications and services directly via a Web application resource. They also offer the ability to provision compute and storage resources directly. However, AWS generally offers multiple options for each type of deployment and has a larger set of application support services. 

Next Steps

How to get help when working in OpenStack

Steps to install OpenStack Nova with Puppet

AWS list of products

This was last published in April 2015

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Does your company use both AWS and OpenStack?
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This cheat sheet is very helpful. It's unfortunate that the OpenStack Foundation decided not to embrace the AWS APIs earlier (or at all) so that it wouldn't just be service-name translation that developers had to deal with, but API translation as well. 
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