How to Build a Private Cloud Using OpenStack

Build a Private Cloud on OpenStack
Build a Private Cloud on OpenStack

OpenStack is often seen as a way to create a private cloud but it is equally important as an overall Infrastructure as a Service or Data Center management software. This article focuses on the private cloud aspect of OpenStack since most research starts on how to set up private cloud with OpenStack.

We can cover more information on how OpenStack fits into Data Center management in another post. For now we will focus on the typical installation of OpenStack.

For people just starting please check out “What is OpenStack?” first.

How to Create a Private Cloud using OpenStack

There are a few questions that will help you narrow down the path you might want to take. First though, its important to clarify that there are many parts of OpenStack that handle different situations. These part of OpenStack are called Projects. You do not need to learn about all Projects at this time to get started creating a cloud.

The number of Projects can be daunting, but in a typical starting setup to learn how to implement OpenStack you will only use the following plus maybe one or two more based on your situation:

With that out of the way, the next question. Are you learning how to build a private cloud with OpenStack for educational purposes or because your company will need a cloud in the near future?

I am just learning to build an OpenStack Cloud for fun/education.

Since you are creating a cloud for education we generally recommend that you use an emulation system. It is an OpenStack in a VM where the VM has special settings to allow for “VMs in a VM”. Running OpenStack in a VM is not performant as you might imagine, but it will let you understand how all these Projects work together. We have used this here at InMotion for training purposes. Please see our Learn OpenStack on a VM guide for more information.

You can also use the Timed Trial functionality inside of our Flex Metal Cloud product. We do ask that you use this sparingly if it is purely for educational purposes.

I need to build a Private Cloud using OpenStack for my company.

You have a mission! Your company is looking for an alternative to high priced mega cloud providers. OpenStack is one of the most robust and supported pieces of software online, period. Only a few softwares, like Linux itself, has a larger and more active community.

As a leader in on-demand private cloud, which is built with OpenStack, we hope that you will take a look at our Flex Metal Cloud offering. You can be up and running in as little as 45 minutes with a prescriptive OpenStack that allows for efficient Day 2 operations. It also comes with HA Ceph for storage. All hyper-converged on 3 servers to get started so it is low cost to learn before going to production.


What is On-Demand Private Cloud?

Show Me!


With that out of the way, if you are still here, then you are interested in the challenge of creating a private cloud with OpenStack manually.

I will flush this post out over the next couple weeks. We will cover the stages to follow for creating your own scalable OpenStack private cloud for your business. Key areas are:

  • How to get a Proof of Concept running right away to start learning.
  • How to size your Hyper-Converged Private Cloud Core
  • On-Premise or in a Colocation Facility
  • What workloads? Lift and Shift?
  • Timelines? Will you start small?
  • Identify Your Team
  • Identify Your Hardware
  • And more

With On-Demand Private Cloud surging in popularity, we believe making OpenStack accessible is key – for more information check out Why is OpenStack Important for Small Business.


Todd Robinson InMotion Hosting President

That’s it! Again, please connect with me on LinkedIn or leave a comment below with requests or questions — even corrections if I managed to mess up something!

Also, if you believe in open source and your company is using a “Mega Public Cloud”, please consider our On-Demand Flex Metal Private Cloud. Built on open source, no lock-in, better costs, and private from the start.

Todd Robinson | President at InMotion Hosting, BoldGrid, and – a big OpenStack fan!

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