What is OpenStack?

OpenStack is an open source cloud computing software platform.

OpenStack consists of projects that control pools of storage, computing and networking resources throughout a data center. This data center can be managed through a web-based interface, command-line tools, or through a REST API.

Which OpenStack cloud do you need?

OpenStack consumption models vary depending on an organization’s needs, budget, and expertise. The following comparison weighs pros and cons for popular ways to consume OpenStack.


Perhaps the most common approach is to “DIY” (Do-It-Yourself) by downloading the OpenStack source code and deploying it in your own data center, without external assistance. DIY is inexpensive, however, it requires considerable in-house expertise to be a viable option (which arguably can be an even greater expense, given the scarcity of OpenStack engineers).


OpenStack distributions provide increased stability and vendor support when compared against DIY, albeit at a potentially higher cost (assuming a subscription to vendor support is purchased). 451 Research previously indicated: “Distributions have a lower TCO than DIY if an enterprise is able to save at least 45% of its manpower costs by using a distribution.”

Managed Cloud

Managed OpenStack expands on the Distro approach by further reducing risk, leveraging experts from a 3rd-party to operate your private cloud on your behalf, in your data center. The increased support costs of this model are somewhat offset by reduced resource requirements for your organization.

Hosted Managed Cloud

By running OpenStack outside of your company’s data center, Hosted Managed OpenStack converts the cost structure to an operational expense, albeit at a higher overall cost than other options.

Comparing OpenStack Consumption Models

The below table illustrates the high-level differences between consumption models. As noted earlier, real-world TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) for your organization will depend on a variety of factors.

Additional Resources

Choosing a consumption model for your OpenStack cloud is literally a career-defining decision. Mirantis is here to help you make the right choice for your organization, and help you deliver on your private cloud aspirations.

Below are some additional free resources to help you evaluate your options.

Mirantis OpenStack 9.0 Brochure

Download this brochure detailing Mirantis OpenStack 9.0 features and benefits.

Intel and Mirantis Solution Brief

Read this brief and learn how to transform your business with an open-source private cloud solution.