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AWS Vs OpenStack

AWS Vs OpenStack

May 17th, 2019

AWS Vs OpenStack – Which Is the Better Cloud Computing Platform?

The dilemma of choosing AWS or OpenStack cloud services by an enterprise or the customers, in general, has been a serious question in recent times that needs to be answered. From a superficial point of view firstly if we talk about OpenStack, OpenStack by its shared services can manage your applications data storage, computation, and network through a dashboard or its command line.
On the other hand, AWS enables to access the web services with the help of infrastructure which is owned and maintained by the Amazon company itself.

Difference Between AWS and OpenStack

The article covers all the necessary information required to help you make a better decision. It explains features provided by both of the service providers, their tabular comparison for better understanding and in-depth comparison which would finally enable you to make the right choice.
A comparison table for OpenStack vs AWS based on the services offered by both the software is given below. Take a quick look at these services and see if any of the features appeal to you.

Offered Services



Virtual Servers EC2 Nova Instance
Dockers ECS Magnum
Scalability AWS Scaling Heat with Scaling
Load Balancing Elastic Load Balancing LBaas
GUI Console Horizon
Storage Object S3 Swift
Block Storage EBS Cinder
Networking Networking Neutron
Compute VM Instance
Security/ Identity I AM KeyStone
Orchestration CloudFormation Heat
Archiving Glacier Swift
Image Templates Amazon Machine Images Glance
DNS Management Route 53 Designate
Relational Database RDS Trove

In-depth Comparison of the Offered Services

Both OpenStack and AWS are cloud computing giants and they serve several of the larger organizations around the globe. Amazon Web Services that was launched in 2002, sure is more popular than OpenStack, but, in recent years, the former cloud computing software has witnessed unprecedented success and shown greater versatility. It is still a matter of debate as to which of these is the better choice.
When you take into account the quality of services offered by both, you realize it really depends on what your organization is aiming for. The offered services and their importance in forming a better cloud computing architecture are further discussed in this AWS vs Openstack article. Make sure that you go through all of them, and concentrate on all the key aspects, that is the only way you’ll make an informed decision.


To compute means to run any application on a virtual server. You will have to provide a CPU and other necessary hardware along with Operating system applications pre-installed (or not). On both, OpenStack and AWS users can upload their own images.
AWS has EC2, which are scalable virtual networks with Xen and EMR Hadoop based big data analytics.OpenStack, on the other hand, boasts of an Iaas infrastructure. It scales horizontally and is designed to scale on hardware without specific requirements.


It is important to connect your servers to other internal as well as external servers. This basically means connecting the user to virtual servers. When such a facility is offered to the admin, he or she must have the right to know who has access to the networks.
AWS has DNS scalable route 53, Amazon ELB (Elastic Load Balancing), and, Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) which extends its ability to connect to corporate servers. The AWS will allocate private IP addresses to instances running on DHCP and ELB just helps in distributing incoming traffic to Amazon EC2 instances.
Openstacks LBaas and flat networks VLAN allows automatic as well as manual management of Ip addresses and networks. You have the power to create networking functions and networks.


When it comes to cloud computing services, you might want to know how your resources are being used. Monitoring allows you to do so for individual users and bill them according to their usage. OpenStack has ceilometer and AWS has cloudwatch as their monitoring service providers.
Whether it is OpenStack or AWS, both of them perform similarly except that you will have better control over the logistics with ceilometers AWS cloudwatch is specifically designed to meet AWS needs. These services can be used to log metrics and collect log files you could even set actions to execute when a pre-defined criterion is met. This is also a significant aspect to consider while comparing AWS Vs OpenStack.


The term basically means access control over Virtual servers and machines. Whenever an instance is launched a separate security group(s) should be available to attach to it. The OpenStack security lags behind that of AWS in terms of this condition and may not render the desired array of services when needed. AWS instills a more private approach to gain access to instances locked by the user making it the clear winner between AWS Vs OpenStack.


You need two types of storage units when you come to cloud computing – Block Storage and Object Storage. The block storage is used to assign values to virtual servers to increase their capacity when reaching threshold as well as backing up the virtual servers. Object storages contain media files, images and so on.
AWS has S3 and OpenStack has Swift as their block storage services while Cinder and EBS are their object storage counterparts.


Keystone for OpenStack and IAM for AWS decides the identity functions. Identity servers allow you to have power over who is going to access your cloud by implementing multi-factor authentication. This can also be integrated with some external providers such as AD or LAPD.
These are the key services that OpenStack and AWS have to provide. All of the other services run in accordance with these services and applications and are subsets to the main functionalities.

The EndNote

Concluding this AWS vs OpenStack comparison, OpenStack certainly lacks some of the pre-installed AWS applications and setups such as the excellent security module. This does not mean that it does not appeal to the user, a large number of enterprises can still afford to create these systems of their own and run it in accordance with OpenStack.
Having said that, both the platforms offer similar services and it boils down to the usability and integration factor of the application with your organizational needs. OpenStack, on one hand, offers better resiliency and increased corporate profitability with its open frame network; AWS appeal to startups and small IT firms due to its many offerings and flexible customer support.
You can even choose to use both the platforms while creating a hybrid cloud, however, it will still depend on what you mean to achieve.

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