From Concept to Cloud: How to Leverage Open Tools

by Ostatic Staff - Apr. 22, 2016

Here at OStatic, we're steadily committed to compiling documentation and guidance resources for popular open source platforms and applications. After all, one of the most common critcisms of open source creations is the lack of official project documentation. There are many ongoing projects for producing free open source-related documentation, such as FLOSS Manuals, and there are good guides to open source tools all around the Internet.

In this post, you'll find several of the best free guides to popular cloud-centric tools, ranging from ownCloud to OpenStack, that can help boost your efficiency. We also updated this collection of documentation with a valuable overall guide to the open cloud platforms that you can choose from.

Intro to the Open Cloud. A few months back, The Linux Foundation announced the release of its report "Guide to the Open Cloud: Open Cloud Projects Profiled." The report covers well-known projects like Cloud Foundry, OpenStack, Docker and Xen Project, and up-and-comers such as Apache Mesos, CoreOS and Kubernetes. It's especially useful if you are planning a cloud deployment. To download the full report, you can visit The Linux Foundation's Publication's website at: Meanwhile, The Open Data Center Alliance has issued a “usage model” that defines how computing, network and storage resources combine to form cloud infrastructure. It is available here.

OpenStack On-Ramp. O'Reilly has compiled a nice and quick way to get going with OpenStack, with all materials needed to educate yourself downloadable here.  The tutorial begins with an overview of OpenStack and its different components. It then provides access to individual OpenStack instances, and walks hrough using OpenStack’s web interface followed by a command line tutorial. The tutorial covers instance life cycle (creation, management, deletion), networking, user management, and how to utilize different storage services available in OpenStack.

The FLOSS Manuals ownCloud Guide. As we've reported, FLOSS Manuals' guide to ownCloud is completely free, and a good starting point. Before diving into it, you may want to gain some familiarity with what ownCloud is, which we covered here. The FLOSS Manuals guide is aimed to be a complement to the existing documentation at It has sections on how to share files, calendars, contacts and more in the cloud, and optimize security. There is a whole section on SysAdmin tools, which makes experimenting with ownCloud easy.

ownCloud on Linux. There are many good tutorials available for running ownCloud on Linux. Linux User & Developer has a good one here, and Ubuntu users can find an easy tutorial here.

OpenStack Basics. For more on getting up to speed with OpenStack, you may want to take a look at what the Data Center Knowledge site offers. It has surprisingly easy to follow and rich video demos and explanations of the OpenStack platform. If you're totally new to the OpenStack cloud platform, look into Data Center Knowledge's OpenStack 101 video, which comes originally from Rackspace and NASA. As the site notes: "Rackspace, one of the original founders of the OpenStack project along with NASA, published this video that gives quick primer on OpenStack, what it is and who uses it. This 6-minute video, which is part of an ongoing series on OpenStack, introduces the cloud OS and dives into it from a high level to give you the basic understanding of this disruptive technology."

We have also covered The OpenStack Foundation's launch of a Training Marketplace designed to make it easier to discover training courses offered by providers in the OpenStack community. The foundation has made available a series of free, online training guides. Also, has some excellent coverage of OpenStack tutorials, found here and here.

Managing and Hosting Online Video. More and more cloud deployments need to include intelligent ways to host video content, and Floss Manuals' guide to hosting independent video can provide much help. The guide focuses on approaches and tools to host, showcase and 'aggregate' video content, and also makes specific technology recommendations.

Plumi. Plumi is a free Content Management System (CMS) designed for video-sharing, based on Plone and produced by EngageMedia. Plumi enables you to create your own video sharing site; by installing Plumi on your web server your can use a wide array of functionality to facilitate video distribution and community creation. Features include video podcasting, server-side flash/ogg transcoding and embedded playback, open content licensing, a sophisticated publishing workflow and large file uploading via FTP. You can find a compete manual on FLOSS Manuals, here.