TryStack Lets You Tinker with an OpenStack Cluster--Before You Leap
Late last year, survey results began to appear left and right confirming that IT departments around the world were either planning to deploy the OpenStack cloud computing platform or considering deploying it. An OpenStack Foundation survey found that cost savings and the flexibility of an open cloud platform were key drivers behind these trends.
Many of the IT departments considering OpenStack could benefit from trying it first, and that's where TryStack comes in. TryStack runs large clusters of hardware with OpenStack installed on both x86 and ARM architectures. It provides an easy way to try running applications on OpenStack, and is quickly gaining popularity.
According to TryStack officials:
"TryStack, in large part, resembles the type of cloud environment you can create on your own with OpenStack Software. However, we have set a few sensible limits in place for the good of the project. First, the server instances you launch are only available for 24 hours until the hardware is reclaimed for use by new instances. Secondly, you can't upload your own server images, you can only select from three available images (Ubuntu 12.10, Fedora17 and Fedora18). Lastly, even though you can view the API endpoints on the Dashboard, we are limiting API access in the x86 zone."
"There are a few great avenues available to get help. For quick API reference, the OpenStack Compute and OpenStack Identity APIs are well documented at api.openstack.org. It would also serve you well to spend a moment reading the API Quick Start Guide. More OpenStack documentation is also available at docs.openstack.org. Finally, OpenStack has a very active IRC channel #openstack. You can quickly connect right in your browser using The FreeNode Browser Client."
You can also find an excellent, in-depth interview with Dan Radez, who helps manage TryStack, from Opensource.com. In the interview, Radez says:
"If you're pretty green to the idea of the cloud, you don't want to spend a couple of days setting up a cluster and trying to figure out how to use it. From a systems perspective, there is a lot of experience that has to be generated for a cluster like that to be managed. So, through TryStack interacting with the development community, we've been able to generate some of that experience and some of that documentation of how a cluster is managed in the real world."
TryStack is an OpenStack Foundation project. It is run by volunteers "passionate about helping more and more people experience OpenStack." If you'd like to be involved in TryStack's efforts, you can request to join the TryStack Facebook Group (and post that you'd like to help) or email email@example.com. There is also a helpful FAQ about TryStack at the bottom of this page.