Master the Open Cloud with Free, Community-Driven Guides


One of the common criticisms of open source in general, especially when it comes to open cloud platforms such as OpenStack and ownCloud, is lack of truly top-notch documentation and training resources. The criticism is partly deserved, but there are some free documentation resources that benefit from lots of contributors.

Community documentation and training contributors really can make a difference. In fact, in a recent interview, ClusterHQ’s Mohit Bhatnagar said: “Documentation is a classic example of where crowdsourcing wins. You just can’t beat the enthusiasm of hobbyist developers fixing a set of documentation resources because they are passionate about the topic.”

There are actually many ongoing, crowdsourced projects for producing free open source-related documentation, such as FLOSS Manuals, and there are good guides to open source cloud platforms all around the Internet.

Here are some of the very best free guides to popular, open cloud-centric tools, ranging from OpenStack to ownCloud:

Intro to the Open Cloud. The Linux Foundation’s 2016 report “Guide to the Open Cloud” is a good place to start. The report covers significantly established projects like OpenStack, Docker, and Ceph, and rapid up-and-comers such as Kubernetes. It’s especially useful if you are planning a cloud deployment and want to leverage open source tools.

The Linux Foundation is also collaborating with edX to offer an online course titled, LFS152x, which provides a comprehensive introduction to OpenStack. The course includes seven chapters, and a quiz at the end of each chapter. There is a final exam, and here is the great news: the complete course is available at no cost.

Meanwhile, you can investigate the Open Datacenter Group’s work on cloud usage models here. It is especially intended to “help guide enterprise IT consumers in their cloud service acquisition decisions.”

OpenStack Basics. For getting up to speed with OpenStack, you may want to take a look at what the OpenStack Foundation’s OpenStack Training Marketplace offers. It has surprisingly easy-to-follow and rich tutorials on the OpenStack platform. If you’re totally new to the OpenStack cloud platform, look into some of the introductory classes.

The Training Marketplace is specifically designed to make it easier to discover training courses offered by providers in the OpenStack community. The OpenStack Foundation has made available a series of instructor-led online training guides, and can also help you become a certified administrator. Also, has some excellent coverage of OpenStack tutorials, found here.

In addition, you can find a number of other options for OpenStack training from vendors focused on it. You can learn more about what Mirantis offers at: Meanwhile, Red Hat offers numerous options here.

The FLOSS Manuals ownCloud Guide. FLOSS Manuals’ guide to ownCloud is completely free, and a good starting point if you’re looking to roll your own cloud. Before diving into it, you may want to gain some familiarity with what ownCloud is. It’s used by many individuals as a personal cloud platform. The FLOSS Manuals guide is aimed to be a complement to the existing ownCloud documentation. There are many good tutorials available for running ownCloud on Linux. Linux User & Developer has a good one here. Meanwhile, ownCloud’s founder has launched a new cloud platform, based on ownCloud, called Nextcloud. You can find a tutorial for getting going with it here.

Managing and Hosting Online Video in the Cloud. More and more cloud deployments need to include intelligent ways to host video content, and Floss Manuals’ guide to hosting 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.

Learn more about trends in open source cloud computing and see the full list of the top open source cloud computing projects. Download The Linux Foundation’s Guide to the Open Cloud report today!