Chapter 1. Overview

Rackspace Cloud Orchestration is a RESTful API Service that can be used to create and manage cloud resources (for example: servers + software installation, databases, load balancers, and so forth) by declaring what you want deployed using a simple template language, as described in this guide. Cloud Orchestration is based on the OpenStack open source project named Heat. Rackspace Cloud Orchestration currently supports the HOT (Heat Orchestration Template) syntax specification of Heat.

How Cloud Orchestration works

  • A Cloud Orchestration template describes the infrastructure for a cloud application in a YAML or JSON text file that is readable and writable by humans, and can be checked into version control, diffed, and so forth.

  • Infrastructure resources that can be described include: servers, volumes, and so forth.

  • Cloud Orchestration also provides an autoscaling service that integrates with Rackspace Cloud Auto Scale, so you can include a scaling group as a resource in a template.

  • Templates can also specify the relationships between resources (for example this volume is connected to this server). This enables Cloud Orchestration to call out to the Rackspace APIs to create all of your infrastructure in the correct order to completely launch your application.

  • Cloud Orchestration manages the whole lifecycle of the application. When you need to change your infrastructure, simply modify the template and use it to update your existing stack. Cloud Orchestration knows how to make the necessary changes. It will also delete all of the resources when you are finished with the application.

  • Cloud Orchestration primarily manages infrastructure, but the templates integrate well with software configuration management tools such as Puppet and Chef.

Rackspace Cloud Orchestration Services are available to Rackspace Cloud customers. Interactions with Rackspace Cloud Orchestration occur programmatically via the Rackspace Cloud Orchestration API as described in the Cloud Orchestration Developer Guide.

We welcome feedback and comments at our community forum:

Issues and bug reports can be directed to your support team via ticket, chat, email, or phone.