Getting started with OpenStack COA!

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OpenStack is a Open Source Cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources. OpenStack has lot of Services. Few important Services include Nova, Keystone, Neutron, Glance, Cinder, Swift, Heat etc. Click Here to know about the list of services and the recent releases.

Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA):

Certified OpenStack Administrator (COA) is the only Vendor neutral exam provided by OpenStack Foundation. Click Here to know more about this Certification. Once you purchase the exam, you have to schedule it and take the exam within 6 months. You will also get one free re-try in case if you fail in your first attempt. The free second attempt should also be taken within the 6 months from the date of purchase. Requirements also states that you should have at least 6 months of OpenStack experience who provides day-to-day operation and management of an OpenStack cloud. This is not mandatory and if you practice well then you can clear the exam easily. 

The COA exam is a virtual, skills-based exam that can be taken anywhere in the world on either Ubuntu or SUSE. You will get 32 tasks that you can complete from Command Line / Dashboard (UI) within 2.5 hours.

Environment Setup:

OpenStack COA exam needs lot of practice to clear it. Don’t waste your time searching for dumps, nothing like that is available and you cannot clear the exam without practice. For practising, you need an OpenStack Deployment. We have two options to create OpenStack Deployment. One is to deploy all the Services manually yourself. This takes lot of time and installing Services has nothing to do with COA exam. You will not get any questions related to that in exam. COA will test you only in OpenStack Administration aspects in an environment where OpenStack is up and running. 

OpenStack deployment can be done using lot of utilities. Please find few of them below.


DevStack is the simple and most widely used utility. Lets see how to install OpenStack with DevStack and use this environment to practice for our exam. I would recommend that you should use a laptop / PC that has atleast 8GB of RAM and 250 GB of storage for OpenStack installation. 

OpenStack Installation:

Download Virtual Box and install latest Ubuntu distribution with it. Installing Ubuntu is out of scope for this article. If you need help, follow the instructions in this blog. Once your Ubuntu Server is up and running, follow the instructions below to install OpenStack with DevStack.Let’s create a user and download DevStack:

sudo useradd -s /bin/bash -d /opt/stack -m stack
echo "stack ALL=(ALL) NOPASSWD: ALL" | sudo tee /etc/sudoers.d/stack
sudo su - stack
git clone
cd devstack

Create a local.conf file inside devstack folder and copy paste the following contents:

enable_service h-eng h-api h-api-cfn h-api-cw
enable_plugin heat
enable_plugin heat-dashboard
enable_service s-proxy s-object s-container s-account

Add the following repository so that all the packages will get downloaded properly. Also set static IP for the VM before installation. 

sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo apt update

Run the following command to start the installation. The installation will approximately take 30 minutes. 


Congrats :). You are all set to start learning for COA. Go through the Requirements and start learning. All the Best !!!

Share & Expand the Cloud :-)

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