OpenStack Nova is a component within the OpenStack open source cloud computing platform developed to provide on-demand access to compute resources by provisioning and managing large networks of virtual machines (VMs).
Also known as OpenStack Compute, Nova offers “massively” scalable, on-demand, self-service access to compute resources such as virtual machines, containers and bare metal servers. Nova works with KVM, VMware, Xen and Hyper-V hypervisor virtualization technologies, as well as Linux container technologies like LXC and LXD.
Nova as Part of the OpenStack Platform
As the most distributed (and complex) component in the OpenStack platform, Nova interacts heavily with other OpenStack services like Keystone for performing authentication, Horizon for its Web interface and Glance for supplying its images.
Along with Swift, Nova is one of the original components in the 2010 debut release of the OpenStack platform, OpenStack Austin. Today companies like Rackspace and HP provide commercial compute services built on OpenStack Nova, and companies like Mercado Libre and NASA use it internally.