Crowbar is an open source cloud deployment framework originally developed by Dell to support Dell's OpenStack and Hadoop powered solutions.  Recently, its scope has increased to include a DevOps operations model and other deployments for additional cloud applications.

Crowbar is a wrapper for Opscode Chef Server  and was developed by the Dell CloudEdge Solutions Team as a OpenStack installer but has since grown to include monitoring capabilities, network discovery, performance data, etc.

Crowbar open source development community is hosted on the github repo at the following address:

https://github.com/dellcloudedge/crowbar

Crowbar allows for modules that plug into the basic Crowbar functionality. These modules or “barclamps” allow the framework to be used by a variety of projects. Besides the OpenStack and Hadoop barclamps written by Dell, VMware created a Cloud Foundry barclamp and DreamHost created a Ceph barclamp.

Crowbar Blog Posts:

Crowbar Videos:

Introduction to Crowbar

How to Install Crowbar 1.2 Open Source Installer (running on CentOS)

Hadoop Demo on Crowbar

Crowbar Build (on a cloud server)

Advanced Crowbar Build (local)

Interview with Matt Ray - What is Opscode Chef? + Crowbar. Full interview blog on Barton's Blog.