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Hi Stefano,

To respond your first question, Openstack will have one node(s) (Compute) which will run VM (or instances).

So, to make it simple, here are the layers:

  1. Hardware
  2. Operating system (Ubuntu, Red Hat, Suse)
  3. Openstack packages (this will depend of the node you want to run: Controller, Network, Compute, Storage)

After, I would suggest to install it to really understand which packages is doing what. In this case, you could use one physical server and run each of the node as VMs:

  1. Hardware
  2. Operating system + KVM (create a VM for each of the node: Controller, Compute and Network - Keep it simple for now, and use just local storage)
  3. Follow the installation guide for each of you nodes (steps 1 to 7 included): (for example for Ubuntu)

Let us know if it is clear or still isn't.