Unleashing the open source community to conquer OpenStack Neutron
May 4, 2016
I’m writing this as the OpenStack Summit comes to a close here in Vancouver. This is my first OpenStack Summit so I was not sure what to expect (even though a good friend of mine provided his take on the Summit).
Well, I was impressed. To think that back in 2010, 75 people gathered in Austin, TX to kick off OpenStack Summit. Fast-forward five years, and about 6,000 people have joined this year’s event.
As a first-timer to the OpenStack Summit, I was curious as to why OpenStack is generating so much interest. I say “its human nature” – the innate need to collaborate, to share, to contribute. It’s the ethos of open source. And Juniper is a proud member of this vibrant community.
After each session, I became more excited as I listened to all the new features that community members were developing. Then, reality hit me… While the Neutron OpenStack project offers tremendous benefits, it requires new yet extensive knowledge around datacenter/cloud automation and server/network virtualization. It also requires a comprehensive understanding of how to stitch various functions and features together to take full advantages of the flexibility that Neutron offers.
The Neutron Bomb
Then in one session, someone from the audience asks this interesting yet important question. “How the heck am I supposed to implement Neutron?!” In my head, I’m saying “Booyah!” (BTW, I don’t talk like that in real life.) But, lucky for me, people applauded the question and nodded in agreement. “Booyah!”
The answer from the Speaker of the session was simple… “SDN Controller”. Of course I’m simplifying his answer as much as an SDN Controller dramatically simplifies the complexity of the Neutron. Juniper believes the SDN Controller must be open source, just like OpenStack, to scale, but must be tightly coupled with proper review and control mechanisms to be a commercial product.
I believe that the graph, shown below, from the survey conducted by the Superuser (see “Network Drivers” in the middle of the page) shows that OpenStack community agrees with our point of view.
Juniper’s position near the top of the survey results may surprise some. But the reality is our open source SDN controller, Contrail, is getting put to the test by its active community members and contributors. Not to mention that Juniper is backing the project financially and backing Contrail as a commercial product.
Open Source SDN Controller In Action
To illustrate real-world OpenStack deployments with Juniper, customers are seeing the benefits of open source to move faster and scale to meet constant changing needs. For example, one company wanted to avoid vendor lock-in, choosing to deploy a cloud platform that fully leveraged open source, including Juniper’s Contrail for network virtualization and SDN. Early results show greater efficiency in deploying infrastructure and an anticipated seven figure ROI. That’s just one of many stories, but it makes the point well.
Juniper offers two flexible Contrail based solutions to create cloud infrastructure. With Contrail Networking, you can mix and match Contrail with multiple Linux editions, hypervisors, and OpenStack vendors.
But with the Contrail Cloud Platform, you can get a turnkey GUI and API integrated IaaS. This Platform comprises Ubuntu OpenStack and OS, Ceph based scale-out storage, and Cobbler/Puppet DCIM based server manager, in addition to the Contrail Networking.
You can purchase a support/service offering packaged with above solutions from Juniper as well as our partners, such as Canonical and/or Mirantis. So, you can rest assured that your services will run smoothly with peace of mind.
As a first-time attendee, I left energized as I thought about what difference OpenStack and Contrail make – delivering high performance and highly scalable virtual networks connecting hundreds of thousands of virtual machines dynamically and securely, as well as the ability to chain different network functions both virtual and physical.
I expect the OpenStack movement to continue to grow rapidly, and Contrail will also evolve steadily. I look forward to attending the next event in Tokyo from October 27th to the 30th. Hope to see you there!