PLUMgrid Launches Cloud Networking for OpenStack Kilo

PLUMgrid ONS 3 for OpenStack Kilo adds networking toolbox and improves VXLAN Tunnel Endpoint support.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Apr 9, 2015
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The OpenStack Kilo milestone release is several weeks away, but networking vendor PLUMgrid is already prepared for it. This week, PLUMgrid announced the release of its ONS (OpenStack Networking Suite) 3.0, compatible with OpenStack Kilo. The new ONS 3.0 platform also provides new tools for enabling networking in OpenStack clouds.

"Prior to ONS 3.0, we were compatible with Juno, and we are currently compatible with Kilo today because our Neutron plugin is upstreamed to OpenStack," Azmir Mohamed, Sr. Director of Products at PLUMgrid, told Enterprise Networking Planet. "We will have an ONS release specifically with Kilo support post-release of Kilo."

Mohamed added that PLUMgrid ONS 3.0 introduces support for RHEL OSP (OpenStack Platform) 6, which is based on Juno and was released by Red Hat in February 2015.

Among the other new features added by PLUMgrid in ONS 3 is the new Toolbox, which provides several monitoring and troubleshooting tools. Those tools include a log collector that enables the cloud administrator to collect data from across ONS cloud network deployments. Monitoring is also improved by way of the Virtual Traffic Dump tool, which can be used to track activity from a specific virtual machine running on the cloud network.

The Toolbox also provides Virtual SSH (Secure Shell) capability to enable an administrator to log into and connect to virtual machines running in the cloud network. Visibility into the cloud network is also enhanced with the Toolbox's system alert, status monitoring and virtual traceroute capabilities.

With ONS 3, PLUMgrid introduces Dynamic Router VNF (Virtual Network Functions) capabilities to the platform. The new feature is not related to the Dynamic Virtual Router (DVR) that the upstream OpenStack Neutron project has been including since the Juno release in 2014. Mohamed noted that PLUMgrid does not leverage Juno’s DVR.

"PLUMgrid ONS 1.0 [for OpenStack Havana] already had a distributed router VNF, so it had significant soak time in the field and is in production at our customer sites," Mohamed said. "While DVR is a welcome enhancement in Juno, it’s still relatively new - not all distros support it and the ones that do only support it for non-production use. "

In addition, Mohamed noted that PLUMgrid’s Dynamic Router VNF has IP routing protocol support (RIP, OSPF and BGP) that simplifies deployment and integration into existing networks.

"All PLUMgrid virtual network functions, including Dynamic Router VNF, benefit from the PLUMgrid distributed architecture, which makes them scalable and highly available by design," Mohamed said.

VXLAN Tunnel Endpoint (VTEP) support is getting a boost in the ONS 3.0 release. VXLAN is a widely used protocol for SDN overlays. Mohamed explained that PLUMgrid ONS has supported both software and hardware gateways since ONS 2.0.

"We supported highly available (Active/Active) software gateway deployments since ONS 2.0 and are expanding HA support to hardware gateways in ONS 3.0 with VTEPs from partners like Arista," Mohamed said. "This provides choice and flexibility to customers without giving up on key features like HA."

With ONS 3, PLUMgrid is also providing a Service Insertion Architecture (SIA) that can bring an organization's existing investments in both physical and virtual network appliances into OpenStack clouds.

"PLUMgrid’s SIA is a generic framework that allows us to service chain/stitch in a topology any 3rd party network appliance - physical, virtual or Docker based - to complement PLUMgrid’s VNF portfolio inside a Virtual Domain," Mohamed explained.

PLUMgrid is also re-emphasizing its Docker container capabilities with the ONS 3 release. The ONS 2.0 release leveraged containers in order to help deliver network virtualization.

Mohamed explained that in addition to virtual machines, OpenStack Compute can now also spawn Docker containers and bare metal servers. Since PLUMgrid ONS treats endpoints generically, all the endpoints can be attached to the Virtual Domain.

"So we can provide the same virtual network capabilities to instances, containers and bare metal servers," Mohamed said. "PLUMgrid is already using containers as part of the ONS product, and we will be sharing more about our Docker integration at the upcoming Vancouver Summit."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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