Midokura Brings Layer 2 Gateway Integration to SDN Solution

SDN vendor Midokura is updating its core MidoNet platform with a new release that builds on a year of feedback from customers. Midokura first launched its MidoNet solution in the U.S in October of 2012. The company has since gone on to raise $17.3 million in funding as it pursues its vision of agile networking.

Midokura General Manager Adam Johnson explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that his company has spent the last several months working closely with a select number of customers to determine what the pain points of network virtualization. Midokura discovered that users’ challenges primarily revolve around operations and troubleshooting.

“We’ve taken that feedback and piped it back into the product, and version 1.2 is geared primarily around usability and making operations dead simple,” Johnson said. “The primary features released include a new GUI as well as a new CLI, so we can aim operational tools at both systems engineers as well as network engineers.”

Johnson added that the new GUI makes it easier for network administrators to both navigate a logical topology and do configurations of virtual networks. Diagnosing both virtual and physical networks is also key to the improved user interface.

“We have a new virtual traceroute feature which allows you to find out what should happen from point A to point B in your network,” Johnson said. “This quickly helps you identify if the problem is a physical cable that may be dead, or if someone created a security group rule or ACL which drops traffic unexpectedly.”

Layer 2 Gateway

A key part of the MidoNet 1.2 update is Layer 2 Gateway integration, which enables network administrators to do a number of things that they may previously have found difficult.

“You can now connect into physical VLANs and translate those into something MidoNet understands,” Johnson explained. “What that means is that we can now support hybrid-type workloads, where you may have a physical server you don’t want to virtualize but still want connected to the same L2 network.”

Having a Layer 2 gateway also enables MidoNet deployments to span both OpenStack and non-OpenStack cloud environments.

“We’re seeing some enterprise customers who are already users of vSphere want to check out the OpenStack world. This provides a great migration and stepping stone for them to do so,” Johnson said.

MidoNet 1.2 can integrate with the new OpenStack Havana cloud and its Neutron Networking platform release as well. Havana Neutron includes plugin APIs that can enable network functionally such as Load Balancing as a Service. Johnson noted that MidoNet 1.2 integrates with Neutron and provides nearly all of the functionality that Neutron does, in a distributed system. The exception to that are some IPv6 capabilities and integration with Load Balancing as a Service, though those are both items that Midokura is working on now.

Moving forward, Midokura plans to continue to expand the MidoNet platform with additional capabilities.

“We’re focusing on bringing our technology to other customer segments, as well as strengthening our core product and building on top of it, Johnson said. “We’re starting to take advantage of all of this network intelligence that MidoNet aggregates and will start doing some amazing things with that.”

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

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