OpenStack Vendor Mirantis Offers Managed OpenContrail SDN Services

The open-source OpenContrail Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology is one of the most widely used and deployed networking approaches in the OpenStack cloud market. That’s a fact that is not lost on OpenStack vendor Mirantis, which is why today Mirantis is announcing commercial support for OpenContrail.

The OpenContrail SDN project got started in September 2013, when Juniper created the project from its Contrail code base. Juniper acquired Contrail in December 2012 for $176 million.

According to Boris Renski, co-founder and CMO of Mirantis, Juniper provides commercial Contrail (not OpenContrail) to its customers that is packaged differently. Renski said that Mirantis will be shipping the SDN control plane as a container. Additionally, he noted that the release and support lifecycle cadence of contrail is not always perfectly aligned with other components that Mirantis ships, like OpenStack and Kubernetes.

“Commercial contrail also implies a particular deployment reference architecture, which, in our evaluation, is great for many use cases but not ideal for some others,” Renski told EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet. “Most importantly, we’ll be delivering OpenContrail to managed service customers, which implies managed OpenContrail.”

“It’s a different delivery model from what Juniper typically offers,” Renski added.

The Mirantis Fuel OpenStack management software tool already supports and enables organization to easily deploy OpenContrail.

Juniper and Mirantis are hardly strangers. In March 2015, Juniper announced that Mirantis’ OpenStack distribution was a supported distribution for Contrail. Mirantis was actually the second OpenStack distribution vendor to gain Contrail support, following Canonical’s Ubuntu which announced a partnership with Juniper in February 2015.

When it comes to SDN technologies deployed by Mirantis customers today, OpenContrail is not currently the top choice. Renski said that the more common SDN choice is for organizations is use OpenStack’s native SDN capabilities, which is the combination of Neutron, OVS (Open Virtual Switch) and VXLAN.

“Contrail is by far the number one (choice) outside of that,” Renski said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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