Brocade headquarters in San Jose, Calif.

Brocade headquarters in San Jose, Calif.

Brocade and Huawei Propose OpenStack Solution for Multitenant, Multi-site Clouds

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Networking giant Brocade is proposing a new OpenStack service to simplify manageability and efficiency of inter-data center multitenancy for cloud service providers or companies with geographically distributed pools of shared resources.

The proposal, which Brocade developed jointly with Huawei and announced this week at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta, Ga., is for a flexible and automated solution that addresses the challenge of maintaining connectivity and policy context for virtual machines migrating between data centers.

The proposal hopes to bridge orchestration of physical and virtual resources, which is a key challenge for companies using multiple data centers as a distributed pool of resources accessed on demand. The proposed OpenStack service would introduce capabilities to implement inter-data center multitenant services or to migrate tenant services from one data center to another.

One potential use case for such workload mobility could be a follow-the-moon strategy for energy savings, where IT workloads are executed according to geographical variations in energy costs. The proposed service includes multiple API extensions for provider edge, attachment circuits, tunnels, and MPLS VPN service, all using the OpenStack Neutron Service Type Framework.

Brocade has made numerous contributions to OpenStack and has been actively optimizing its data center networking portfolio for the open-source cloud platform. Since joining OpenStack in 2011 the company has also been taking part in the Open Networking Foundation and OpenDaylight — groups promoting open software defined networking technology. The company is also working towards enhancing the networking subsystem of OpenStack to support network function virtualzation and multivendor environments.

Brocade CTO Ken Cheng said the company valued innovation that came out of the OpenStack developer community. “Public and private clouds are still evolving, so Brocade continues to prioritize projects such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight to enhance the orchestration and control framework for cloud infrastructure and services,” he said.

The company provides plugins to Neutron networking layers of OpenStack and has worked with ecosystem partners, such as Canonical, HP, Mirantis, Piston Cloud, Rackspace and Red Hat, to develop OpenStack enhancements.

Cisco, Brocade’s largest competitor, has been involved with OpenStack as well and has grown its own set of ecosystem partners in working to enhance networking layers within OpenStack.

OpenStack is an open cloud platform, however, and vendors are looking to further abstract networking layers in the form of a policy blueprint. Brocade is addressing inter-data center multitenancy, while Cisco is developing an application-centric interface to Neutron to compliment its own network-centric interface.

Huawei, the Chinese networking multinational collaborating with Brocade on the latest proposal, became an OpenStack Gold member late last year, when the OpenStack foundation held its first summit in Asia. The company has made contributions to the open source cloud codebase for storage.

Its joint effort with Huawei strengthens its integration possibilities for Neutron networking layers and gives it an opportunity for more contributions to the open source movement, which many of its competitors are involved in.

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