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Metacloud to Integrate VXLAN into OpenStack, Plans to Open Source the Code

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Private and hosted OpenStack cloud provider Metacloud announced plans to integrate Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) into its cloud stack.

VXLAN is a networking technology that tries to fix scaling problems associated with large clouds. Metacloud plans to contribute the code for its VXLAN-for-OpenStack solution to the open source cloud software development community. The contribution may advance the state of virtualized networking in OpenStack, enhancing big data workload capabilities.

“We’re contributing this back,” said Sean Lynch, Metacloud founder and CEO. “Everyone that uses Nova network — assuming our contribution is accepted — will have a very robust high speed networking option. Neutron (an OpenStack network project) isn’t there yet, and the Nova networking project has been officially reopened and is actively being contributed to yet again.”

Traditional multi-tenant OpenStack solutions are built on top of isolation within Layer 2. VXLAN allows all compute nodes and hypervisors to have Layer 3 relationships. It routes without blocking any ports, which is important for latency-sensitive workloads.

“The issue is OpenStack’s NovaNet model does things where tenants sit on VLANs and use Layer 2 netwoking semantics to separate tenants,” Lynch explained. “What happens when you deploy this purely at Layer 2, is switch ports get blocked to ensure you don’t have loops on the network. It’s all well and good from a high-availability standpoint. This type of redundancy has been around for 25-plus years. It’s OK for general cloud computing needs, but for big, scale-out clouds and stuff like Hadoop and Cassandra, it’s not enough.”

Metacloud is working with Cumulus Networks, a startup that sells a Linux-based network operating system for bare-metal networking switches. Metacloud will integrate its solution on Cumulus’ OS. The integrated solution will be an important proof point, as it will validate the potential of open networking on Linux.

“The combination of Cumulus Linux and Metacloud’s VXLAN implementation is a clear example of why open networking is more of a priority now than ever,” said Nolan Leake, co-founder and CTO, Cumulus Networks.

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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