VMware at the OpenStack Summit

By Guest Blogger: Martin Casado

It has been a very busy week at the OpenStack Summit. Unfortunately, I am not there but Quantum is.

What is Quantum?

Quantum is the networking-as-a-service capability and most talked about aspect to OpenStack’s Folsom release. Quantum has become a game-changer when it comes to enabling advanced networking in OpenStack environments, and the Nicira team at VMware has been leading the charge both in open source Quantum development and in deploying Quantum in production OpenStack environments.

Like many cloud stacks, the initial focus of OpenStack was on compute (Nova) and storage (Glance, Swift) with networking as a sub-component within Nova, offering very limited options of a “flat” network model (all tenants on the same public network) or “VLAN” network mode (VMs from each tenant are placed on a different VLAN).

OpenStack Quantum overcomes both types of limitations by providing:

  • A flexible tenant-facing API to provisioning “virtual networks,” “virtual subnets,” and “virtual ports” to define network topology, addressing and packet forwarding policies
  • A “plugin” architecture that lets cloud operators choose different back-end technologies to implement Quantum networking.

VMware’s Quantum Leadership

The Nicira team at VMware was instrumental in starting the Quantum project at the Diablo OpenStack Summit and has led the project both in terms of employing Quantum core developers and the Quantum Project Technical Lead (PTL). These efforts include significant open source contributions of code, documentation, community support, and OpenStack advocacy at conferences around the world.

More importantly, VMware is the clear leader in helping customers successfully leverage Quantum to bring advanced networking to production OpenStack deployments. The Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP), which has been generally available for well over a year, powers many of the most advanced OpenStack deployments to date, including the largest OpenStack cloud in the world at Rackspace. NVP enables enterprise class networking at cloud scales using overlay network virtualization combined with a highly scalable and fault tolerant network control plane. Add in a healthy dose of management capabilities for monitoring and trouble-shooting cloud networks and integration with OpenStack Quantum and you have a truly powerful solution.

VMware at the OpenStack Summit

Quantum is a big deal, and we are very excited about the impact OpenStack Quantum has already had on the OpenStack community and are looking forward to an even broader engagement during the Grizzly release cycle. VMware CTO Steve Herrod gave a talk today highlighting other ways VMware is positively engaging with the community. One of the things he hit on was how VMware will improve support of the vSphere hypervisor (ESX) in OpenStack compute (Nova) by preparing a series of code commits. This is the latest evidence of VMware’s history of commitment to openness as well as to the broader interoperability needs of modern cloud computing. To hear more about VMware’s vision of the software-defined datacenter in a multi-cloud world, check out Steve’s blog here.

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