Sunday, July 13, 2014

First Thoughts on OpenContrail

Thanks to Juniper Networks and Bay Area Network Virtualization Meet-up group for a wonderful OpenContrail hands on session. Juniper product marketing folks created an awesome environment to play and learn their solution. I appreciate their openness, indeed a rare quality among big companies. Especially from the one, Juniper, which is under lot of pressure to perform in changing DataCenter networking field.

What does OpenContrail Do?

Open, standard based  solution to do Network virtualization and service automation for cloud network.
It has 3 important stakeholders,
1. Controller (configuration, control and Analytics
2. VRouter (Every compute element has VRouter)
3. Gateway (Exit point to external network) - any MPLS-VPN OR VxLAN and Tunneling supported Router

Solution expects IP reachability between all nodes very simple flat network is sufficient.
You can create a IP Pool, Create VM and set its NIC. Whole set becomes a VPC (Virtual Private Cloud).

Now, Define Network Functions .i.e policies from GUI like access to external IP, IP NAT, Firewall and LB (Load balancing) policies. Without contrail imagine provisioning public/private cloud in DC and making any small changes. If you have ever dealt with network provisioning team you know the pain and delay. Software Defined DataCenter aimed to remove those provisioning and monitoring hurdles, contrail is moving ahead with its solution.

OpenContrail is bringing so much value to SDN echo system. Solution is completely open. Network provisioning, management and analytics comes easy to scale your DC without much hurdle.

OpenContrail has so many things to talk about. I would like to talk more in newer posts. For now i would like to complete this post with few question.

Flat IP connectivity is a big piece to manage. How network bottle neck can be solved?
How I/O can be managed? Storage is a critical piece in VM provisioning
How deep analytics can penetrate? How Infrastructure can be handled better with application intelligence?

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