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Joe Arnold's Blog

Founder / CEO SwiftStack

OpenStack Summit Spring 2011I know this is a couple of months late… But, hey, we’ve been busy at Cloudscaling. Besides the talk I gave (Commercializing OpenStack Object Storage), I wanted to distill my notes from the Spring 2011 OpenStack Conference / Design Summit and give a rundown of where things are heading. There are a ton of topics from the conference to cover. So to start, here are my notes from the networking sessions I was able to attend. I’ll be covering more topics in future posts.


There was a a cacophony of proposals related to networking abstractions and interfaces. I attended the tail-end of an impromptu session on the first evening and about 40% of the 3-hour power-session on Thursday. One thing was clear — everyone who was participating in the discussions thought of networking as a first-order element in OpenStack (rightfully so!) just like compute and storage. NaaS (Networking as a Service) was an often-used phrase, as was references to Amazon’s CloudFormation and DCaaS (Data-Center-as-a-Service).

Dan Wendlandt from Nicira presented a proposal to abstract network services for OpenStack (called Quantumn). This proposal was primarlly focused on providing network connectivity-as-a-service. Additional network services (like load balancers, VPNs and the like) would connect into a Quantum resource just like a VM. http://www.slideshare.net/danwent/quantum-diablo-summary

Donabe was proposed by Ram Durairaj of Cisco. Lew Tucker and Ram Durairaj have a vision they really want to see through with network services. This proposal is a big vision of where networking in OpenStack can go. Donabe is a method of grouping of network resources into a manageable hunks that could be offered (…take a guess…) as-a-service. The idea is to contain other services into a meta service. For example, a service provider could bundle a ‘web application’ bundle which would contain load balancing services, a caching service, a front-end network for the application servers and a high-speed back-end network for data. These containers would have metering and pricing attached to them somehow. Check out the proposal: http://www.slideshare.net/ramdurairaj/donabe

IP management proposal Melange was discussed, but I didn’t see a presentation on it first-hand. Blueprint has it scheduled for the Diablo release. This would change existing Nova IP assignment. http://wiki.openstack.org/Melange

There was a lot of deliberation. One comment was memorable, “trying to get everyone to agree on a single monolithic network service is trying to boil the ocean”. I have to hand it to all involved with the networking discussions. Everyone worked hard to hash out issues and communicate their perspectives throughout the conference.

In summary, the target for networking in Diablo is to have in experimental mode:

  1. L2 services (code name Quantum)
  2. Network container abstraction (code named Donabe)
  3. IP Address Management (aka IPAM, code name Melange)
  4. and the Nova refactoring to support it

Next up: OpenStack Conference Block Storage

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