Open, modular architecture brings flexibility and agility to the data center

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Recently there has been a flurry of activity in the Open Source community – blog posts, articles, tweets. The discussion is about Application deployment and Policy enforcement in the data center. Why all the banter?  Reason – it is simpler for developers to set up services using an application-centric view rather than a network-centric view; and it allows them to do so without sacrificing application or data security. Nuage Networks has been a strong advocate of an Application Centric Policy framework. As a result, the Nuage Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) supported integrated policy from day one when we launched our product a year ago. We have continued to enhance this policy framework, which aligns with the current trends.

Figure 1 Application Centric view for a three tier application framework
Figure 1: Application Centric view for a three tier application framework

We are delighted that the Open Source community is beginning to share our point of view. This is reflected with the Neutron Group Policy extension work in OpenStack. Nuage is strongly committed to supporting this effort by contributing to the Neutron Core development. As part of this effort, we will also be providing support for Nuage VSP as a Network Policy provider in OpenStack

Another industry phenomenon is the shift away from individual configuration of applications, servers, and network devices to a DevOps model of programmable, repeatable configuration.  In the network world, CLI and NMS systems were most popular for many years resulting in a tangled web of homegrown scripts and tools. In a multi-vendor environment, this tangled mess is magnified. Nuage Networks believes that a fundamental shift is required to enable network programmability, application development velocity, and services delivery. The network can no longer be allowed to constrain the rate of service delivery (think Cloud Service Provider model). This observation is a significant driver for the adoption of open standards and protocols for systems and platforms.

 Figure2: Nuage Open Architecture
Figure 2: Nuage Networks Open Architecture

We are excited and proud to announce that the OpenStack Foundation has approved our Nuage VSP Icehouse plug-in. The icing on the cake is our collaboration with Red Hat, and the delivery of the Nuage VSP plugin slated for the upcoming Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 5 release, based on the OpenStack Icehouse distribution.

The certification of Nuage VSP with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform will offer a stable solution with the support needed to run in highly demanding, massive-scale enterprise environments.

Nuage Networks considers Red Hat to be an important partner in this Open architecture framework. We believe this collaboration reinforces our commitment to Open Source and Open systems. We at Nuage are honored to be able to work with one of the most respected and battle-hardened Linux operating systems.  In turn, Nuage will contribute “Network as code” and the ability to migrate from a Closed to an Open system with our Overlay solution.

We believe that Open wins over Closed and that a diverse eco-system is essential for interoperability to avoid vendor lock-in. The Nuage VSP architecture has been designed from the ground up to support any workload (physical and virtual), any hypervisor, and any cloud management system over any hardware (closed and open network systems and fabrics).

 

Figure 3: Nuage Virtualized Services Platform – A Modular, Open System
Figure 3: Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform – A Modular, Open System

Nuage Networks VSD supports REST APIs to allow simple integration with any Cloud Orchestration system. VSP relies on other Cloud Management Systems (CMS) to provide life-cycle management for the virtual machines, while VSP itself provisions network policy.

Nuage VSC inherits software from Alcatel-Lucent’s SROS which has been operating in large-scale Service Provider core networks. This carrier-grade software is a proven technology for stability, scale, and performance in large networks powering millions of end points. The Nuage distributed VRS module is building on Open vSwitch. The VRS can communicate using OVSDB and VXLAN to third party gateways thereby providing a communication path between the virtual and physical environments.

Nuage believes in Open systems and is a strong proponent of the Open Source community.  We look forward to sharing our solution use cases and best practices with the larger community in the coming months.