Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6: SR-IOV Networking – Part II: Walking Through the Implementation

In the previous blog post in this series we looked at what single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) networking is all about and we discussed why it is an important addition to Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. In this second post we would like to provide a more detailed overview of the implementation, some thoughts on the current limitations, as well as what enhancements are being worked on in the OpenStack community.

Note: this post does not intend to provide a full end to end configuration guide. Customers with an active subscription are welcome to visit the official article covering SR-IOV Networking in Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 for a complete procedure.

 

Setting up the Environment

In our small test environment we used two physical nodes: one serves as a Compute node for hosting virtual machine (VM) instances, and the other serves as both the OpenStack Controller and Network node. Both nodes are running Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.

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Red Hat, Nuage Networks, OpenStack, and KISS

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The reality is that IT is serious money – IDC estimates that the Internet of Things (IoT) market alone will hit $7.1 trillion by 2020![1]  But a lot of that money is due to the IT industry practice of “lock-in” – trapping a customer into a proprietary technology and then charging high costs, in some instances up to 10X cost, for every component   For some reason, customers object to having to pick one vendor’s approach, being subject to limitations – whether technological or otherwise, paying high markups for every incremental extension, then having to pay high switching costs for the next solution at end of life in five years or less.

As a consequence, many of those customers are taking a good, hard look at open source software (OSS) that can minimize vendor lock-in. OSS communities also encourage the development of software solutions that run on industry-standard and reasonably priced hardware. In particular, OpenStack has been well received by businesses of all sizes, and the OpenStack community is growing by leaps-and-bounds with 625% more participating developers and 307% more business members as of its fourth birthday![2] Since OpenStack can orchestrate operations for an entire datacenter, it offers a vision of the future where  customers are free from server, network, and storage lock-in.

However, legacy naysayers have always articulated three catches with OSS:
1)    Making it enterprise-grade in terms of scalability, reliability, and security
2)    Ensuring that the code base grows over time so that others can move the ball forward
3)    Getting enterprise-class support for the code base

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