What’s Coming in OpenStack Networking for the Kilo Release

KiloOpenStack  Kilo, the 11th release of the open source project, was officially released in April, and now is a good time to review some of the changes we saw in the OpenStack Networking (Neutron) community during this cycle, as well as some of the key new networking features introduced in the project.

Scaling the Neutron development community

The Kilo cycle brings two major efforts which are meant to better expand and scale the Neutron development community: core plugin decomposition and advanced services split. These changes should not directly impact OpenStack users but are expected to reduce code footprint, improve feature velocity, and ultimately bring faster innovation speed. Let’s take a look at each individually:

Neutron core plugin decomposition

Neutron, by design, has a pluggable architecture which offers a custom backend implementation of the Networking API. The plugin is a core piece of the deployment and acts as the “glue” between the logical API and the actual implementation. As the project evolves, more and more plugins were introduced, coming from open-source projects and communities (such as Open vSwitch and OpenDaylight), as well as from various vendors in the networking industry (like Cisco, Nuage, Midokura and others). At the beginning of the Kilo cycle, Neutron had dozens of plugins and drivers span from core plugins, ML2 mechanism drivers, L3 service plugins, and L4-L7 service plugins for FWaaS, LBaaS and VPNaaS – the majority of those included directly within the Neutron project repository. The amount of code required to review across those drivers and plugins was growing to the point where it was no longer scaling. The expectation that core Neutron reviewers review code which they had no knowledge of, or could not test due to lack of proper hardware or software setup, was not realistic. This also caused some frustration among the vendors themselves, who sometimes failed to get their plugin code merged on time.

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Driving in the Fast Lane – CPU Pinning and NUMA Topology Awareness in OpenStack Compute

The OpenStack Kilo release, extending upon efforts that commenced during the Juno cycle, includes a number of key enhancements aimed at improving guest performance. These enhancements allow OpenStack Compute (Nova) to have greater knowledge of compute host layout and as a result make smarter scheduling and placement decisions when launching instances. Administrators wishing to take advantage of these features can now create customized performance flavors to target specialized workloads including Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and High Performance Computing (HPC).

What is NUMA topology?

Historically, all memory on x86 systems was equally accessible to all CPUs in the system. This resulted in memory access times that were the same regardless of which CPU in the system was performing the operation and was referred to as Uniform Memory Access (UMA).

In modern multi-socket x86 systems system memory is divided into zones (called cells or nodes) and associated with particular CPUs. This type of division has been key to the increasing performance of modern systems as focus has shifted from increasing clock speeds to adding more CPU sockets, cores, and – where available – threads. An interconnect bus provides connections between nodes, so that all CPUs can still access all memory. While the memory bandwidth of the interconnect is typically faster than that of an individual node it can still be overwhelmed by concurrent cross node traffic from many nodes. The end result is that while NUMA facilitates faster memory access for CPUs local to the memory being accessed, memory access for remote CPUs is slower.

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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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OpenStack Summit Vancouver: Agenda Confirms 40+ Red Hat Sessions

As this Spring’s OpenStack Summit in Vancouver approaches, the Foundation has now posted the session agenda, outlining the final schedule of events. I am very pleased to report that Red Hat and eNovance have more than 40 approved sessions that will be included in the weeks agenda, with a few more approved as joint partner sessions, and even a few more as waiting alternates.

This vote of confidence confirms that Red Hat and eNovance continue to remain in sync with the current topics, projects, and technologies the OpenStack community and customers are most interested in and concerned with.

Red Hat is also a headline sponsor in Vancouver this Spring, along with Intel, SolidFire, and HP, and will have a dedicated keynote presentation, along with the 40+ accepted sessions. To learn more about Red Hat’s accepted sessions, have a look at the details below. Be sure to visit us at the below sessions and at our booth (#H4). We look forward to seeing you in Vancouver in May!

For more details on each session, click on the title below:

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An ecosystem of integrated cloud products

In my prior post, I described how OpenStack from Red Hat frees  you to pursue your business with the peace of mind that your cloud is secure and stable. Red Hat has several products that enhance OpenStack to provide cloud management, virtualization, a developer platform, and scalable cloud storage.

Cloud Management with Red Hat CloudForms            

CloudForms contains three main components

  • Insight – Inventory, Reporting, Metrics red-hat-cloudforms-logo
  • Control – Eventing, Compliance, and State Management
  • Automate – Provisioning, Reconfiguration, Retirement, and Optimization

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An OpenStack Cloud that frees you to pursue your business

As your IT evolves toward an open, cloud-enabled data center, you can take advantage of OpenStack’s benefits: broad industry support, vendor neutrality, and fast-paced innovation.

As you move into implementation, your requirements for an OpenStack solutions shares a familiar theme: enterprise-ready, fully supported, and seamlessly-integrated products.

Can’t we just install and manage OpenStack ourselves?

OpenStack is an open source project and freely downloadable. To install and maintain OpenStack you need to recruit and retain engineers trained in Python and other technologies. If you decide to go it alone consider:

  1. How do you know OpenStack works with your hardware?
  2. Does OpenStack work with your guest instances?
  3. How do you manage and upgrade OpenStack?
  4. When you encounter problems, consider how you would solve them? Some examples:

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Co-Engineered Together: OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

OpenStack is not a software application that just runs on top of any random Linux. OpenStack is tightly coupled to the operating system it runs on and choosing the right Linux  operating system, as well as an OpenStack platform, is critical to provide a trusted, stable, and fully supported OpenStack environment.

OpenStack is an Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud management platform, a set of software tools, written mostly in Python, to manage hosts at large scale and deliver an agile, cloud-like infrastructure environment, where multiple virtual machine Instances, block volumes and other infrastructure resources can be created and destroyed rapidly on demand.

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Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6: SR-IOV Networking – Part I: Understanding the Basics

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6: SR-IOV Networking – Part I: Understanding the Basics

Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 introduces support for single root I/O virtualization (SR-IOV) networking. This is done through a new SR-IOV mechanism driver for the OpenStack Networking (Neutron) Modular Layer 2 (ML2) plugin, as well as necessary enhancements for PCI support in the Compute service (Nova).

In this blog post I would like to provide an overview of SR-IOV, and highlight why SR-IOV networking is an important addition to RHEL OpenStack Platform 6. We will also follow up with a second blog post going into the configuration details, describing the current implementation, and discussing some of the current known limitations and expected enhancements going forward.

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A Closer Look at RHEL OpenStack Platform 6

Last week we announced the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, the latest version of our cloud solution providing a foundation for production-ready cloud. Built on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 this latest release is intended to provide a foundation for building OpenStack-powered clouds for advanced cloud users. Lets take a deeper dive into some of the new features on offer!

IPv6 Networking Support

IPv6 is a critical part of the promise of the cloud. If you want to connect everything to the network, you better plan for massive scale and have enough addresses to use. IPv6 is also increasingly important in the network functions virtualization (NFV) and telecommunication service provider space.

This release introduces support for IPv6 address assignment for tenant instances including those that are connected to provider networks; while IPv4 is more straight forward when it comes to IP address assignment, IPv6 offers some more flexibility and options to choose from. Both stateful and stateless DHCPv6 are supported, as well as the ability to use Stateless Address Autoconfiguration (SLAAC).

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Accelerating OpenStack adoption: Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6!

On Tuesday February 17th, we announced the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, Red Hat’s fourth release of the commercial OpenStack offering to the market.

Based on the community OpenStack “Juno” release and co-engineered with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, the enterprise-hardened Version 6 is aimed at accelerating the adoption of OpenSack among enterprise businesses, telecommunications companies, Internet service providers (ISPs), and public cloud hosting providers.

Since the first version released in July 2013, the “design principles” of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform product offering are:

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