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Mirantis Supports OpenContrail SDN, Partners on NFV Project

Mirantis Inc. continues to make moves in the fledgling software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) spaces, recently supporting the OpenContrail platform and teaming up for an NFV proof-of-concept project.

The 18-year-old Sunnyvale, Calif., company is a champion of the OpenStack project, which provides open source software for creating private and public clouds.

On Tuesday, news came that Mirantis recently completed an OpenStack proof-of-concept interoperability project with Intel subsidiary Wind River in that company's NFV lab.

"The goal of the project was modest: to demonstrate that Wind River's Titanium Server Carrier Grade software virtualization platform could be deployed in federation with the latest, most advanced version of Mirantis Pure Play Web-Scale OpenStack distribution," Wind River said in a blog post.

Wind River said that goal was achieved, proving the value of using open, standard interfaces in new-age networking endeavors and of "coopetition" -- two vendors cooperating to benefit both their customer bases and the industry as a whole.

The project involved installing the Mirantis OpenStack distribution across one set of servers as a primary OpenStack Region and the Wind River Titanium Server as a secondary OpenStack Region across a second, separate set of servers, targeting high-performance and high-reliability workloads.

"The results of this project are extremely important and powerful for the end user," Wind River said. "Having the ability to manage an entire cloud, containing different types of workloads, from a single user interface is fantastic! By deploying and taking advantage of the shared services built into OpenStack and enabled through OpenStack Regions, users are able to choose the software platform which best meets the needs and SLAs of their applications and services -- without sacrificing ease of use and manageability."

The NFV POC was but the latest example of Mirantis teaming up with other networking vendors to further SDN and NFV initiatives, a common industry occurrence as the nascent technologies mature and flesh themselves out. Recently, for example, it partnered with NTT Communications Corp., SUSE, Intel Corp., Google Inc. and others on various projects.

Also, last week the company said it had become the first vendor to offer support and managed services for the OpenContrail SDN project -- an open source network virtualization platform for the cloud -- championed by Juniper Networks Inc. Mirantis said OpenContrail is one of the more popular SDN platforms used with OpenStack.

"OpenContrail is an Apache 2.0-licensed project that is built using standards-based protocols and provides all the necessary components for network virtualization -- SDN controller, virtual router, analytics engine, and published northbound APIs," Mirantis said in a statement. "It has an extensive REST API to configure and gather operational and analytics data from the system. Built for scale, OpenContrail can act as a fundamental network platform for cloud infrastructure."

With the commercial support announcement, OpenContrail joins other popular open source technologies in the OpenStack ecosystem supported by Mirantis, such as Ceph, which deals with storage, OpenStack/KVM, which offers compute services, and Neutron for SDN.

"SDN is no longer a disruptive innovation, but an integral, commodity part of any large scale cloud environment," said Mirantis exec Boris Renski. "It needs to be supported and managed as a part of the stack, not as a standalone software component. To provide the best experience for our customers, we need to serve as a single throat to choke for managing core OpenStack and adjacent open technologies, including SDN."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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