We’ve held our annual Cisco Open Source event this week, on May 1st in San Jose. I’m very impressed to see the large turnout and the ultra positive feedback after the keynote and 5 tracks on Linux, SDN, Big Data, Emerging Technologies and Community Development. Wonderful to see Irving Wladawsky-Berger from IBM, Jim Zemlin from the Linux Foundation, Simon Crosby from Bromium and the great discussions that ensued. Next time we’ll have to open this event up to more than just one afternoon, there is just so much open collaboration that is taking place. My thanks to our track leads, Michael Hein who helped me put together the Linux track, Jan Medved and Dave Ward on SDN, Mark Voelker and Ed Warnicke on Big Data, Fabio Maino and Flavio Bonomi on Emerging Technologies, and Peter Saint-Andre for the Community Management and Tools — these guys have already left their mark on timeless and enduring open standards, but it’s amazing to see how good they are in open source! We’ll have to post the key takeaways in these next blog entries, for now to all those of you who came, contributed and enjoyed this event, we salute you! Open at Cisco is a vibrant and growing community.
As the oVirt project continues to move forward, a new workshop has been setup in Beijing on March 21st. The workshop page has all the details. If you are in the Asia-Pacific region and are looking to learn more about oVirt, this is a fabulous place to do just that. Interact with developers on the oVirt project, learn about the development process, and get involved. If the oVirt Kickoff Workshop from last fall was any indication, this workshop will be another great event for the oVirt Community. Cisco, as a board member of the oVirt project, is excited to see this community and technology continue to advance forward.
Since the announcement of VXLAN last summer, there has been interest in the Open Source community for an open implementation of this. With the increasing number of Open Source cloud and virtualization technologies out there, where does VXLAN fit into this picture? I think one logical place for it to exist is inside OpenStack Quantum. As a service providing network connectivity between interface devices, this is a logical place for it to exist, especially as it pertains to disparite plugins.
But before I explain how VXLAN could plug into Quantum, some background may be good. Omar Sultan posted a great 3 part blog series on VXLAN (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Reading this will give you a good, relevant background on VXLAN.
An Open Source implementation of VXLAN would require 2 pieces: A data path piece, to implement the protocol and framing format. And a control path piece, to handle orchestration of segment IDs and multicast addresses. For the data path piece, patches were posted to the Open vSwitch mailing list in October 2011, but so far have not been merged into either the Open vSwitch project’s git tree, nor the upstream Open vSwitch kernel code in the Linux tree. Once these patches make it into a public git repository, the data path portion of the equation is complete.
But what about the control path piece? One logical landing spot would be in OpenStack Quantum. Looking at version 1.0 of the Quantum API guide, we can begin to see how to add VXLAN support into Quantum. Quantum networks are created agnostic of their underlying segmentation technology. Currently, VLANs are used. Adding in VXLAN support would be as simple as adding in a type to “Create Network” call. Specifying VXLAN would allow Quantum to provision a Segment ID, and allocate a block of multicast addresses to use. Multiple hosts could still be added to multiple networks with a type of VXLAN. Quantum would work great for handling these types of tasks.
The place where this really begins to shine, however, is in the plugin architecture of Quantum. With Quantum handling the tasks of segment ID allocation, the plugins will have to handle the VXLAN protocol implementation for a network with type VXLAN. Vendors can now implement VXLAN in their plugins, and this buys end users the ability to have a heterogenous VXLAN environment out of the box.
The oVirt project today announced that Canonical, Cisco, IBM, Intel, NetApp, Red Hat and SUSE have joined together to help create a new open source community for the development of open virtualization platforms, including virtual management tools to manage the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) hypervisor. With the oVirt project, the industry gains an open source, openly governed virtualization stack.
The key piece to note above is the community aspect. oVirt as a community will develop and create an ecosystem in which customers, developers, and vendors can all thrive. Since the workshop, the community has been working towards the first release of oVirt for public consumption. Cisco, being on the oVirt board, is proud to be a part of the oVirt community as this community drives towards the initial release of oVirt.
Let me explain…
I am Cisco’s representative to the Open MPI project, a middleware implementation of the Message Passing Interface (MPI) standard that facilitates big number crunching and parallel programming. It’s a fairly large, complex code base: Ohloh says that there are 0ver 674,000 lines of code. Open MPI is portable to a wide variety of platforms and network types.
However, supporting all the things that MPI is suppose to support and providing the same experience on every platform and network can be quite challenging. For example, a user posted a problem to our mailing list the other day about a specific feature not working properly on OS X.