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oVirt Gaining Momentum

I have previously written about oVirt on this blog, but today, the official press release went out. You can read it in full here, but I’d like to quote a bit from the release:

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.

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Many Pairs of Eyes

December 1, 2011 at 7:00 am PST

Let me tell you a reason why open source and open communities are great: information sharing.

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.

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Open Source Software I Am Thankful For

As we approach Thanksgiving here in the US, we are reminded of things we are thankful for. I thought it poignant to reflect on Open Source projects I am thankful for. These are in no particular order, but represent everything from infrastructure projects to compilers to source control tools. These are some of the most popular and used software in the world today, and taking a moment to say thanks to all the developers, testers, and users is time well spent:

  1. Linux
  2. OpenStack
  3. oVirt
  4. Apache
  5. gcc
  6. Firefox
  7. OpenWRT
  8. git
  9. Hadoop
  10. Puppet
There are certainly plenty of additional Open Source projects out there turning great code into extraordinary solutions. What Open Source projects are you most thankful for? Feel free to share them in the comments so others can explore them and understand why they are so special!

OpenStack Quantum at the oVirt Kickoff Workshop

In my previous post, I talked about how networking was a large part of the discussion at the oVirt Kickoff Workshop. Increasingly, the network is elevating itself to be a first-class citizen in large open source infrastructure and cloud projects, including open source projects like OpenStack and now oVirt. In OpenStack, the Quantum project is the result of these discussions. Newborn community projects such as oVirt are starting to look at elevating the network to provide advanced functionality as well. It was no surprise a large portion of the last day of the workshop was spent on networking, with an early focus on Quantum.

The last day of the workshop started out the morning with an overview of SDNs and Quantum by Lew Tucker, CTO of Cloud at Cisco. Lew drew a nice overview of cloud networking on the white board, presenting an app-centric view of cloud and virtual networking. In the cloud network model, apps care only about  connectivity to the network, not how that connectivity happens, thus the focus on apps as the center of this world.

Lew Tucker Diagraming Quantum Networking

Lew Tucker Diagraming Quantum Networking

After Lew was done, Dan Wendlandt, project lead for Quantum, presented his Quantum slides. This was helpful to level-set everyone at oVirt with regards to Quantum and OpenStack. One of the main pain points with looking at  how Quantum can be shared from OpenStack into oVirt has been the difference in the networking models. OpenStack presents a very cloud-centric view of networking, whereas oVirt wants a more datacenter-centric model. Quantum was designed to generally be agnostic to the deployment model, so using it in oVirt should be a matter of fitting it into the architecture.

Ram Durairaj from Cisco, Chris Wright from Red Hat, and Dan Wendlandt from Nicira

Ram Durairaj from Cisco, Chris Wright from Red Hat, and Dan Wendlandt from Nicira

After Dan was done giving a broad Quantum overview, Ram Durairaj from the Cisco OpenStack team presented on Quantum L3 Services. Currently, Quantum is designed to address the L2 abstraction of the network. Quantum L3 Services are meant to expose L3 concepts such as subnets and gateways into Quantum and the plugins. It would also allow for routing between tenant domains.

Ram Durairaj

Ram Durairaj talking L3 Services

Now that the oVirt Kickoff Workshop is over, watching how the networking story with oVirt evolves will be interesting. The success of oVirt will be the result of the community around it, and the ecosystem for third party vendors it creates. With regards to networking in oVirt, the interactions between the Quantum community and the oVirt community have only just begun, and the future looks like a very collaborative affair between the two projects.

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oVirt Kickoff Workshop

The formation of a new community in the Open Source world is an exciting time. We at Cisco were lucky enough to participate in the formation of one such community while hosting the oVirt Kickoff Workshop at our San Jose headquarters. In making the decision to Open Source their RHEV-M product, Red Hat also decided to create a community, and ultimately an ecosystem around oVirt. The workshop filled up early after being announced, and the presentations and discussions have given the new community a look at the assets Red Hat is placing under the oVirt umbrella.

One area generating a significant amount of discussion was the network. The discussion revolved around elevating the network as an equal to other components of oVirt. If this sounds familiar, it is because the exact same discussion was recently undertaken in the OpenStack project, the result of which is the Quantum project. Quantum is an attempt to create a standalone network service, capable of provisioning virtual and physical networks. In OpenStack, it works with Nova to create networks and bring up interfaces, attaching them to those networks. Given Quantum was created to be standalone, looking into how it could integrate with oVirt seems logical. Quantum has the potential to become a clear way to consolidate the handling of network topologies and overlays, both hardware and software, for OpenStack and oVirt. With it’s plug-in architecture, vendors can provide value with their hardware or software plug-ins, writing a single plug-in to enable their network technologies to work on both OpenStack and oVirt.

With one day left of the Workshop, the workshop will shift to BoF sessions, as well as roadmap and release scheduling. Cisco is excited to not only be a part of this community, but also to be a strategic partner with a board seat. Going forward, we hope the excitement level demonstrated at the workshop will carry over as the community drives to the initial release of oVirt.

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