& cplSiteName &

Metaswitch Makes Major Virtual Network Move

Carol Wilson
7/8/2014
50%
50%

Metaswitch today launched an open source project aimed at moving the virtual networking component of the NFV infrastructure from Layer 2 to Layer 3 of the network to achieve Internet scale in addition to greater simplicity and efficiency. (See Metaswitch Launches Open Source Project Calico.)

Project Calico is intended to become part of OpenStack, according to Metaswitch Networks CTO Martin Taylor. OpenStack is viewed within the NFV community as the likely option for virtual networking in the Network Functions Virtualization architecture designed by the ETSI NFV Industry Specifications Group.

Current implementations of OpenStack run at Layer 2, however, and that adds the complexity of using Ethernet virtual LANs or other forms of overlay networks and tunnels in order to support legacy enterprise protocols, he says. That involves a lot of encapsulation, or as Taylor puts it, "wrappering and un-wrappering."

Since today's NFV deployments and data centers are using IP-based network gear, it's more logical to adopt a Layer 3 approach, which reduces complexity, boosts scalability, and increases networking efficiency, he maintains. This less complex form of providing virtual networking becomes more important in the NFV world as service chaining begins and virtualized functions aren't contained to a single data center.

Metaswitch is offering Project Calico under a free software license via Apache License. Users, including service providers, can install OpenStack and then install Project Calico, which will take over the networking function of the default OpenStack deployment. Of course, Metaswitch will also sell a commercial version of the product, as well as support options for those who use the technology.

"It's a complete open source implementation," Taylor says. "That is the initial target for Calico. But this approach is also applicable to other types of cloud environments."

NFV focused
That may be where Project Calico gets even more interesting for NFV deployment. He sees a growing interest within the NFV community for what he terms "lightweight virtualization techniques," which don't always virtualize a complete machine image that includes an operation system. These more lightweight containers can support apps that piggyback off the host operating system, so that more instances of a given app can run on a physical machine, because space isn't eaten up by the OS.

"There are lots of use cases in the NFV space where this approach to virtualization makes more sense than the full-blown heavyweight full virtual machine approach typified by OpenStack," he says. So while OpenStack is the infrastructure of choice right now, other types of infrastructure using these lightweight containers are likely to show up alongside OpenStack.

Project Calico can provide a unifying network solution that works across those environments so that service chains can combine functions that are in full virtual machines with those that are in the lightweight container space. It can connect with physical boxes as well, which are likely to be part of the service provider infrastructure long after they have started the virtualization process.

He points to CoreOS, Docker, and Flynn as examples of up-and-coming players who are developing cloud solutions around the lightweight container idea. There is even the potential for Project Calico to make the orchestration of virtual functions easier, thus addressing a core problem for service providers that most admit is slowing their NFV deployment plans. For one thing, Taylor says, this removes the concern about the scalability of NFV infrastructure. In addition, it can simplify the orchestration of virtual network functions by removing many of the steps required to set up networking connectivity in a Layer 2 approach.

Metaswitch has been actively socializing Project Calico among other vendors, those in the OpenStack community and within the ETSI NFV ISG. Taylor expects the ultimate work that comes out of that group to incorporate the Layer 3 networking option for its virtual networking, although nothing is certain yet. He says there has been a "warm embrace" for the open source project among many in the NFV community, including service providers and vendors

Project Calico is built largely on open source resources, including those from OpenStack (the Neutron plug-in) and from the Linux kernel (layer 3 forwarding and more). Metaswitch has developed a Neutron plug-in for Calico and a software agent called Felix that provides forwarding table updates and security policies. It also allows users to determine which virtual machines can access a given application.

More information and downloads are available here.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Light Reading’s Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
NEXT COURSE
Wednesday, August 3, 1:00PM EDT
The Central Office Re-Architected as a Data Center
Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, Open Networking Research Center, Open Networking Lab
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, August 10, 1:00PM EDT
Telcos & Open Source 101
Phil Robb, Senior Technical Director, OpenDaylight
Friday, August 12, 1:00PM EDT
The Role of Open Source in NFV
Jim Fagan, Director, Cloud Practice, Telstra
Wednesday, August 17, 1:00PM EDT
Using Open Source for Data Centers and Cloud Services
Roz Roseboro, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Reinventing Operations for a Virtual, Software-Defined World

7|28|16   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Jim Hodges speaks with Accenture's Larry Socher and Matt Anderson about what service providers must do to transform their business to get the benefits of SDN and NFV including: leveraging DevOps, introducing real-time OSS and implementing analytics.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu Sales Leader Shares Lessons Learned

7|27|16   |   5:12   |   (1) comment


As Fujitsu's only female sales leader, Annie Bogue knows the importance of asking for what you want, being flexible (she's been relocated five times), keeping a meticulous calendar, 'leaning in,' working harder than everyone else around you, being aware and more.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
VeEX Test & Measurement Solutions

7|25|16   |   08:57   |   (0) comments


Cyrille Morelle, president and CEO of VeEX Inc., talks test and measurement with Light Reading's Steve Saunders at BCE 2016. This includes innovative products such as VeSion Cloud-Based platform for network monitoring; MTTplus Modular Test platform for Access, Business, Carrier Ethernet, Transport and Core services; and OPX-BOX+ for Fiber Optics.
LRTV Custom TV
VeEX: Live From BCE 2016

7|25|16   |   03:20   |   (0) comments


VeEX's Senior Director of Business Development, Perry Romano, explains how VeEX provides tools to help install, maintain, monitor and manage network infrastructure efficiently and effectively. The portfolio of products on display include the RXT-6000, MTTplus and TX300s.
LRTV Custom TV
Real-Time Telemetry & Analytics for Intelligent SDN Orchestration

7|25|16   |   03:09   |   (0) comments


Packet Design CEO Scott Sherwood discusses how real-time network telemetry and analytics are enabling a new breed of SDN orchestration applications.
From the Founder
The Russo Report: Driving Disruption

7|25|16   |   07:44   |   (0) comments


In the first episode of a four-part series, Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders and Calix President and CEO Carl Russo drive around town discussing the disruptive mega-changes in the communications industry and where hope lies for service providers to meet the escalating demands of the cloud.
LRTV Custom TV
NetScout: Maximizing Enterprise Cloud for Digital Transformation

7|20|16   |   04:53   |   (0) comments


Light Reading Editor Mitch Wagner talks to NetScout CMO Jim McNiel about maximizing the benefits of enterprise cloud and digital transformation while minimizing potential pitfalls with a proper monitoring and instrumentation strategy.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Ciena's VP Offers a Career Crash Course

7|20|16   |   4:14   |   (2) comments


How did Ciena's Vice President of Sales, Angela Finn, carve out her career path? Simple, she tells WiC. She stayed true to her company, customers and principles. She shares her advice for women on how to be authentic and credible, as well as for companies that want to make a real change to their culture and practices.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV in 2016: Part 2 – Climbing the Virtualization Maturity Curve

7|19|16   |   06:56   |   (0) comments


Many of the initial use case implementations are single-vendor and self-contained. The industry is still climbing the virtualization maturity curve, needing further clarity and stability in the NFV infrastructure (NFVi) and greater availability and choice of virtualized network functions (VNFs). Interoperability between NFVis and VNFs from different vendors ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks' Kumar Mehta on SD-WAN Managed Services

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


In Silicon Valley, Steve Saunders sits down with Versa's Kumar Mehta for an interview focused on why service providers are building SD-WAN managed services, and how Versa's telco customers are innovating.
LRTV Custom TV
Juniper Networks & The Evolution of NFV

7|19|16   |   06:01   |   (0) comments


Senior Juniper Networks executives talk to Light Reading Founder & CEO Steve Saunders about NFV developments and the recent independent evaluation by test lab EANTC of Juniper's Cloud CPE solution.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink Goes Beyond Managed WiFi

7|19|16   |     |   (0) comments


CenturyLink's managed WiFi allows enterprises, such as retailers and resorts, to track guest WiFi usage in order to help them better communicate with customers.
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
November 3, 2016, The Montcalm Marble Arch, London
November 30, 2016, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 6-8, 2016,
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Five of the Top 10 most targeted countries in Check Point Software Technologies' global Malware & Threat Index for Q1 2016 are in Africa.
Hot Topics
Verizon Sports Big Plans for Yahoo
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 7/26/2016
Light Reading Beyond
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 7/28/2016
Are IP/Optical Integration Initiatives Moving to Silos?
Faisal Khan, Network Operator Technology Planning Dept., 7/28/2016
Yahoo Signing Off in $4.83B Sale to Verizon
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 7/25/2016
Ericsson Board Has Been Asleep at the Wheel – Consultant
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 7/25/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
There's no question that, come 2020, 5G technology will turn the world's conception of what mobile networking is on its head. Within the world of 5G development, Dr. ...
I've enjoyed interviewing many interesting people since I rejoined Light Reading, but William A. "Bill" Owens certainly takes the biscuit, as we say where I come from.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.