Rackspace Adds Brocade's vRouter
Rackspace Hosting announced Thursday that it is making the Brocade Communications Systems Inc. Vyatta vRouter available in its hybrid cloud.
That puts a virtual router in customers' hands, but Rackspace is touting the vRouter's firewall abilities. Vyatta, recently acquired by Brocade, had broadened the vRouter to do a number of tricks over the years. In this case the Vyatta routers would connect a client's Web servers to, say, a bunch of databases in the cloud, acting as a firewall between the two.
The vRouter is a software-based router that runs on server hardware, so it can do other things -- routing (duh) or acting as a virtual private network (VPN) gateway, for instance. The attraction to the firewall piece is that cloud customers previously had been building things like firewalls out of Linux components, says John Engates, Rackspace's CTO.
"You ended up having to write a lot of codes and firewall rules. It certainly was possible, but practical is another story," he says.
Rackspace is offering vRouters to a handful of customers at first, with a full rollout to take place in about a month.
Why this matters
The Vyatta acquisition gives Brocade a window into network functions virtualization (NFV) and, to some extent, software-defined networking (SDN). Rackspace, already a Brocade customer and a fan of SDN (the company uses VMware Inc.'s Network Virtualization Platform (NVP), originally developed by Nicira), could be a noteworthy test case for using the virtual routers in the cloud. For more