LONDON -- Metaswitch Networks today is contributing the initial code base for Project Calico, an open-source solution that enables the implementation of large, standards-based, cloud data center infrastructures. The code is available to the worldwide community of network operators, software developers and systems integrators at Project Calico.
Project Calico represents a new approach to virtual networking, based on the same scalable IP networking principles that are widely deployed within the Internet backbone.
First established in enterprise data centers, network virtualization techniques are becoming increasingly important for emerging network operator infrastructures, providing the foundation for Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). While today’s smaller cloud data centers leverage Layer 2 techniques, such as Ethernet VLAN, they can quickly hit inherent scaling limits of that technology. Alternatives such as VXLAN, GRE and SDN-controlled flows, however, are inherently complex in the networking domain and add unnecessary processing overheads on host machines.
The technology behind Project Calico leverages the fact that the vast majority of today’s workloads are based on IP and that Internet core routing and route discovery techniques, namely the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), are the perfect tools for architecting high-performance, large-scale networks. By tightly integrating with cloud operating systems, such as OpenStack, Project Calico provides the framework for orchestrated IP routing in between virtual machines (VMs) and host machines, along with intra and inter-data center interconnects.
Metaswitch believes sharing the Project Calico code base will encourage more industry innovation and help today’s network operators evolve into software telcos. The company is in the process of working with a variety of partners to form an ecosystem that will support technology interoperability and shared expertise to help network operators build solutions using Project Calico.
Project Calico is part of Metaswitch’s Neuron Initiative, a path toward intelligent network function virtualization for network operators. The Neuron Initiative delivers a framework for NFV by combining a foundation for intelligent virtualization with a realistic approach to SDN-centric, high-scale data center and wide area infrastructures that meet both the technical and business challenges of this emerging carrier architecture.