Cloud Services

Midokura Open Sources Its Virtual Network

Midokura today released the source code for MidoNet, its virtual networking software for OpenStack infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds.

"We've been hard at work building our MidoNet solution for the past four years, well ahead of the competition," said Dan Mihai Dumitriu, co-founder and CEO of Midokura , in a statement. "The OpenStack Neutron community is quite fractured because multiple vendors are trying to sell proprietary solutions and thus have little incentive to invest in the default, which remains unfit for production. We decided to resolve the cognitive dissonance by open sourcing MidoNet, and making it a truly community driven project."

Midokura made MidoNet available under the Apache 2.0 license, and will build a community around the project, with the support of partners, including Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), Cumulus Networks , Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY), Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT), Super Micro Computer Inc. and Canonical.

Midokura will continue to package and sell an enterprise version of MidoNet, with added support and management tools.

Midokura released MidoNet about a year ago. Its customers include Zetta.IO and KVH Co., cloud providers out of Norway and Japan, respectively. Midokura is also in discussions with carriers, cloud providers and enterprises, says Adam Johnson, Midokura general manager in charge of technical alliances, business development, technical services and now open source. (See Midokura Does Net Virtualization at Web Scale .)

Midokura expects to find open sourcing more expensive than keeping its software proprietary, as they will have to staff up to hire community managers, developers and other staff, expand its marketing budget, and foot the bill itself.

What's in it for Midokura? "If the community rallies to MidoNet and it becomes the most important networking option in Neutron, that gives us more ability to upsell our enterprise product, which offers a GUI on top of that, production support, porting, bug fixes -- the typical Red Hat/Cloudera model," Johnson says. Open source reduces sales cycle times by allowing customers to "get their hands on the bits instead of going through the whole sales process," Johnson says.

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MidoNet would be an alternative to the Open vSwitch plugin for Neutron, and Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) OpenContrail, as well as proprietary options such as VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW) NSX and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s Nuage Networks , Johnson said. (See Juniper Gives OpenDaylight Some Loving, VMware Touts Strong NSX Growth, and Nuage Claims SDN Progress.)

MidoNet isn't a competitor to Neutron -- it plugs into it, says OpenStack spokesman Robert Cathey. "More precisely, if you're deploying an OpenStack cloud and you choose MidoNet as your networking plugin, you're also going to use Neutron," Cathey said in an email. "Neutron provides an API abstraction layer for networking devices and software-defined networking plugins such as MidoNet, open vSwitch, Nicira NSX, Cisco, Juniper, Big Switch, etc."

Midokura open-sourcing MidoNet "is a welcome development for OpenStack users looking at plug in choices, particularly if they value an open source option," Cathey added.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to [email protected]

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