OpenContrail at the summit

There was a lot happening at the OpenStack summit in Atlanta this week. I got the opportunity to meet several of the most active OpenContrail developers; and envangilize the project with several people that are looking for an OpenStack networking solution that meets their needs.

The buzz on Neutron can be sumarized by: the default implementation of neutron doesn’t work. Many users find that running neutron service rack with l3-agent and dhcp agent isn’t working out for them: the neutron router is a choke point for traffic; there is no resiliency and some of the services (e.g. DHCP) are prone to melt down. This seemed to be the rought consensus of those who i spoke with (admitedly a rather un-scientific sample).

It is easy to explain the advantages of the OpenContrail implementation in this context. By implementing a fully distributed router implementation as well as distributing the DHCP, metadata proxy and floatingip functionality, OpenContrail solves most of the current pain points of Neutron.

On the other side, some of the users I spoke to where often concerned with the relativly small size of the community. Hopefully this weeks annoucement of the OpenContrail Advisory Board will help aliviate this concern. Growing the community continues to be the top priority.

On the technical side, I had the opportunity to work with Edouard and Sylvan on the source-nat blueprint / prototype. It is one of the gaps at the moment that we have to address. As a temporary workarond 1:N NAT will be implemented as a centralized service; hopefully we can follow it up quicly with the fully distributed approach that we have planned using BGP flow-spec.

“Distribute all the things !!!”. That needs to be the offical motto of the project.

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