Cloudify Your Network Using Open Source

Recently, the shift of conversion from complex networking to open source frameworks are rising. This post will cover some of the top open source frameworks that can make interacting with the Cloud and network easier and faster for app developers.

Top Open Source Projects for Networking and Cloud Infra

  • OpenStack NeutronThe OpenStack cloud computing software platform, the most well known open source project to emerge in recent years, was originally a collaboration between Rackspace and NASA. OpenStack serves as an open source network orchestrator that lets users describe what they want from a network through a set of logical network abstractions.
  • OpenDaylightThis project, led by the Linux Foundation, focuses on the control and management of network resources, and has defined the controller architecture and use cases for SDNs through open APIs and standards-based protocols. ODL provides a broad range of infrastructure, allowing for flexible innovation in network applications.
  • Open vSwitchOpen vSwitch, licensed under Apache, is a multilayered switch that defines host/virtual machine/container interactions for networking. Critical portions of OVS are now included directly in the Linux kernel, and it has become an important building block in extending the network into the operating system.
  • OpenFlowNow managed by the Open Networking Foundation, OpenFlow started off the SDN movement in 2008 with the idea of programmability in switches. While it was not exactly what SDN advocates were looking for, it did advance the science, engage the research community and help guide in the SDN era.
  • OpFlexThis distributed policy protocol is intended to propagate an abstract, device-independent policy between a network controller and other network devices. A relatively new protocol proposed to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), OpFlex was designed to feature scalable architecture that works across a broad range of hardware devices to enable multivendor innovation.
  • Open vSwitch Database ManagementThe Open vSwitch Database Management Protocol. OVSDB was believed to handle management tasks on network devices not originally included in the OpenFlow protocol. It is commonly used in OpenDaylight and Open vSwitch, and it is even supported in some physical switches as well.
  • OPNFV - OPNFVIt is is an open source project under Linux foundation. The goal is to create an open source reference platform for developing NFV applications. The goal of the OPNFV project is to create a reference implementation using the model proposed by ETSI. OPNFV’s plan is to leverage the work done in other Opensource projects like Openstack, Opendaylight, Open vSwitch, KVM, Linux kernel, DPDK. Even though OPNFV can work with other Cloud OS and SDN controllers, the goal for the first release is to use the most popular Cloud OS, SDN controller and hypervisor mentioned above.

Cloud Networking

Few years back when the Cloud came along, there was considerable interest in the idea that networks should treat every application differently because each has unique needs which is called application aware networking.Software Defined Networking is a potential to host applications on the network by providing QoS and by understanding how changes in network performance affects a business user’s productivity. SDN could be used to create inlay virtual networks, which could offer each application a different QoS based on its needs.OpenStack Networking is a pluggable, scalable and API-driven system for the management of IP addresses and networks. OpenStack Networking ensures the network will not be the bottleneck or limiting factor in a cloud deployment, providing a real self service for users, even over their network configurations.

Possible Cloud Networking Capabilities

  • Can provides flexible networking models to suit the needs of different applications or user groups. In order to separate servers and traffic, flat networks or VLANs are included in standard models.
  • Can manage IP addresses, allowing for dedicated static IPs or DHCP. Floating IPs allow traffic to be dynamically rerouted to any of your compute resources, which allows you to redirect traffic during maintenance or in the case of failure.
  • Users can create their own networks, manage traffic, and connect servers and devices to one or more networks.
  • The pluggable backend architecture lets users take advantage of commodity gear or advanced networking services from supported vendors.
  • Administrators can take advantage of software-defined networking (SDN) technology like OpenFlow to allow for high levels of multi-tenancy and massive scale.
  • OpenStack Networking has an extension framework allowing additional network services, such as intrusion detection systems (IDS), firewalls, load balancing, and virtual private networks (VPN) to be deployed and managed.


Overall, by using open source networking and infrastructure tools one can achieve secure, customize and scalable network in private cloud deployments. Starting from Grizzly release of openstack, Neutron service uses Open vSwitch for the management of internal and external networks of cloud infrastructure. It also supports integration of ODL controller by enable plugin to connect to controller for managing various flow events. This would next generation, cheap and tailored made networking solution for any enterprises.

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