The OpenContrail Plug-in proposal was filed yesterday morning, according to the OpenDaylight wiki log. The plug-in would give OpenDaylight access to some of Juniper Contrail‘s capabilities. Service chaining for network functions virtualization (NFV) is one that’s spelled out in the proposal.
Despite being an OpenDaylight platinum member — the highest and most expensive level of sponsorship — Juniper hasn’t participated a whole lot. Former employees have told SDNCentral they were forbidden from making OpenDaylight contributions that might compete with OpenContrail, for example.
It’s also been rumored that Juniper hasn’t fulfilled one key requirement: contributing people. Platinum sponsors have to provide 10 employees (full-time equivalents) for two years. Working on the OpenContrail plug-in would count toward that obligation.
Juniper is getting more involved by participating on the Technical Steering Committee, which is responsible for OpenDaylight’s code releases, among other things. Near the end of March, the company added Kent Watsen as its TSC representative.
Note that OpenContrail itself is not being contributed to OpenDaylight. But then again, OpenContrail is already open-source, available under an Apache 2.0 license.
How well that’s worked out is unclear. Juniper launched OpenContrail at the same time the Contrail code went to production, meaning there wasn’t much of a Contrail community at hand — and community is a key factor in the success of an open-source project. As SDNCentral’s Roy Chua noted in his Controller Wars 2.0 analysis in December, OpenContrail will be challenged to gain support, because it’s an single-vendor proposal trying to stand out against more broadly supported initiatives such as OpenDaylight.
Whether OpenContrail benefits the wider community, as opposed to just Juniper, is a fair question — one that’s likely to come up as the TSC considers whether to approve the OpenContrail proposal.