OpenStack Neutron is an SDN networking project focused on delivering networking-as-a-service (NaaS) in virtual compute environments. Neutron has replaced the original networking application program interface (API), called Quantum, in OpenStack. Neutron is designed to address deficiencies in “baked-in” networking technology found in cloud environments, as well as the lack of tenant control in multi-tenant environments over the network topology and addressing, which makes it hard to deploy advanced networking services.
What is OpenStack?
The massive scale of high-density, multi-tenancy cloud environments is putting enormous strain on networks. They are struggling to keep up with the explosive, dynamic nature of these virtualized environments, where workloads are moved, added or removed on the fly to address new requirements; and where multiple tenants are leveraging shared resources to drive their business.
New technologies, including software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), are emerging to increase the flexibility and agility of the network, decoupling the control from the forwarding plane to make it easier to provision, automate, and orchestrate network services. Network virtualization is attempting to align network resources to be able to better address the requirements of rich multi-tenant environments.
Neutron is the component that enables network virtualization in OpenStack.
OpenStack Neutron’s Approach
OpenStack Neutron provides a way for organizations to relieve the stress on the network in cloud environments to make it easier to deliver NaaS in the cloud. It’s designed to provide a “plug-in” mechanism that will provide an option for network operators to enable different technologies via the Quantum API. It also lets tenants create multiple private networks and control the IP addressing them. As a result of API extensions, organizations have additional control over security and compliance policies, quality of service [QoS], monitoring and troubleshooting, as well as the ability to easily deploy advanced network services, such as a firewall, intrusion detection, or VPN.
Neutron (known as Quantum then) was incorporated into the mainline project during the Folsom release. The OpenStack Networking community is actively working on Neutron enhancements for its eighth release, Havana. Also announced recently, the ninth release for OpenStack, Icehouse.