Mirantis OpenStack Adds Juniper Contrail SDN

Mirantis Inc. integrated its OpenStack distribution with Juniper Networks Inc.'s Contrail software-defined networking (SDN) offering.

The standards-based Juniper Contrail Networking is an SDN solution for providing cloud services to multiple tenants in multiple locations and in hybrid cloud setups. OpenStack is a free, open source platform for implementing cloud computing projects, sometimes described as a cloud OS. The "pure-play" Mirantis OpenStack distribution also supports OpenContrail, an open source SDN project upon which the Juniper offering is based.

The news comes amid a shakeout of the young SDN technologies and a growing movement toward interoperability, partnerships and increased customer choice. Mirantis exec Nick Chase published a blog post recently in which he noted that the new partnership comes shortly after the company integrated with VMware Inc. technologies and offers another choice for enterprises.

"So, with this Juniper integration, Mirantis will support both VMware vCenter Server and VMware NSX and Juniper Networks Contrail Networking," Chase said. "That means that even if [customers have] VMware in their environment, they can choose to use NSX or Contrail for their networking components."

Logical Connectivity Map of Juniper Contrail Networking Integrated to OpenStack
[Click on image for larger view.] Logical Connectivity Map of Juniper Contrail Networking Integrated to OpenStack (source: Mirantis Inc.)

To help those customers integrate the two solutions, Mirantis and Juniper published a reference architecture for guidance on best practices for hooking up Juniper Contrail SDN with a new Mirantis OpenStack 6.x cloud deployment.

"Although SDN has the potential to provide the enterprise with numerous advantages, including the ability to enable multitenancy and adjust the network based on current conditions, actually deploying it can be so challenging that many organizations find it difficult to realize the benefits that SDN provides," Juniper said in a PDF explaining how the Mirantis OpenStack distribution works with Contrail and Fuel, an open source tool for simplifying OpenStack deployments and management.

"Also, the initial learning and deployment curve of OpenStack can be a daunting project for IT administrators looking to break free from costly and proprietary technologies of the past," Juniper continued. "Fortunately, by abstracting this process, it is possible to deploy and configure SDN without ever having to touch the low-level code."

The companies plan to release a Fuel plugin in the second quarter of this year to increase automation and make OpenStack cloud deployment easier.

"According to a recent report by 451 Research, the OpenStack market size is estimated to reach $1.7 billion by 2016," the companies said in a news release. "Enterprises and service providers are increasingly looking to open-source software for its increased flexibility, cost savings, no vendor lock-in and the ability to customize integration with other infrastructure and applications."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.