Network in Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
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2h 2m

This course covers the Red Hat OpenStack Platform, a flexible infrastructure project that allows you to virtualize your cloud resources and use them when you need them. The course kicks off with an introduction to the basics of cloud computing, before defining the Red Hat OpenStack Platform and explaining how it can be used in conjunction with compute, storage and network functions. The course also explains the ways in which OpenStack is highly available and finally, it talks about deployment of the platform. Demonstrations and use cases throughout the course allow you to see how the Red Hat OpenStack Platform can be used in real-world situations.

Learning Objectives

  • Learn the basics of cloud
  • Understand what Red Hat OpenStack Platform is
  • Learn how Red Hat OpenStack works with compute, storage and network resources.
  • Learn how to deploy the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform

Intended Audience

  • IT leaders, administrators, engineers, and architects
  • Individuals wanting to understand the features and capabilities of Red Hat OpenStack Platform


There are no prerequisites for this course.


Now, in this video, what we want to do is move on to our next core area within Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform, and take a look at the scalability of the networking infrastructure. Of course, if we're talking about networking with OpenStack, we're referring to the element called Neutron. And you may recall, we talked earlier about the idea of network equipment providers being able to integrate their offerings with Neutron.

So, in parallel to the adaption of software-based solutions for defining the data center network infrastructure services, network equipment providers who are the owners of the current networking hardware deployed on our data centers are working towards the development of plug-ins that allow to take that fine grained functionality offered by its network equipment into OpenStack. And thanks to the architecture offered by Neutron, any networking backend can be utilized through the API offered by the services.

This API offers functionality which is common to all the hardware and software networking backends it currently supports through its plug-in schema. But it can be extended by those vendors and projects in order to add the additional functionality not common to all devices, something that might be offered by just a certain vendor or project.

Now, in general, when we're talking about networking in this environment, we're really talking about software-defined networks, classical networking solutions implied a large cost and potentially a time overhead into designing and operating a network infrastructure that was flexible enough so it could adapt rapidly to business evolution.

The arrival of virtualization and cloud computing to the data center arena has empowered the development of a flexible solution to make networking more flexible. Software-defined networks allow the creation of routers, switches and networks through the separation of the control plane from the data plane; so, managing the intelligence and state of the network centrally, ultimately abstracting the complexity associated to that physical layer.

Now, OpenStack Neutron networking services act as the SDN solution for OpenStack services. Supported through its API, most of the networking functionality provided through proprietary hardware-based solutions and support a large variety of back-ends, including most known networking hardware vendors. But also, the newest software-based solutions like Open vSwitch.

We can even integrate this with something like OpenDaylight so that SDN architecture is typically organized into three layers: the applications layer, where OpenStack Neutron services is placed, orchestrates the basic network elements. It manages those network elements through analytics obtained from the lower layer, the SDN controller.

That controller layer, where OpenDaylight resides, transforms those requests provided by the applications into effective commands for the physical and virtual network devices to implement it. This implementation is carried out by the last layer in the stack. The one grouping both physical and virtual network devices, which includes all the network connectivity fabric.

OpenDaylight delivers SDN controller services offering a modular approach. So, in addition to the base network services, new services can be added to it. OpenStack currently supports OpenDaylight as an SDN controller backend for both OpenStack Neutron through the OpenDaylight for ML2 plug-in. 

In the same way, SDN is offering a flexible solution for lower layer technologies. There are certain industries, for example, telco, that demand a new way of providing their network services such as Network Address Translation, Firewalling, Domain Name Service, among others.

The current data center layout for those industries include a large number of network hardware appliances which frankly do not support autoscaling and require a renewal cycle which makes it infeasible for us to evolutionize them in the short-term. Such a scenario implies a blocker on network technologies being changed within that data center.

This has been addressed through the development of something called Network Functions Virtualization, NFV. This takes advantage of both commodity and general purpose hardware and cloud computing to offer those services in a virtualized way. This increases both the flexibility to autoscale those services and ultimately evolutionize them.

Now, how does this integrate with OpenStack? Well, as you can see here, the current ETSI architecture for NFV defines the elements that take part on the virtual network functions, the deployment and execution of such. Now, on this architecture, Red Hat is working with several partners to offer integrated NVF solutions, focusing itself... we're focusing on the cloud computing and storage layers pictured here with Shadowman, the combination of Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and Red Hat storage, both Gluster and Ceph, for the storage areas.

Of course, this is not possible if we don't have support and if we don't operate with lots of partners. And so here you can see a smattering of the partners and the types of elements that they are providing to that structure, whether it be core servers, network or storage, underlying hardware. On top of which, we put our common, open, IT network functions virtualization infrastructure through OpenStack and our storage solutions. Then we have various control mechanisms up top and the Management and Orchestration off to the right. In the Management and Orchestration area, you can take a look at potentially using CloudForms or Foreman from Red Hat to help with that area.

So, we've taken a look here at some of the scalability of the networking environment, from being able to properly support network equipment providers through the plug-in architecture of Neutron. Through the definition of software-defined networks and network functions virtualization, we are positioned to be able to grow and migrate your data center to provide that scalability and control that you are looking for in your networking solution.

So, now that we've taken a look at networking in OpenStack, let's get ready for that next video.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Jeremy is a Content Lead Architect and DevOps SME here at Cloud Academy where he specializes in developing DevOps technical training documentation.

He has a strong background in software engineering, and has been coding with various languages, frameworks, and systems for the past 25+ years. In recent times, Jeremy has been focused on DevOps, Cloud (AWS, Azure, GCP), Security, Kubernetes, and Machine Learning.

Jeremy holds professional certifications for AWS, Azure, GCP, Terraform, Kubernetes (CKA, CKAD, CKS).

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