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CloudRouter Project Brings SDN Services to the Cloud

September 2, 2015 — Talkin' Cloud - Mike Vizard - Link

While there’s been a lot of recent advancements in networking technologies finding a way to actually make them accessible to IT organizations has been a challenge. With that goal in mind, a community of independent developers and vendors have been working on an open source CloudRouter project that makes it simpler for IT organization to access software-defined networking (SDN) services via software deployed on x86 servers.

Jay Turner, project lead for CloudRouter, said backers of the open source project developed CloudRouter to provide a network mechanism that could connect multiple clouds using standard x86 servers rather than proprietary networking equipment. With the release of version 2.0 of CloudRouter today that technology is now generally available. Organizations that have contributed to the development of CloudRouter include the Australian National University, CloudBees, Cloudius Systems, IIX, ONUS, NGINX, and the OpenDaylight Project.

Turner said the addition of ONUS to the project is especially significant because it adds support for another SDN framework, officially known as the Open Network Operating System, that is gaining some traction with telecommunications carriers as an open source alternative to the open source OpenDaylight SDN project that is aimed at more traditional enterprise IT environments.

At the same time, CloudRouter can now also be deployed on the CentOS distribution of Linux in addition to the Fedora distribution of Linux from Red Hat that it currently supports. In addition, other new features include support for multiple types of containers, including Docker, and multiple types of routing protocols

Turner said the first place solution providers will see used in a production environment is at IIX, which as a provider of global Internet exchange platform will use CloudRouter to connect multiple cloud services through its service. Turner also notes there are CloudRouter images of CloudRouter available on the Google Compute Engine and Amazon Web Services (AWS) clouds.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing CloudRouter, said Turner, is getting IT organizations and the solution providers in the channel that they depend on to understand the new art of the networking possible in the cloud. Projects such as CloudRouter are intended to make emerging open source networking software such as Project Opendaylight and ONUS accessible to a much broader community of IT organizations, said Turner.

In the meantime, provider of Web-scale services have already pretty much voted with their feet to embrace bare-metal networking services running on x86 servers as an alternative to traditional routers and switches based mainly on ASIC processors. The only real issue now is how soon and to what degree traditional enterprise IT organizations will soon follow suit.