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A Case for CloudStack – Enterprise-hardened Stack is Now Public Cloud Ready

Here at Nuage Networks, our philosophy is to enable Enterprises and Service Providers to build clouds without being limited by the network. So, we are proud to support Apache CloudStackTM and are, as far as I’ve seen, the only major Software Defined Networking (SDN) vendor with full support to date.

nuage networks cloudstack day austin

To summarize the official CloudStack history page, the original code base was contributed by Citrix. As a result, multiple customers and partners have attested that the code is well-suited to Enterprise use. However, it lacked the scalability and modularity desired for very large public cloud environments. This blog briefly discusses how Nuage Networks is taking CloudStack into the largest clouds in the world today.

CloudStack Implementations

Nuage Networks customers, including CTCC (see CTCC announcement blog for details), are implementing CloudStack for large-scale, self-service public clouds. A typical environment is depicted below.

cloudstack and nuage networks blog figure

Nuage Networks contributed substantial extensions to the CloudStack codebase

Our customers are typically extending or creating self-service approaches so that their end users can request and receive changes to the cloud environments in near real-time. CloudStack provides APIs that allow a Service Provider conveniently to leverage existing customer User Interfaces (UIs). Furthermore, Service Providers’ internal administration UIs can interface with CloudStack and also interact directly with the Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform (VSP).

CloudStack Modifications

To successfully implement CloudStack into very large public clouds, Nuage Networks made significant architectural changes on behalf of the CloudStack community:

  • Modularity: Nuage Networks introduced a simpler approach of updating and upgrading networking plug-ins. The Nuage Networks VSP plug-in for CloudStack is modular – updating the plug-in can be done without affecting or touching the core CloudStack code base. The plug-in is dynamically loaded which avoids compile time dependency on the plug-in code during the CloudStack build process. For updates, it is a matter of just replacing the plug-in libraries and restarting the CloudStack Management Server. This approach is a step forward for the CloudStack project as a whole and will enable other ecosystem partners to more easily contribute to CloudStack.
  • Scalability: CloudStack’s networking functionality had design and scalability limitations that limited its use in large-scale networking environments. An example of just such a limit was using individual vRouters per tenant. By deploying Nuage Networks VSP as a part of a CloudStack deployment, these limitations are removed.

Want to learn more?

Read the SDxCentral article analyzing how CloudStack factored into the Nuage Networks win with CTCC. For the latest list of Nuage Networks contributions to CloudStack, check out GitHub.

Nuage Networks will be participating in a number of CloudStack-related events where we will be discussing the above architecture and more.  First up is CloudStack Day in Austin, Texas on April 16th.  Drop by our exhibit in the Texas Ballroom Foyer to see a demo or DM @ssneddon for a meet-up.

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