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Midokura upgrade provides OpenStack deployment bridge

Midokura has refreshed MidoNet with features that provide a bridge for VMware customers looking to move to OpenStack without using proprietary virtual networking technology.

Midokura's latest refresh of its network virtualization software provides companies deploying public or private clouds consistent management of services across VMware vSphere and OpenStack.

The new release of Midokura Enterprise MidoNet (MEM), introduced Feb. 25, also includes support for Juno, the latest OpenStack release.

Preventing VMware lock-in with OpenStack deployment

Midokura's bridge between the VMware virtualization infrastructure and the open source cloud orchestrator competes with VMware NSX. While the latter can also connect to OpenStack, Midokura argues that VMware is likely to work harder at convincing customers to move to its OpenStack competitor vCloud.

"We're targeting those types of companies that don't want to be totally locked into VMware," said Adam Johnson, vice president of business for Midokura.

MidoNet, like OpenStack, is open-source technology. Midokura chose that path for its core virtual networking product last year to take advantage of the increasing use of OpenStack, particularly in private clouds. Support from major vendors like Hewlett-Packard and IBM has swayed enterprises to adopt the technology.

The latest version of MidoNet lets telecommunication companies, cloud service providers and enterprises continue using VMware for server virtualization while deploying OpenStack.

Automatic connection to vSphere implementations

The MidoNet graphical user interface provides Layer 2-4 services to vSphere deployments, Johnson said. The connection is made automatically when the user points MidoNet to the VMware product.

"If you want to migrate over time to OpenStack, maybe over the course of five years, you want to keep these things connected instead of siloed," Johnson said. "We can provide that connectivity, so you have a single pane of glass to manage your network across both environments."

Whether a large number of enterprises will adopt MidoNet rather than stick with VMware, a major supplier of virtualization technology, remains to be seen, said IDC analyst Brad Casemore.

"I have to think that this was customer driven," Casemore said. "It may not be a legion of companies, but I think they [Midokura] saw at least one or two and believed there were more."

Other MidoNet features

Along with support for Juno, MidoNet has been certified for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, Midokura said. Other new features include tools for configuring gateway hosts that use the border gateway protocol (BGP) for exchanging router information.

Also within the refreshed MidoNet are tools for adding load balancers to Layer 4 services.

The open source version of MidoNet, which is available at no charge, provides Layer 2-4 services. Midokura sells a commercial version that delivers Layer 2-7 services. That latter costs $1,899 per year per server, Johnson said.

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