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Let's Get Networking: OpenStack Neutron

Mohammed NaserMohammed Naser

OpenStack Neutron is a networking component of OpenStack. This powerhouse is able to create virtual networks, routers, firewalls and beyond.

OpenStack Neutron is a networking component of OpenStack. Although it's considered to be one of the more complicated projects in your OpenStack Compute set up, it's also extremely powerful. This powerhouse is able to create virtual networks, routers, firewalls and beyond. Moreover, through Neutron, OpenStack is able to offer “network connectivity as a service”. Through the implementation of Neutron API, other OpenStack services manage interface devices.

Neutron is an OpenStack powered, flexible and secure software-defined network. Today we are going to break down the ins and outs of Neutron, like how it allows you to build single-tenant networks while still giving you complete control over your network architecture. Keep reading to see precisely why Neutron is a powerhouse in your OpenStack powered cloud solution.

OpenStack Neutron: The Building Block Of An OpenStack Cloud

As we mentioned earlier, Neutron is a networking component of OpenStack. It is a standalone service that interacts with other projects such as Keystone, Horizon, Nova, and Glance. Similarly to the projects that it runs alongside, the deployment of Neutron involves deploying several processes on each host. Neutron, like other services, relies on Keystone for its authentication and authorization of all API requests. Horizon allows basic integration with the Neutron API to allow tenants to create networks. On the other hand, Nova interacts with Neutron through API calls. Nova communicates with Neutron API to plug each virtual NIC on the instance through the use of Open vSwitch.

With OpenStack Neutron you're able to reap the benefits of total peace of mind thanks to network segmentation. By splitting computer networks into subnetworks Neutron is able to boost performance and improve security. Thanks to the segmentation of network connections split across systems, each virtual machine has a private hypervisor in its own individual network.

One of the core requirements of OpenStack Neutron is to provide connectivity to and from instances. This is possible thanks to one of two categories: provider networks and tenant networks. Your OpenStack administrator creates provider networks. These networks map directly into an existing physical network inside of your chosen data center. It's possible to enable shared provider networks amongst tenants as part of the network creation process. In contrast, tenant networks are networks created by users within groups of users or tenants. These networks cannot be shared amoungst other tenants. Furthermore, without a Neutron router, these networks isolate each other and everything else as well.

How To Get Started

In conclusion, there's so much to OpenStack Neutron that we couldn't cover it all in a single blog post. We've laid some foundation on understanding the basics of Neutron and how it builds and uses simple networks for instance connectivity. Moreover, if you're looking to learn more about Neutron, its role within OpenStack and what it can do for your business get in touch with our team of experts. Certainly, we'll be happy to listen to your cloud computing requirements and help create a cloud strategy that is right for your business or enterprise. Contact us to start with an OpenStack powered cloud solution today.

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