The Phenomenal Capabilities of OpenStack Neutron Networking

Sreelatha Musukula

Today’s data center networks contain more devices than ever: Servers, network equipment, storage systems and security appliances are quickly expanding in numbers, many of which are further divided into virtual machines and virtual networks. Traditional data center networks fall short of providing a truly scalable, automated approach to managing these next-generation networks. At the same time, users expect more control and flexibility with quicker provisioning. But this is all possible with the scalability and flexibility of OpenStack Neutron networking services.

OpenStack networking

OpenStack Neutron networking is a pluggable, scalable and powerful API-driven system used to define network connectivity and manage network ports, virtual networks, subnets and IP addresses. It is a standalone service that can be installed independent of other OpenStack services and can also be split among multiple hosts to provide resiliency and redundancy, or configured on a single node.

Large and small enterprises run their clouds using OpenStack software and can define network connectivity, as well as enhance and power the cloud, by leveraging different network technologies in a virtualized and programmable manner. Due to its pluggable infrastructure, third-party and open source community developers can create plugins to extend the use and capabilities of OpenStack Neutron networking within a cloud.

OpenStack Neutron Networking-as-a-Service


The benefits and capabilities of OpenStack Neutron networking:

  • Enables advanced cloud networking use cases, such as building multi-tiered Web applications and allows the migration of applications to the cloud without changing IP addresses.
  • Offers flexibility for the cloud administrator to customize network offerings. This is in contrast to standard models, which include flat networks or virtual local area networks (VLANs) for separation of servers and traffic.
  • Enables developers to extend the networking API, which, over time, will become a core feature of OpenStack Neutron.
  • Allows users to create their own networks, control traffic and connect servers and devices to one or more networks.
  • Lets users take advantage of commodity gear or advanced networking services from supported vendors via the pluggable infrastructure and architecture.
  • Enables administrators to take advantage of software-defined networking (SDN) technology, such as OpenFlow, to allow for high levels of multi-tenancy and massive scale.
  • Provides extensive framework and plugins for additional network services, such as Load Balancing-as-a-Service (LBaaS), Firewalls-as-a-Service (FWaaS) and Virtual Private Networks-as-a-Service (VPNaaS) to be deployed and managed.
  • Integrates provisioning and management of network resources into the network functions virtualization (NFV) and SDN orchestration within the IT infrastructure.

The Role that Equinix Plays

The security requirements of the enterprise, as well as the use cases of the cloud, will ultimately dictate the physical layout and separation of services within the next generation data centers using the OpenStack Neutron networking pluggable infrastructure. Equinix Cloud Exchange, with its API-based Equinix Programmable Network, will help guide the architecture and role of OpenStack Neutron networking-as-a-service in our IBX facilities as we enable our customers to securely and quickly migrate to hybrid and multi-cloud services from multiple cloud providers.

Equinix’s interconnection capabilities, along with its dense business ecosystems, can play a leadership role by enhancing the agility, cost and scale of OpenStack Neutron networking.


Sreelatha Musukula
Sreelatha Musukula Global Solutions Architect