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Successfully implementing an OpenStack cloud is more than just choosing an OpenStack distribution. With its community approach and rich ecosystem of vendors, OpenStack represents a viable option for cloud administrators who want to offer public-cloud-like infrastructure services in their own datacenter.  Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform offers pluggable storage and networking options.  This open approach is contrary to closed solutions such as VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) which only supports VMware NSX for L4-L7  networking or VMware Distributed switch for basic L2 networking .

Below are some of the networking partners who have certified their OpenStack Networking plugins with Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform and will be on display at VMworld 2015, San Francisco, at the Red Hat booth, 528; (Cisco is at booth 1721). See exhibitor map


Cisco ACI offers a consolidated overlay and underlay solution that can be fully automated via OpenStack and the Cisco APIC. This solution scales to over 180,000 virtual machines and thousands of hypervisor hosts without the introduction of centralized bottlenecks or gateways.  It offers deep telemetry and visibility, tying together the OpenStack environment with the physical infrastructure to vastly improve operations and troubleshooting.  The solution also offers an optional, intent-based interface called Group-Based Policy, which leverages ACI’s application-centric policy automation and service chaining capabilities.

Selected differentiators between Red Hat and Cisco vs VMware VIO and NSX:
Red Hat and Cisco VMware VIO and NSX
  • Fully distributed networking solution with no centralized gateways.
  • Simplified automation through Group-Based Policy.
  • NSX required for L4-L7 networking
  • NSX must be deployed into an Edge cluster

Nuage Networks

Utilizing an open plug-in to the Neutron framework of Red Hat OpenStack’s offering, Nuage Networks VSP provides an automated, real-time response to requests relayed from Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. With the Red Hat and Nuage Networks SDN-based cloud solution, flexible, automated network configuration delivers instantaneous network connectivity so cloud applications can go live faster than with alternative approaches.

Selected differentiators between Red Hat and Nuage vs VMware VIO and NSX:
Red Hat and Nuage VMware VIO and NSX
  • Fully distributed control plane (Nuage Networks VSD) for scale and reliability
  • Federation across multiple clouds, including public clouds
  • Network templates free application developers from having to deal with network settings
  • Declarative policies are intelligently interpreted at each network and end point – across clouds, datacenters, hypervisors, and bare metal servers.
  • Constrained by VMware clusters
  • Must add more VMs manually to add more clusters
  • Clusters also control CPU/memory resources that VMs receive
  • Provides networking within one datacenter
  • Status quo – application developers must understand and configure network settings
  • Declarative policies are applied within VMware hypervisor only.


Juniper and Red Hat have collaborated to deliver a validated solution and collaborative support model based on Contrail Cloud Platform (based on Open Contrail) plus Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform for enterprise and provider cloud deployments.

Selected differentiators between Red Hat and Juniper vs VMware VIO and NSX
Red Hat and Juniper VMware and NSX
Open source (OpenContrail), open standards (IP-VPN), and open interfaces (REST API’s) into system ensure transparency, interoperability with multi-vendor physical networks and investment protection Lock in to VMware software stack
Simple policy definition and group-based policy enforcement automates network service insertion improves business agility Automation requires vRealize products


Midokura Enterprise MidoNet provides fully distributed and advanced L2 to L4 network services. Leveraging solid open source technologies like Apache Zookeeper and Cassandra, MidoNet brings flow processing to the edge of the network and improves performance inside the virtual network. Like most overlays, traffic is encapsulated and sent over the physical network between hosts. In MidoNet, the flow processing can be done at line speed because the MidoNet agent has knowledge of the virtual topology without going off-box to a central controller.

Selected differentiators between Red Hat and Midokura vs VMware VIO and NSX
Red Hat and Midokura VMware and NSX
Massive horizontal scale on distributed layer 3 gateways; scaling in MidoNet is simple, simply add nodes to scale; multi-data center support is through top-of-rack switches running the MidoNet agent Constrained by VMware technology to a single datacenter of modest size. No federation across cloud capabilities.
Can trace live and past flows and provide visibility into virtual network Limited to live flows


PLUMgrid Open Networking Suite is a leading cloud networking solution for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform. PLUMgrid helps overcome the limitations of many other OpenStack networking solutions, by providing a rich set of high performance virtual network functions, end-to-end encryption, high availability features plus automated installation, management, analytics and operational tools.

Selected differentiators between Red Hat and PLUMgrid vs VMware VIO and NSX
Red Hat and PLUMgrid VMware VIO and NSX
  • PLUMgrid ONS is built on concept of Virtual Domains for micro-segmentation.
  • Fully distributed in-kernel portfolio of network and security functions
Vertically integrated single vendor solution

The value of a Red Hat certified solution means that customers get performance and reliability when choosing their vendors for their solution. Red Hat and its certified vendors work together to solve customer problems and provide best of breed solutions. Red Hat maintains a large ecosystem of certified hardware and software vendors across all products, specifically for OpenStack where there are more than 900  certified products.


Jonathan Gershater has worked in high tech since 1996. At Red Hat, Jonathan leads market analysis for Red Hat’s cloud, container and Kubernetes solutions. Prior to Red Hat, Jonathan worked at Trend Micro, Sun Microsystems, Entrust Technologies and 3Com.

At Red Hat, Jonathan specializes on differentiating Red Hat products. He focuses on OpenShift and related technologies. He has presented at Red Hat Summit in OpenStack Summit, VMworld and other events.

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