Introduction

In today’s era of cloud computing and heavy reliance on online servers, OpenStack refers to a bunch of tools that can be used to manage platforms that host cloud computing. These tools can be accessed using what is called the OpenStack dashboard, which is an interface that helps one navigate through openstack networks.

  1. Definition
  2. Neutron Network
  3. Neutron Architecture
  4. Provider Networks

1) Definition

Initially, a part of OpenStack Nova, openstack networks or Neutrons, have now become a keen area of interest. It provides its users with an API that one can then use for setting up and defining network connectivity, which in turn helps address in the cloud. It can create and manage a virtual network infrastructure, which includes various networks, routers for devices and anything else that is managed by an OpenStack network service.

2) Neutron Network 

Networking services are also called Neutrons. It was brought about to replace the original application program interface (API) used In OpenStack called Quantum. The purpose of the Neutron is to help users deal with any deficiencies that may creep into the network technology used in cloud environments. It is also useful in dealing with lack of tenant control when faced with a multitenant environment. It ensures that deploying advanced networking services gets easier.

3) Neutron Architecture

Openstack networks are standalone services. They tend to deploy a variety of processes across a large number of nodes. A process refers to a function that the network caries out to get a task done. In this case, the main process is called a “neutron-server”. Its task is to ensure the whole API is exposed and that the request of a tenant (or user) is passed onto various plugins that thus facilitate additional processing.

As this is an architecture, it has a number of components:

  • Neutron Server is a service that runs on the network node. Its task is to serve the Networking API and any extensions that may be used. It indirectly needs access to a database and is facilitated by a variety of additional plugins.
  • Plugin Agent runs on every individual computer node. Its task to simply manage local virtual switch configurations. And depending on the plugin used, the agent that runs is selected. 
  • DHCP agent provides DHCP services. These are usually given to tenant networks. Its universal across all plugins and is mainly tasked with the responsibility of maintaining DHCP configuration.
  • L3 Agent requires access to the message queue. It helps in L3/Nat forwarding on tenant networks for external network access.
  • Network provider services simply aim at providing tenant networks with additional services to aid in networking. They may interact with a variety of plugins through different communication channels

4) Provider Networks

These refer to networks that the OpenStack administrator may create themselves. These are usually made on behalf of tenants. They may be made for a particular tenant, a group of tenants or for all the tenants in the network. They tend to be associated with a physical network, but don’t need one as a basic requirement. One can use an overlaying protocol to simulate a physical network using gateways. They also rely on physical network infrastructure in order to successfully provide a gateway or a routing service.

Conclusion

Openstack networks are handy tools that can be used to deal with cloud computing easily. They have a variety of tools and features along with a learning curve that once mastered can give its users an easy way to deal with cloud computing. It’s an ever-evolving service, and has technicalities that need to be adhered to in order to make the most of it and all that it offers.

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