OpenStack Quantum enables providers to let customers provision and manage networks in a public cloud environment according to their own requirements, Bryce said.
Now customers will have much deeper control over cloud networks than ever before. In the past, they might have had some load-balancing services, IP management services or services based on a virtual private network (VPN) to use, but now they can provision entire networks. This depth of control will allow customers to create real networks with true separation and segregation — two things they don’t have access to as cloud consumers today.
“The OpenStack networking project has a process of multitasking, and management layers, so providers can delegate different access rights and responsibilities to their users and, within limits, even let them set up their own networks,” Bryce said.
Multi-tenancy is another big value of OpenStack Quantum. “With a hypervisor, you can spin up five virtual machines (VMs) and add five different customers,” Salisbury said. “To keep traffic separate, Quantum lets you either provision a VLAN between the virtual switch and the host — all in the same physical box — or build a ‘tunnel.’ It’s extremely complicated, but it’s how we’ll get to scale at multi-tenancy. In the future in the data center, orchestration will be API-driven — Quantum is the first generation.”
Today’s network traffic is separated by VLANs with a finite limit of 4094. Cloud providers quickly burn through 4094 customers, so companies are pursuing overlays, Salisbury explained. “With Quantum, there’s no finite number of tunnels that can be used. It ignores the underlying limitations and enables a lot more flexibility.”