Midokura Open Sources MidoNet, Challenging Juniper

By Paula Bernier November 03, 2014

The networking part of the OpenStack ecosystem remains fragmented and needs someone to step up and bring things together, according to Midokura. So the four-year-old network virtualization company is open sourcing its MidoNet technology.

“We want to solidify and unify the networking community around OpenStack with this solution,” Dan Conde, Midokura’s director of products, said.

MidoNet, he said, is a stable, scalable, easy to deploy, and fully open virtual networking solution on which anyone can innovate. It leverages an Apache 2 license, which is used under OpenStack; can run on any hardware; and functions well in production environments, he added. And the open sourced MidoNet is provided by Midokura, a company that has long been aligned and involved with the OpenStack ecosystem and the open source community, bConde said.

Juniper Networks is the only company that offers a solution that is comparable, he added. But Conde said that Juniper has not done a good job of being an open source partner because it’s difficult to get and download what Juniper offers; the company has an important incentive to steer customers toward using its own hardware; and Juniper’s Contrail is more of a Layer 2 system, so it’s misaligned with the OpenStack Networking Neutron API. (Juniper’s response is below.)

“So we want to avoid that mistake,” Conde said.

Midokura is open sourcing Layer 2 switching; Layer 3 routing; Layer 4 services like firewall, load balancing, and NAT; and providing the ecosystem with a CLI; docs, deployment tools, automated testing infrastructure, and packages; OpenStack integration; a QuickStart environment; and a RESTFUL API. Starting today, the source code is available at and the community site is live at Already, 8x8, Bit-isle, Canonical, Eucalyptus, Fujitsu, IDC Frontier, KVH, Mellanox Technologies, Mirantis, NIMBOXX, Red Hat, Solinea, Stratoscale, suse, and have lined up behind the effort.

“By using MidoNet you can choose a system that is open, and use an API that is common along many platforms,” Conde said, adding that other APIs can be islands.

Now that Midokura has made MidoNet open source, the company will rely on the MidoNet Manager, professional services including implementation assistance and performance tuning, support, and third-party certification and monitoring integration as its sources of income, said Conde, who compared the model to what Cloudera and Red Hat do.

Midokura enterprise MidoNet is priced at $1,899 per host per year. That includes a one-year annual software and support subscriptions, MidNet Manager, and database clusters. The company also offers a Quickstart Bundle for $10,000, which has five hosted installed, and includes six month software and support subscriptions, as well as three days of professional services.

Juniper Networks a year ago in September announced the availability of Contrail through an open source license. Contrail, which is compatible with CloudStack and OpenStack platforms, includes an analytics engine, SDN controller, and vRouter and is integrated with Juniper’s Firefly Perimeter virtual firewall, the company said at the time.

In response to Conde’s comments above about the Juniper platform and open source strategy, Juniper spokesperson Corey Olfert provided the following response regarding Midokura’s comment that Contrail is was not easy for the open source

community to download.

“We continue to make enhancements to the Contrail software provisioning,

packaging and management,” Olfert responded via email. “Our most current release, Release 1.1, has beenvery well received, and customers like Cloudwatt have already contributed back to the OpenContrail community some of their specific enhancements. For example, Cloudwatt recently contributed a Personal Package Archives, which eases install of Contrail…. They (and other customers) have already provided positive testimonials on how this dramatically improves/eases OpenContrail deployments and configuration management.  We continue to actively invest in making OpenContrail easier to consume/deploy/co-create, and we are sharing best practices and learnings with the broader community in an open, transparent way.”

In response to Midokura’s suggestion that Juniper is not very plugged into the open source community, Olfert wrote, “Our record speaks for itself ? Juniper is a Gold member of OpenStack Foundation, and we have announced our significant presence at OpenStack Summit Paris in November, with Contrail demos and several speaking sessions. We are a founding/Platinum member of Open Daylight (Linux Foundation led), and Juniper’s Jennifer Lin, product management lead for Contrail, is an ODL board member. We are also founding/Platinum members of OPNFV (under Linux Foundation).  We have driven/participated in over 60 meet ups and open source events since releasing OpenContrail into the open source community and this has been recognized by customers as a key differentiator vs. other SDN options.”

Juniper’s Olfert also added that “Juniper is relentlessly open. Contrail works with anyone’s hardware (not all SDN vendors do that, including Cisco) and our hardware

works with a number of SDN solutions including Contrail, VMware NSX, and

OpenFlow controllers. We are already deployed in many mixed vendor environments and have several customer testimonials to this effect. The l3vpn-end-systems standard was ratified by the IETF and embraced by large customers as an interoperable, vendor-agnostic overlay solution. That being said, we have invested in aligning our routing/switching/security platforms with Contrail and actively point to the solution benefits of a Juniper underlay/overlay solution.”


Executive Editor, TMC

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