Midokura Deepens OpenStack Integration in SDN Offering

The startup's MidoNet 1.2 also includes Level 2 and 3 integration, as well as an improved user interface.

Startup Midokura is rolling out the latest release of its MidoNet solution, a software-defined networking offering aimed at cloud providers that now includes support for the latest versions of the Apache OpenStack cloud orchestration platform.

Midokura officials first introduced MidoNet in October 2012, made it generally available in April and then added CloudStack integration in June. Many of the improvements in the upgraded MidoNet solution—including Layer 2 gateway support and Layer 3 gateway functionality—were the result of working closely with customers to determine their needs and demands, according to Midokura General Manager Adam Johnson.

MidoNet is aimed at infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) environments and, like most software-defined network (SDN) solutions, is designed to make them easier to deploy, scale, secure and program, and to make them less costly than traditional networks to run, Johnson told eWEEK.

With MidoNet, "everything can be managed centrally," he said. "Everything is being done on the software side."

Midokura is among a range of startups looking to establish themselves in the burgeoning SDN market. SDNs are designed to make networking more dynamic and automated by taking much of the network intelligence—such as firewalls and load balancing—off of expensive and complex switches and routers and putting it into software. The results are more programmable and less-costly networks that no longer are bottlenecks in the data center. Established networking vendors like Cisco Systems, Juniper Networks and Hewlett-Packard are aggressively building out their broad SDN and network virtualization strategies, while smaller vendors are looking to make inroads into the space.

Midokura has been pushing to expand its reach in the space. The company, which has raised more than $17 million, is continuing to hire in such areas as sales, engineering and product management and earlier this month joined the OpenDaylight Project, a vendor-driven effort aimed at creating a common SDN platform that companies can build on.

Now officials are launching the newest version of MidoNet, which they said enables companies running IaaS environments to more fully take advantage of the benefits of cloud computing. The integration and support for the OpenStack "Grizzly" and "Havana" releases in MidoNet 1.2 will make it easier for organizations building public and private clouds to leverage the open-source technology, according to officials.

The integration of a software-based Layer 2 gateway means that businesses can more easily connect their physical networks to their virtual ones, enabling them to build an IaaS cloud that offers virtualized and scale-out networking while leveraging their existing physical servers. The Level 3 gateway supports dynamic routing, bringing greater fault tolerance and gateway scalability to the cloud.

Midokura also has added new management tools, including enabling a trace route for the virtual network so that administrators can see how packets moving about a virtual network would behave if put onto a physical network. MidoNet 1.2 also offers an enhanced Web-based GUI that makes it easier for IaaS administrators to manage the virtualized network without having to have the same expertise as a network administrator, officials said. At the same time, the company also improved the solution's command-line interface.

MidoNet 1.2, announced Oct. 29, is available now, with pricing starting at $500 per host for a one-year subscription.