Midokura Expands Cloud, Virtualization Capabilities in SDN Offering

The startup is bolstering support for OpenStack, VMware and Red Hat in the enterprise edition of its MidoNet network virtualization software.

cloud computing

Midokura four months ago open-sourced its MidoNet networking virtualization technology to speed up adoption of the technology within the OpenStack community. Now, the startup is bolstering the enterprise edition of the software, offering greater support not only for OpenStack but also for VMware and Red Hat solutions.

The Midokura Enterprise MidoNet (MEM) has expanded capabilities around virtualization and the cloud, now supporting VMware's vSphere software and Red Hat's Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6, according to officials.

The new capabilities also include support for the OpenStack Juno release, more enhancements for OpenStack Neutron, and new features such as Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Configuration and Layer 4 Load Balancer Configuration to make those networking tasks simpler. They give Midokura a more competitive product in a busy software-defined networking (SDN) market.

They also offer attractive reasons for organizations like service providers and enterprises to make the move up the ladder from the free open-source version of MidoNet to the enterprise edition, according to Adam Johnson, vice president of business for Midokura.

Since open-sourcing the technology, Midokura has seen increased interest in its offerings, Johnson told eWEEK. The company held back some features in the open-source version of MidoNet, keeping such capabilities as a GUI, MidoNet Manager software, and service and support from Midokura for MEM. The added support for the cloud and virtualization technologies from OpenStack, Red Hat and VMware further differentiates MEM from the free open-source offering.

"We have to make the enterprise version more attractive than the free [solution]," Johnson said.

The company is finding many customers are willing to adopt the for-pay MEM, in part, because of the company's decision to open-source the flagship software. Company officials earlier this month talked about the growing embrace by the open-source community of the free technology, and a number of companies that made the move to the enterprise edition. Those include such customers as Blue Jeans Network, Toshiba, Orange Labs and Puppet Labs.

In addition, Dell officials in December announced the company was expanding its Open Networking initiative by offering Midokura Enterprise MidoNet on both its networking hardware and its x86 servers, enabling customers to more easily build OpenStack-based cloud networking infrastructures. Dell also is offering a solution that includes its Open Networking switches with MEM and Cumulus Networks' Linux operating system.

MEM is designed to create a software-based network abstraction layer that sits between the host and physical network. Enterprises continue to show interest in moving to the cloud, but taking the step can be disruptive and expensive, according to company officials. The goal of Midokura Enterprise MidoNet is to give enterprises and service providers the tools to embrace the cloud and enjoy the benefits while reducing the risks involved in making the move, they said.

The new features in MEM offer businesses a way to transition to the cloud while continuing to support virtualization technologies like VMware's vSphere that are established in their data centers and embracing cloud technologies like OpenStack.

The industry is moving in the direction of Midokura's technology, according to Midokura's Johnson. Customers are increasingly interested in running Linux on their network switches, "and once that happens, we can run on those switches and do very interesting things," he said.

The latest version of MEM is available now, and Midokura is offering a free 30-day software evaluation that includes 24/7 support, hardened packages and the MidoNet Manager GUI.