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Open vSwitch Team Announces Open Virtual Network Project

January 20, 2015

The team that operates Open vSwitch (OVS), an open-source software implementation of a virtual multilayer switch, recently announced its newest project, Open Virtual Network (OVN) that will allow OVS to support virtual network abstraction.

According to the company announcement, the OVN will bring to the OVS community the ability use virtual L2 and L3 overlays as well as security groups that will work directly alongside their OVS projects. The goal of the new project is reportedly to augment low-level networking capabilities with virtual networking abstractions. Furthermore, the OVN will distinguish itself from competitors by focusing entirely on L2 and L3 virtual networking instead of acting like a general-purpose virtual networking platform.

Within that narrow focus, users will have the ability to manage cloud resources and connect groups of virtual machines within private L2 and L3 networks. This focus does not, by any means, mean that users will lose functionality with the components already present in OVS. The entire OVN project is meant to work for large-scale deployments, and as such, it will support KVM, Xen, and Hyper-V which are the same environments OVS can handle. The new network abstraction project will also support software and hardware gateways to bring together physical and logical networks.

What all this means for operators is that they will have the same access to OVS as they have always enjoyed, but now they can manage their virtual networks within a similar platform created from the developers of a project in which they trust. OVN will contain the same open-source license that informs OVS, so contributors to the former project can easily help develop the new OVN without concern for license restrictions that could hinder their ideas. In short, the new platform is open to everyone in the same way that OVS has always been. Developers can make use of the OVS mailing lists to gather information about the new project and contribute to the discussion that will drive its development and adoption.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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