On Tuesday, network virtualization vendor Akanda announced Akanda 1.0, an open source network orchestration platform designed for OpenStack-based cloud environments. Akanda 1.0 simplifies and streamlines the delivery of network-related functionality for OpenStack clouds by operating as a management layer for OpenStack-based networking operations. Akanda virtualizes L3+ network functions such as routing and load balancing while integrating with OpenStack Neutron and other L2 overlay solutions. Whereas several network virtualization solutions exist for the L2 infrastructure, Akanda fills a gap within the industry for L3+ network virtualization that focus on routing protocols while remaining agnostic to L2 overlay solutions. The company’s Akanda Rug product delivers orchestration services for networking services that automate the operation of networks within OpenStack environments. In an effort to improve virtual routing within its cloud infrastructures, web hosting leader DreamHost has decided to replace its proprietary networking solution with Akanda. Importantly, Akanda delivers the network virtualization technology for DreamHost’s DreamCompute OpenStack-based public cloud and correspondingly aspires to simplify the management of virtualization of L3 networking protocols related to routing, load balancing and firewalls for other cloud service providers and enterprises. That DreamHost chose to leverage Akanda for an OpenStack-based public cloud, in contrast to the private cloud deployments for which OpenStack is typically used, speaks volumes about its confidence in Akanda’s ability to manage and orchestrate network virtualization for infrastructures that match the scale and complexity of a large-scale public cloud deployment.
On Wednesday, Midokura announced the latest release of its Midokura Enterprise MidoNet (MEM) platform that delivers network virtualization for IaaS clouds. Wednesday’s release constitutes the first major release since Midokura’s decision to open source its network virtualizaton technology in November. MEM supports not only OpenStack but also VMware vSphere and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6 as illustrated below:
The innovation of this commercial release consists of the platform’s deep integration with additional IaaS platforms such as VMware vSphere, for example, which subsequently allows enterprises to use MidoNet for both proprietary and OpenStack-based IaaS deployments as evinced in hybrid cloud infrastructures, for example. Co-founder and CEO of Midokura Dan Dumitriu remarked on the significance of MEM’s support for platforms beyond OpenStack as follows:
Our latest Enterprise MidoNet release marks the next step in our product evolution by offering support for platforms that are already proven and well-entrenched in modern enterprise data centers. The result is that businesses can make the most of their technology investments with Midokura’s open, scalable network virtualization for heterogeneous hypervisors and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds.
As Dumitriu notes, the most recent release of MidoNet throws open the door for MidoNet to be used in a variety of datacenters that collectively leverage “heterogeneous hypervisors” for their IaaS platforms. MidoNet’s decision to support a variety of IaaS frameworks means that, while it stands to benefit from its early traction amongst the OpenStack community, it also now positions itself to support a more diverse range of cloud platforms and amalgamations of IaaS infrastructures and subsequently make an even stronger case for its prominence amongst OpenStack deployments by virtue of its extensibility to other environments that may variously complement OpenStack. As of this release, MEM also supports OpenStack Juno and includes enhancements such as Load Balancing as a Service for the OpenStack Neutron project. Available immediately, Midokura is offering a 30 day free trial of MEM including enterprise-grade support and the MidoNet Manager interface.
Today, Midokura announced the finalization of $17.3 million in Series A funding in a round led by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan with additional participation from NTT Group’s Venture Fund, DOCOMO Innovations Inc. and NEC Group’s Venture Fund, Innovative Ventures Fund Investment L.P. The funding is intended to expand Midokura’s product development teams and contribute to the refinement of its go-to-market strategy. Coincident with the news of Midokura’s Series A funding is the announcement that Dan Mihai Dumitriu, formerly CTO, replaces Tatsuya Kato as CEO. Co-founder Tatsuya Kato will assume the responsibility of Chairman of the Board. CEO Dan Mihai Dumitriu remarked on the significance of the capital raise and the company’s software defined networking technology as follows:
As enterprises and carriers embrace and build out IaaS clouds, an overlay-based network virtualization platform will soon be a must-have technology. The financial support of Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, and other key backers, validates our strategy as well as the work we’ve done over the past three years developing our industry leading product MidoNet. This funding will enable us to accelerate our product engineering, the establishment of partnerships, and the growth of our customer base. We look forward to delivering the most performant, scalable and fault tolerant network virtualization solution to the IaaS infrastructure market.
Here, Dumitriu neatly summarizes the concept behind Midokura’s Midonet platform, a distributed, software-defined virtual network solution targeted toward IaaS cloud-service providers as well as enterprises. Midokura plays in the space made famous by VMware acquisition Nicira, but is designed differently because of its decentralized, fully distributed architecture as elaborated by Brad Hedlund. The company is already a veteran contributor to the OpenStack community and is in the process of gearing up to announce further partnerships with other cloud platforms in the upcoming months according to Chief Strategy Officer Ben Cherian. Now that the company is flush with a significant infusion of cash, the industry should expect to hear more news about Midokura’s penetration into the U.S. market as its unique software defined networking platform increases its footprint in IaaS infrastructures and delivers simplified network infrastructures and protocols for data transmission in addition to high performance and high availability virtual networking solutions.