Midokura Virtualizes Your Network to the Cloud

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Tom Keating
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Midokura Virtualizes Your Network to the Cloud

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I met with Midokura, a company founded in Japan, in the press room at ITEXPO to learn about their network virtualization solution. Midokura offers IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) for both public and private cloud. They plug into Openstack / CloudStack / vSphere and can run them in a distributed software environment. midokura's Adam Johnson, General Manage explained how Midokura Midokura came about. They started about 4 years ago as an alternative to Amazon's cloud offering. Adam told me that Dan Mihai Dumitriu, Midokura CEO, CTO & co-founder served as Senior Researcher at NGI Group and Technical Lead at Amazon.com, which certainly gave him insights on how to built public & private network clouds.

Their customers had hosted solutions for computer & storage, but nothing for hosted networks. Existing hosted network solutions were a bit of kludge leveraging VLANs, which is limited to 4096 for different tenants making it not scalable and harder to manage and setup.

Midokura created overlay networks. They developed a software agent that sits next to every hypervisor that provides distributed virtual switching. They kept going up the OSI stack and developed distributed switch & distributed NAT and covered Layer 2-4. They went GA with their product at the end of last year and integrated with OpenStack becoming the first to be certified.

Their solution takes known thing – networking and makes it distributed and very efficient. You don’t have to replace any gear – only requirement is forwarding network packets. Adam mentioned their solution is built for scale and compared with with VMware which uses a centralized controller, which can very overloaded as more devices have to communicate with it. Midokura on the other hand uses an agent at each Hypervisor, so it’s more distributed.

Further, they maximize the performance of existing switches – there is no need for middle boxes to perform ARP broadcasts and such. They do it via the agent so it's more efficient. Their core solution is MidoNet, which features:

  • Fully Distributed Architecture with no single points of failure
  • Fully virtualized Layer 2 through 4 networking
  • VLAN-less VLANs – Virtual L2 Distributed Level Isolation with virtually no limitations
  • Virtual L2 Distributed Switching
  • Virtual L3 Distributed Routing
  • Distributed Load Balancing and Firewall Services
  • BGP Routing
  • Stateful and Stateless NAT
  • Floating IPs
  • Access Control Lists (ACLs)
  • Restful API
  • Web Based Management Control Panel
  • Monitoring of Networking Services
  • Live Migration
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It costs $1899 per host/year 24/7 support , which is very simple pricing unlike VMware which is not only costly but very complex licensing. They also offer a 60 day trial.

Check out Adam's video intro of Midokura that I took at ITEXPO:


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