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Taikun OCP Guide

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OpenStack Networking

OpenStack Networking allows you to create and manage network objects,
such as networks, subnets, and ports, which other OpenStack services can
use. Plug-ins can be implemented to accommodate different networking
equipment and software, providing flexibility to OpenStack architecture
and deployment.

The Networking service, code-named neutron, provides an API that lets
you define network connectivity and addressing in the cloud. The
Networking service enables operators to leverage different networking
technologies to power their cloud networking. The Networking service
also provides an API to configure and manage a variety of network
services ranging from L3 forwarding and Network Address Translation
(NAT) to perimeter firewalls, and virtual private networks.

It includes the following components:

API server

The OpenStack Networking API includes support for Layer 2 networking
and IP Address Management (IPAM), as well as an extension for a Layer 3
router construct that enables routing between Layer 2 networks and
gateways to external networks. OpenStack Networking includes a growing
list of plug-ins that enable interoperability with various commercial
and open source network technologies, including routers, switches,
virtual switches and software-defined networking (SDN) controllers.

OpenStack Networking plug-in and agents

Plugs and unplugs ports, creates networks or subnets, and provides IP
addressing. The chosen plug-in and agents differ depending on the vendor
and technologies used in the particular cloud. It is important to
mention that only one plug-in can be used at a time.

Messaging queue

Accepts and routes RPC requests between agents to complete API
operations. Message queue is used in the ML2 plug-in for RPC between the
neutron server and neutron agents that run on each hypervisor, in the
ML2 mechanism drivers for Open vSwitch and Linux bridge.


To configure rich network topologies, you can create and configure
networks and subnets and instruct other OpenStack services like Compute
to attach virtual devices to ports on these networks. OpenStack Compute
is a prominent consumer of OpenStack Networking to provide connectivity
for its instances. In particular, OpenStack Networking supports each
project having multiple private networks and enables projects to choose
their own IP addressing scheme, even if those IP addresses overlap with
those that other projects use. There are two types of network, project
and provider networks. It is possible to share any of these types of
networks among projects as part of the network creation process.

Provider networks

Provider networks offer layer-2 connectivity to instances with
optional support for DHCP and metadata services. These networks connect,
or map, to existing layer-2 networks in the data center, typically using
VLAN (802.1q) tagging to identify and separate them.

Provider networks generally offer simplicity, performance, and
reliability at the cost of flexibility. By default only administrators
can create or update provider networks because they require
configuration of physical network infrastructure. It is possible to
change the user who is allowed to create or update provider networks
with the following parameters of policy.yaml:

  • create_network:provider:physical_network
  • update_network:provider:physical_network


The creation and modification of provider networks enables use of
physical network resources, such as VLAN-s. Enable these changes only
for trusted projects.

Also, provider networks only handle layer-2 connectivity for
instances, thus lacking support for features such as routers and
floating IP addresses.

In many cases, operators who are already familiar with virtual
networking architectures that rely on physical network infrastructure
for layer-2, layer-3, or other services can seamlessly deploy the
OpenStack Networking service. In particular, provider networks appeal to
operators looking to migrate from the Compute networking service
(nova-network) to the OpenStack Networking service. Over time, operators
can build on this minimal architecture to enable more cloud networking

In general, the OpenStack Networking software components that handle
layer-3 operations impact performance and reliability the most. To
improve performance and reliability, provider networks move layer-3
operations to the physical network infrastructure.

In one particular use case, the OpenStack deployment resides in a
mixed environment with conventional virtualization and bare-metal hosts
that use a sizable physical network infrastructure. Applications that
run inside the OpenStack deployment might require direct layer-2 access,
typically using VLANs, to applications outside of the deployment.

Routed provider networks

Routed provider networks offer layer-3 connectivity to instances.
These networks map to existing layer-3 networks in the data center. More
specifically, the network maps to multiple layer-2 segments, each of
which is essentially a provider network. Each has a router gateway
attached to it which routes traffic between them and externally. The
Networking service does not provide the routing.

Routed provider networks offer performance at scale that is difficult
to achieve with a plain provider network at the expense of guaranteed
layer-2 connectivity.

Neutron port could be associated with only one network segment, but
there is an exception for OVN distributed services like OVN

See config-routed-provider-networks for more

Self-service networks

Self-service networks primarily enable general (non-privileged)
projects to manage networks without involving administrators. These
networks are entirely virtual and require virtual routers to interact
with provider and external networks such as the Internet. Self-service
networks also usually provide DHCP and metadata services to

In most cases, self-service networks use overlay protocols such as
VXLAN or GRE because they can support many more networks than layer-2
segmentation using VLAN tagging (802.1q). Furthermore, VLANs typically
require additional configuration of physical network infrastructure.

IPv4 self-service networks typically use private IP address ranges
(RFC1918) and interact with provider networks via source NAT on virtual
routers. Floating IP addresses enable access to instances from provider
networks via destination NAT on virtual routers. IPv6 self-service
networks always use public IP address ranges and interact with provider
networks via virtual routers with static routes.

The Networking service implements routers using a layer-3 agent that
typically resides at least one network node. Contrary to provider
networks that connect instances to the physical network infrastructure
at layer-2, self-service networks must traverse a layer-3 agent. Thus,
oversubscription or failure of a layer-3 agent or network node can
impact a significant quantity of self-service networks and instances
using them. Consider implementing one or more high-availability features
to increase redundancy and performance of self-service networks.

Users create project networks for connectivity within projects. By
default, they are fully isolated and are not shared with other projects.
OpenStack Networking supports the following types of network isolation
and overlay technologies.


All instances reside on the same network, which can also be shared
with the hosts. No VLAN tagging or other network segregation takes


Networking allows users to create multiple provider or project
networks using VLAN IDs (802.1Q tagged) that correspond to VLANs present
in the physical network. This allows instances to communicate with each
other across the environment. They can also communicate with dedicated
servers, firewalls, and other networking infrastructure on the same
layer 2 VLAN.


VXLAN and GRE are encapsulation protocols that create overlay
networks to activate and control communication between compute
instances. A Networking router is required to allow traffic to flow
outside of the GRE or VXLAN project network. A router is also required
to connect directly-connected project networks with external networks,
including the Internet. The router provides the ability to connect to
instances directly from an external network using floating IP

Project and provider networks


A block of IP addresses and associated configuration state. This is
also known as the native IPAM (IP Address Management) provided by the
networking service for both project and provider networks. Subnets are
used to allocate IP addresses when new ports are created on a

Subnet pools

End users normally can create subnets with any valid IP addresses
without other restrictions. However, in some cases, it is nice for the
admin or the project to pre-define a pool of addresses from which to
create subnets with automatic allocation.

Using subnet pools constrains what addresses can be used by requiring
that every subnet be within the defined pool. It also prevents address
reuse or overlap by two subnets from the same pool.

See config-subnet-pools for more information.


A port is a connection point for attaching a single device, such as
the NIC of a virtual server, to a virtual network. The port also
describes the associated network configuration, such as the MAC and IP
addresses to be used on that port.


Routers provide virtual layer-3 services such as routing and NAT
between self-service and provider networks or among self-service
networks belonging to a project. The Networking service uses a layer-3
agent to manage routers via namespaces.

Security groups

Security groups provide a container for virtual firewall rules that
control ingress (inbound to instances) and egress (outbound from
instances) network traffic at the port level. Security groups use a
default deny policy and only contain rules that allow specific traffic.
Each port can reference one or more security groups in an additive
fashion. The firewall driver translates security group rules to a
configuration for the underlying packet filtering technology such as

Each project contains a default security group that
allows all egress traffic and denies all ingress traffic. You can change
the rules in the default security group. If you launch an
instance without specifying a security group, the default
security group automatically applies to it. Similarly, if you create a
port without specifying a security group, the default
security group automatically applies to it.


If you use the metadata service, removing the default egress rules
denies access to TCP port 80 on, thus preventing
instances from retrieving metadata.

Security group rules are stateful. Thus, allowing ingress TCP port 22
for secure shell automatically creates rules that allow return egress
traffic and ICMP error messages involving those TCP connections.

By default, all security groups contain a series of basic (sanity)
and anti-spoofing rules that perform the following actions:

  • Allow egress traffic only if it uses the source MAC and IP addresses
    of the port for the instance, source MAC and IP combination in
    allowed-address-pairs, or valid MAC address (port or
    allowed-address-pairs) and associated EUI64 link-local IPv6
  • Allow egress DHCP discovery and request messages that use the source
    MAC address of the port for the instance and the unspecified IPv4
    address (
  • Allow ingress DHCP and DHCPv6 responses from the DHCP server on the
    subnet so instances can acquire IP addresses.
  • Deny egress DHCP and DHCPv6 responses to prevent instances from
    acting as DHCP(v6) servers.
  • Allow ingress/egress ICMPv6 MLD, neighbor solicitation, and neighbor
    discovery messages so instances can discover neighbors and join
    multicast groups.
  • Deny egress ICMPv6 router advertisements to prevent instances from
    acting as IPv6 routers and forwarding IPv6 traffic for other
  • Allow egress ICMPv6 MLD reports (v1 and v2) and neighbor
    solicitation messages that use the source MAC address of a particular
    instance and the unspecified IPv6 address (::). Duplicate address
    detection (DAD) relies on these messages.
  • Allow egress non-IP traffic from the MAC address of the port for the
    instance and any additional MAC addresses in
    allowed-address-pairs on the port for the instance.

Although non-IP traffic, security groups do not implicitly allow all
ARP traffic. Separate ARP filtering rules prevent instances from using
ARP to intercept traffic for another instance. You cannot disable or
remove these rules.

You can disable security groups including basic and anti-spoofing
rules by setting the port attribute port_security_enabled
to False.


The OpenStack Networking service is extensible. Extensions serve two
purposes: they allow the introduction of new features in the API without
requiring a version change and they allow the introduction of vendor
specific niche functionality. Applications can programmatically list
available extensions by performing a GET on the /extensions
URI. Note that this is a versioned request; that is, an extension
available in one API version might not be available in another.


The optional DHCP service manages IP addresses for instances on
provider and self-service networks. The Networking service implements
the DHCP service using an agent that manages qdhcp
namespaces and the dnsmasq service.


The optional metadata service provides an API for instances to obtain
metadata such as SSH keys.

Service and component


  • Provides API, manages database, etc.


  • Manages agents


  • Provides layer 2/3 connectivity to instances
  • Handles physical-virtual network transition
  • Handles metadata, etc.

Layer 2 (Ethernet and

  • Linux Bridge
  • OVS

Layer 3 (IP and Routing)

  • L3
  • DHCP


  • Metadata


Routing services


The Virtual Private Network-as-a-Service (VPNaaS) is a neutron
extension that introduces the VPN feature set.


The Load-Balancer-as-a-Service (LBaaS) API provisions and configures
load balancers. The reference implementation is based on the HAProxy
software load balancer. See the Octavia project
for more information.


The Firewall-as-a-Service (FWaaS) API allows to apply firewalls to
OpenStack objects such as projects, routers, and router ports.


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