Selecting a network technology

Selecting a network technology

Neutron Open vSwitch networking is the default for OpenStack networking in the MCP CPI reference architecture. The second supported option is OpenContrail SDN networking.

The following table compares the two technologies and defines use cases for both.

OpenContrail vs Neutron OVS

Neutron OVS


Neutron with Open vSwitch is the default networking for OpenStack. It is supported by diverse community of the OpenStack developers.

Neutron provides basic networking including the IP addresses, IP routing, security groups, and floating IP addresses management. It also provides virtual load balancer capabilities through LBaaS API (Octavia) to the cloud users. Neutron uses VXLAN encapsulation for tenant overlay networks.

Neutron supports distributed virtual router (DVR) for east-west and network node for north-bound traffic originating from tenant virtual servers. North-bound traffic reaches its destinations using address translation (SNAT) on the network (gateway) nodes.

OpenContrail is an open source SDN product backed by Juniper and supported by community of developers.

OpenContrail provides both basic networking, such as IP addresses management, security groups, floating IP addresses, and advanced networking functions, including DPDK network virtualization and SR-IOV.

OpenContrail replaces standard Linux networking stack with its own vrouter agent that has complete control over the data plane traffic of OpenStack virtual servers.

The main use case for OpenContrail is advanced overlay network configurations that heavily rely on Service Function Chaining and SR-IOV. It is generally recommended to cloud operators that run Telco workloads in their clouds.

See also