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Q&A: Interview with Akanda CEO Henrik Rosendahl on Open Source Network Virtualization for OpenStack Cloud Services

San Francisco-based startup Akanda has released its first product, Akanda 1.0, an open source network virtualization solution to simplify the delivery and management of OpenStack cloud network services. To find out more about Akanda, I spoke with Henrik Rosendahl, CEO of the company.

VMblog:  First off, would you mind giving readers a little background on Akanda?

Henrik Rosendahl:  Sure. Akanda is the developer and supporter of the open source Akanda network virtualization project for OpenStack clouds. We are delivering an open, extensible and cost effective platform for enterprises and service providers to virtualize their networks. Akanda is layer 2 agnostic and powers the network for DreamCompute, the OpenStack-based public cloud offered by DreamHost.

VMblog:  What does Akanda 1.0 specifically provide?

Rosendahl:  As the centralized management layer for all OpenStack networking decisions, Akanda enables key virtualized network functions providing routing, load balancing, firewall and more. Akanda also interacts with any L2 overlay based on OVS and Linux bridge, as well as most proprietary solutions, to offer lifecycle management of a complete networking stack. 

VMblog:  How does Akanda aim to make it easier to operate in the OpenStack environment?

Rosendahl: The first generation SDN solutions were not built for OpenStack. By providing the critical functions of health monitoring, event processing and all interactions with the OpenStack Neutron API, Akanda takes the place of many of the agents that OpenStack Neutron communicates with and acts as a single control point for all networking services. Akanda removes the complexity of OpenStack networks by managing DHCP and L3, orchestrate load balancing and VPN services and overall reduce the number of components required to build, manage and monitor networks within your cloud.

VMblog:  Where does the Akanda project reside?

Rosendahl: The Akanda project lives in two main repositories on Github to ease packaging and management: Akanda Rug - the orchestration service for managing the creation, configuration and health of Akanda Software Routers, and Akanda Appliance - which supports software for the Akanda router appliance. It is a Linux-based service VM that provides routing and L3+ services in a virtualized network. This includes a REST API for managing the appliance via the Akanda Rug orchestration service.

VMblog:  What other piece of news came out in conjunction with the release of Akanda 1.0?

Rosendahl: Akanda also announced a partnership with Cumulus Networks, the provider of Cumulus Linux operating system for open networking, to provide support for Lightweight Network Virtualization (LNV), and offering a complete networking stack for bare metal switches that greatly accelerates VXLAN performance in multi-tenant clouds, reducing complexity and cost. Service providers and many enterprises deploying OpenStack are looking for a means of delivering secure multi-tenancy, and Akanda and Cumulus Networks will deliver a VXLAN network-overlay solution on bare-metal switches targeted to these needs.

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Thanks again to Henrik Rosendahl, CEO of Akanda, for taking time out to speak with VMblog.com and answer a few questions.
Published Tuesday, May 19, 2015 7:37 AM by David Marshall
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