Blog Cloudwatt

Opencontrail developper of the month

Sébastien Badia is a co-founder of the non-profit organization LDN, Lorraine Data Network, which is a neutral and open Internet access provider. He is also involved in the Federation FDN, a federation of 25 non-profit Internet access providers around France, and gathering more than 1 700 individual members.

He is also involved in Gitoyen (a network Operator) and Debian. Sébastien is a Software/System Engineer at eNovance. He works on subjects including packaging, system administration (automation, configuration managment, ci) and OpenStack in general.

1. How did you first hear about OpenContrail and what was your initial reaction?

In the scope of eNovance service for Cloudwatt, I attended a Cloudwatt session on SDN and networks overview (MPLS/BGP) where the speaker also spoke about Contrail and gave us the pointer on (which is also clear, and gives a good view of the whole project). It was very interesting and it gave want to dig about.

2. What made you decide to download the OpenContrail code and play around with it? Any particular driver or work initiative?

Cloudwatt had studied the corporate version of Contrail, but the real trigger was the opening of the code (with a Apache2 license). With this opening and the ability to use and deploy more easily (Open)Contrail we decided to contribute to the packaging effort launched by Pedro. With Cloudwatt (Romain V. and Sylvain B.) we also created a continuous integration system to builder packages, installed on a pool of nodes to verify the installation (which allows to quickly converge on remaining efforts ).

3. What work have you done with the OpenContrail code? Tell us about it and what value it might have to others?

I worked with Pedro M. and Ted G. on the packaging ( of the community version of OpenContrail. Work is also well advanced, and we should soon see a 1.06 version (first community version of Contrail). A PPA (Personal Package Archives) has been created (ppa:contrail/ppa) which will make possible to install Contrail with just an « apt-get » command, (no need to compile all). It will also enable to deploy OpenContrail more easily (with a configuration management tool). Another point was the packaging and management of all dependencies even in upstream distributions. It’s now well advanced, and all dependencies are in Debian and Ubuntu soon (with the normal cycle releases).

4. What has been your experience in working with the OpenContrail team?

It was very productive and dynamic, either on the mailing list or IRC, exchanges are relevant and interesting! There also has regular meeting on IRC I mostly worked with Pedro, and it was very interesting, we intensively use the reviews system to take advantage of the different timezones, and of course to validate each other.

5. What would you like to see improved with the OpenContrail code or overall community?

Maybe a Continuous Integration system like OpenStack, with review in order to have a clear view of patchset, and well integrated with our bug tracker, and of course pre-merge validation (a gate system). But I was told in the atrium that is in the pipeline ;-) A unique place for documentation would also be a good thing (like because we have some documentation inside a github wiki, and another part on Opencontrail website.

6. What do you think the real value of SDN or NFV will be for you or your industry?

Cloudwatt is a French Cloud provider and SDN is the backbone of his compute offer. SDN allows Cloudwatt to provide virtual private networks inside the datacenter and cross-datacenters. NFV is the next step, we will soon work on service VM insertion using routing policies. In short SDN makes network easy to provision, easy to upscale.

7. What is your overall perception of the importance of open source in SDN/networking/technology/innovation?

There would be no Internet as we know it today without free software, both are inseparable (RFC based, open standard)…, free software is a great vector for sustainability and development (reuses FSF/GNU argumentation), I am very pleased that Juniper goes in this direction because it will facilitate interoperability (working efficiently) between existing open source network solution and high performance Juniper hardware.

Thank you Sébastien