CloudRouter inches closer to G/A with second beta

El Reg talks to IIX's Jay Turner

The open-source CloudRouter project is getting closer to general availability, with its second beta hitting the Internet today.

CloudRouter first emerged in March under the aegis of peering company IIX.

The Register asked project lead Jay Turner why, in a world where routers have well over 20 years' of development, the world needed another.

“First, we don't have a truly open-source, collaborative virtual router project today,” he said.

Also, while IIX decided early on that while the project needed the flexibility to go beyond routing, that basic functionality was needed to scratch the company's own itch.

“Our netops wanted a software solution for their daily operations,” Turner said. “IIX has 150 POPs around the globe – manual router operations is fairly tedious and prone to error.

“That was the seed that started this … a dead simple router. You don't get that from the traditional vendors any more. You're getting fifty other features that you have no interest in, and you have to deal with the technical debt of those features being there.”

IIX wants the CloudRouter to be “useful and utilised”, Turner said.

In the Fedora Remix-based (Fedora 22-based but not supported by RedHat) CloudRouter 2.0 beta we have ONOS 1.2, OpenDaylight Lithium, CoreOS Rkt container support, the Mininet SDN prototyping software, and the FastNetMon DoS/DDoS toolkit.

There are three BGP daemons – BIRD and Quagga, and the lightweight ExaBGP daemon that CloudRouter says was added at the request of a corporate user.

Features that carried through from the first beta include automatic configuration; Docker, KVM and Cloudius OSv support; and IPSec, SSL and L2TP support.

The original plan was to move from beta to general availability by the end of this month, but Turner says that deadline probably won't be met.

“I want the community to put it through its paces, and make sure we have something we can stand behind.”

However: “We're going to keep our finger on the pulse – there has to be a limit, or it'll never get out of beta.” Turner said he would “get antsy” if it took more than four weeks.

That attitude is also reflected in Turner's hope that CloudRouter will avoid the problem suffered by other virtual networking projects, that they acquire too many contributions that become “orphan code” with lots of open trouble tickets.

“We dealt with that for years at RedHat,” he said. “You have to be vigilant in policing the code, and you have to hold people accountable.

“That's what OpenDaylight has done with Lithium – they called out the roles and responsibilities of the various leads. I think that will be successful.”

CloudRouter beta 2.0 is available here. ®

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