March 20, 2016
DreamHost has managed to cut down its expenses in the operational costs by substituting the VMware’s NSX SDN with those of open source. Through infrastructure changes and improvements in the scaling problems that were troubling the end results, the company has managed to save up to 70 percent of capital proving the viability of open source networking.
The project of DreamHost consisted of DreamCompute and Ceph, a general cloud service that is build on OpenStack and an object store and file system respectively. As a basic requirement for this, is the Layer 2 tenant isolation that was a great factor in the service’s success.
Over 400,000 DreamHost clients. DreamCompute’s foundation requirements were met by Nicira’s NVP and Cumulus Linux for Layer 2 isolation for the first generation. The second generation, that had the capacity of Layer 3, used the Astara service of open source network. After a few improvements in its quality it was able to reach over a thousand clients and numerous VMs.
DreamHost’s vice president Jonathan LaCour has stated in his blog that Astara was greatly doubted. Its quality and ability was questioned to the point of awaiting failure. It was believed that it wouldn’t be able to carry out the work load and its purpose however the results lifted any doubts since it proved reliable.
What problems has this resolved? DreamCompute’s third generation faced many problems based on its infrastructure. There were great limitations in the tenants that the NSX provided. Also the Open vSwitch was showing signs of unsteady and sluggish operation and in combination with the difficulty of the software in the operation and debugging it gave a rather disappointing result for the company. The solution was found into replacing the NSX with Layer 2 isolation by VXLAN and Astara for Layer 3-7 service orchestration.
Both Astara and VXLAN were bringing results by allowing both smooth and massive escalation. OpenStack was simplified as it had fewer requirements in Layer 2 and other advanced settings making it an easier to operate system. Using the Astara and OpenStack automations, DreamHost has achieved great reduction in the difficulty level of the system operation and improvement in the performance and capacity. Adding quality to the services that the company provides, DreamHost managed to gain a better status in the world of networking.
The company is trying to reflect other companies that have mastered the cloud storage business like Facebook and Google. These companies have decided to create their own solutions in the world of networking in order to vanquish the capital expenditures as well as the operational ones. The development that the open source provides has been considerable as opposed to many existing commercial products.
The downsizing of operational expenditures can be a valid result. The reliability and viability of the open source code can lead many companies to success by creating and adapting an independent and safe system of services. With certain modification for certain operator requirements it can overcome and even exceed other business products.