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July 9, 2014

Metaswitch Networks to reduce barriers of NFV

Project Calico aims to improve the scalability and complexity of cloud-based data centre infrastructure.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Metaswitch Networks has launched open source Project Calico, designed to remove the scaling limits and complexities of cloud-based data centre infrastructures for service providers.

Project Calico, which integrates with a variety of cloud operating systems, such as OpenStack, claims to overcome barriers with existing network functions virtualisation (NFV) infrastructure.

Specifically, by increasing the scaling limits of Layer 2 techniques, such as Ethernet VLAN, and reducing the complexities of VXLAN, GRE and SDN-controlled flows.

NFV originated from service providers who were looking to accelerate the deployment of network services after feeling the constraints of hardware-based appliances. The approach separates certain network functions from the specialised, dedicated networking devices or appliances that run these functions.

Project Calico, which is part of Metaswitch’s Neuron Initiative, claims that by tightly integrating with cloud operating systems, it provides the framework for orchestrated IP routing in between virtual machines and host machines as well as intra and inter-data center interconnects.

"With Project Calico, we’ve made it possible to build cloud connectivity so that it looks a lot like Internet connectivity," says Martin Taylor, Metaswitch’s CTO.

"Project Calico integrates seamlessly with the cloud orchestration system, such as OpenStack, to enable secure IP communication between virtual machines and, in doing so, it provides an approach to virtual networking that is scalable, efficient and simple."

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The company is in the process of working with partners to form an ecosystem that will support technology interoperability, helping network operators build solutions using Project Calico.


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