An international Openstack deployment for network management

AARNet is well on the way this year to spinning up 5,600 cores and half a PB of storage spread over 20-odd data centre locations around Australia and internationally to perform distributed network intelligence and analysis. Divide and conquer the collection and processing of Netflow and other data, to aggregate it and store it in central unified bulk data stores - currently 700TB, but scalable as demand grows. The orchestration is provided by Openstack, the networking by Neutron and OVS, the virtualisation by KVM, the storage by Ceph RBD, the beer by Little Creatures... There are challenges - habits need to change; tools need rewriting; new bottlenecks appear; and we're still far from utilising the full capabilities of the platform. However the benefits are many-fold. Banks of individual servers are gradually being phased out, improving operational efficiency. New resources can be be spun up or workloads shifted, accelerating our ability to analyse the network. Scalability is no longer a problem, and unifying all the bulk storage enables data-mining and intelligence which simply wasn't possible before.


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