Cumulus Networks has launched Host Pack for container networking. It runs Cumulus Linux on a server host and links in with Cumulus’s network telemetry application NetQ.
Host Pack runs on a server and provides the routing stack for hosts that are serving up containers. It currently works with Docker containers and the Docker Swarm orchestration software. Cumulus says it will add support for Mesos in the next release, with Kubernetes to follow.
In Host Pack, a Cumulus container monitors Docker APIs for the creation and deletion of containers. When a container is assigned an IP address, Host Pack updates the Linux routing table and then advertises the container IP address to the network.
For more details, Cumulus has a container networking design guide for Cumulus Linux.
Host Pack also provides visibility into the container fabric via NetQ, which you’ll need to have running on your Cumulus Linux-based switches. Administrators and network operators can use NetQ to track containers by IP address, see open ports on a container, and track protocols in use.
NetQ can also show how containers are connected to one another, what other network elements sit between containers, and which physical switches the containers are connected to.
Network operators can allow application developers to see network state information via the Host Pack console without giving them the ability to make configuration changes.
Cumulus Networks has also announced Cumulus in the Cloud, a pre-built, cloud-based virtual lab that lets potential customers experiment with Cumulus Linux, NetQ, and Host Pack. The lab mimics a two-rack leaf-spine network that runs Mesosphere and a simple Web application.
While customers can also download Cumulus Linux to use in their own labs, the company thought a pre-built test environment would speed up the process by saving customers the trouble of deploying their own test bed.
“When you look at technology trials, they get stuck having to build from the ground up,” said J. R. Rivers, Cumulus’s CTO. “We wanted to turn it around, give them a semi-finished project. You can try all the features in the cloud for free.”
Both Host Pack and Cumulus in the Cloud are available now. Host Pack pricing starts at $1,000 per license and one year of support.