As an OpenStack newcomer, I got confused around the concept of “Provider Network” on a OpenStack cluster. As many of the core component developers does not even know or came acorss such a term, it is always a challege to understand and work with it. In a production deployment of any type, may be an Enterprise deployment or NFV deploymnet, “Provider Network” is an integral part of it. Any consultant who works on a production deployment, will eventually come across it. Here I am posting my understanding of Provider Networks, as I understood it from experts.

What is a “Provider Network”?

  • Provider network is external to the OpenStack cluster, which should be accessible to the guest VMs.
  • This network would be configured by the cloud operator and cannot be controlled by the tenant.
  • It is of type either flat or VLAN. It does not support VxLAN network type.
  • The propeties of the provide network like physical bridge, VLAN segmentation id are choosed by the cloud operator, rather than neutron. All these properties will be provided to neutron net-create command to create a provider network.
  • It is possible to configure the provider network to acquire address via DHCP running externally or via neutron.

Following command is used to create a flat provider network:

neutron net-create dpdkflat --provider:network_type flat --provider:physical_network dpdknet
neutron subnet-create dpdkflat --name dpdkflat

Following command is used to create a VLAN provider network:

neutron net-create dpdkvlan --provider:network_type vlan --provider:segmentation_id 100 --provider:physical_network dpdknet
neutron subnet-create dpdkvlan --name dpdkvlan