Abiquo 2.3

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1. Previous Approach

Prior to Abiquo 2.3, the Cloud Admin only could enable one virtual switch or NIC per Host. All of the vNICs of virtual machines deployed on the hypervisor were attached to the same virtual switch or NIC. It was also connected to all the VLANs in the Infrastructure. The following diagram shows this approach.

2. Abiquo 2.3

The new Network Service Type feature allows you to use multiple virtual switches or NICs on each hypervisor host. The 'Network Service Type' is a 'tag' for naming your network services. First the infrastructure administrators will tag each virtual switch or NIC to enable it and identify its network in Abiquo. Then administrators of public, external and unmanaged VLANs will also tag each of these VLANs with a network service type. When users deploy virtual machines, Abiquo will attach their vNICs to the virtual switches or physical NICs with the tags matching their VLANs. The following diagram shows this new approach.

The new approach is very flexible and it should make better use of physical resources and improve NIC throughput and overall network performance.

The following sections explain how to manage network service types and how to assign them to virtual switches or physical NICs and VLANs.


3. Managing Network Interfaces


The Create Physical Machine popup has changed from Abiquo 2.2 to 2.3. Now it has several tabs to organize the parameters. We are interested in the 'Network interfaces' tab, which looks like this:

You can 'tag' the Interfaces (virtual switches or NICs) with the different 'Network Service Types' in the current datacenter. This is because network service types are defined at datacenter level, not at platform level. Click the 'Manage Network Service Types' button to manage them.

3.1. Manage Network Service Types

When you click Manage Network Service Types, you will see a new popup with the Network Service Types that are already created. Here you can modify them and create new ones:

At the moment there is only one service type, which is assigned to all existing networks on upgrade. You can edit it, by selecting it, and modify its name.

This is the default service type, called "Service Network", which is also created with a new datacenter and cannot be deleted. There must always be at least one service type.

You can add a new one by clicking the 'Add' button:

And you can remove it by clicking the 'X' button.

3.2. Assign a Network Service to a Physical Machine Network Interface

To specify which Network Service Types will be used by a virtual switch/NIC, just click the drop-down menu and select it:

Of course, you can leave NICs as 'Not assigned' to disable them:

Save the machine by pressing 'Accept' and you're done!

4. Changing the Network Service Type Assigned to a dvSwitch 

If you try to change the Network Service Type of a dvSwitch and there are virtual machines deployed on any of the machines attached to the dvSwitch, then you will see an error message and no change will be made.

If there are no virtual machines deployed on any of the machines attached to the dvSwitch, then Abiquo will allow you to change the Network Service Type for the dvSwitch, which will also change the Network Service Type of all the physical machine network interfaces attached to the dvSwitch.

5. Creating VLANs

The Create VLAN popup has also changed. For public/external/unmanaged networks, a new drop-down menu has been added to the current creation form:

A VLAN only can be edited when there are no Virtual Machines using NICs from that VLAN, and the same rule applies to the change of Network Service Types. For private VLANs there is no change: the VLAN will use the default Network Service Type of the Datacenter. This makes the whole functionality completely transparent for the cloud end user.

And that's all! The allocator and the virtual factory will do the rest!


6. Changes to machine.xml for Network Service Types

Abiquo now detects all the network interfaces on a physical machine and lists them for selection of network service types.

Therefore the Machine entity has also been changed to contain the new networkInterfaces (to replace the virtualSwitch) as shown in the following example.

 Click here to expand...
Machine.xml showing new networkInterfaces element
    <link rel="checkipmi" href=""/>
    <link rel="checkipmistate" type="application/vnd.abiquo.machineipmistate+xml" href=""/>
    <link rel="checkstate" type="application/vnd.abiquo.machinestate+xml" href=""/>
    <link rel="datastores" type="application/vnd.abiquo.datastores+xml" href=""/>
    <link rel="edit" type="application/vnd.abiquo.machine+xml" href=""/>
    <link rel="rack" type="application/vnd.abiquo.rack+xml" href=""/>
    <link rel="reenableafterha" type="application/vnd.abiquo.machine+xml" href=""/>
    <link rel="refreshnics" type="application/vnd.abiquo.machine+xml" href=""/>
    <link rel="virtualmachines" type="application/vnd.abiquo.virtualmachines+xml" href=""/>
            <link rel="networkservicetype" type="application/vnd.abiquo.networkservicetype+xml" href=""/>