[openstack-dev] [Neutron] [Docs] Definition of a provider Network

Jay Pipes jaypipes at gmail.com
Tue Jan 19 14:15:20 UTC 2016

On 01/19/2016 02:33 AM, Andreas Scheuring wrote:
> Hi everybody,
> I stumbled over a definition that explains the difference between a
> Provider network and a self service network. [1]
> To summarize it says:
> - Provider Network: primarily uses layer2 services and vlan segmentation
> and cannot be used for advanced services (fwaas,..)
> - Self-service Network: is Neutron configured to use a overlay network
> and supports advanced services (fwaas,..)
> But my understanding is more like this:
> - Provider Network: The Openstack user needs information about the
> underlying network infrastructure to create a virtual network that
> exactly matches this infrastructure.
> - Self service network: The Openstack user can create virtual networks
> without knowledge about the underlaying infrastructure on the data
> network. This can also include vlan networks, if the l2 plugin/agent was
> configured accordingly.
> Did the meaning of a provider network change in the meantime, or is my
> understanding just wrong?

I don't know the answer to the above questions, however in reading some 
of the networking guide last night, I ran into a similar question around 
provider networks.

In the "Scenario: Provider Networks with Linux bridge" document [0], the 
second paragraph has this statement:

"Also, provider networks lack the concept of fixed and floating IP 
addresses because they only handle layer-2 connectivity for instances."

and then, three paragraphs later, this statement is made:

"To improve performance and reliability, provider networks move layer-3 
operations to the physical network infrastructure."

So, which is it exactly? Do provider networks handle layer 3 or don't they?



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