[Openstack-operators] VM with a public IP

Jeremy Stanley fungi at yuggoth.org
Tue Aug 14 01:36:35 UTC 2012

On 2012-08-13 19:44:18 -0500 (-0500), Narayan Desai wrote:
> This is probably an early example of a situation that will occur
> repeatedly, where people are constrained one way or another,
> either due to policy or software limitations, etc, and I think
> that these issues really need to be considered carefully.

Agreed. My last employer (an IaaS provider grown out of a colocation
and datacenter management company) is in a similar situation...
customers want to blend their colocated servers and virtual machines
from the public "cloud" platform together on the same subnets and
VLANs. The commercial IaaS management platform the provider
purchased made similar assumptions about the network topology--only
one subnet to a VLAN, available IP addresses were in a contiguous
range, et cetera.

Turns out when you start bridging virtual machine networks into
existing production server networks which weren't designed around
those assumptions, having the additional flexibility to relieve your
customer from needing to redesign their networks is often desirable
even sometimes at the expense of operational scalability. And so the
provider disabled the network management components within the
platform for those customers and allowed them to manually manage
their virtual machine addressing within each guest OS instead.

The end result was that low-revenue colocation customers were more
likely to convert their physical servers to hosted virtual machines
because they could do it almost seamlessly, one at a time, keeping
the same addressing within that network. Replacing customer-owned
servers with IaaS virtual machines meant both more profit for the
provider and a cost savings for the customers.
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