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New and Changed Features

 

The features listed in this section are new or changed as of Contrail Networking Release 2008. A brief description of each new feature is included.

New and Changed Features in Contrail Networking Release 2008

Support for Fast Routing Convergence

Starting with Release 2008, Contrail Networking supports fast convergence of the network in case of failures in the overlay tunnel endpoints. With the fast convergence feature, Contrail Networking can detect and respond to failures in the gateway or vRouter and take corrective action faster, thereby reducing the convergence time. Convergence time is the time taken by the control plane to detect a failure and take corrective action. Faster convergence reduces the risk of silent packet drop in case of a failure in the network.

For more information, see Fast Routing Convergence with Contrail Networking

Configurable XMPP Timeout

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can configure the XMPP timer value in the range 1 through 90 seconds. Reducing the timer to a lower value facilitates faster convergence in the network. Though you can configure a value as low as one (1), the recommended value is nine (9). A lower value for the timer is recommended only for smaller clusters.

For more information, see Fast Routing Convergence with Contrail Networking

Support for Red Hat OpenShift 4.4

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, you install Contrail Networking with Red Hat Openshift 4.4.

For more information, see How to Install Contrail Networking and Red Hat OpenShift 4.4.

Support for Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director 16.1

Contrail Networking Release 2008 supports integration with Red Hat OpenStack Platform Director (RHOSPd or OSPd) 16.1. Table 1 lists the OpenStack releases and the corresponding operating system and deployer versions supported by Contrail Networking Release 2008.

Table 1: Supported Release Versions

Contrail Release

Operating System

OpenStack

Deployer

Contrail Networking 2008

RHEL 8.2

OSP16

OSPd16

For details, see Using Contrail with Red Hat OpenStack 16.1.

Contrail Insights and Contrail Insights Flows on Same Server

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can provision Contrail Insights and Contrail Insights Flows onto the same server node. Contrail Insights and Contrail Insights Flows had to be provisioned on separate servers in earlier releases.

For more information on provisioning Contrail Insights and Contrail Insights Flows onto the same server, see How to Install Contrail Command and Provision Your Contrail Cluster.

Enhanced Job Status Monitoring Ability

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can view a detailed summary of all Contrail Command initiated jobs and transactions for the past three days in the Monitoring > Operations page in Contrail Command. You can view job progress, completion status, error messages for failed jobs, and supplemental device configurations resulting from active and completed jobs as well. You can also abort an ongoing job. The Operations page replaces the Jobs page in the UI.

For more information, see Monitoring Fabric Jobs.

Support for Hitless Software Upgrade on MX Series Devices

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can perform Contrail Controller-assisted maintenance activities such as a hitless software image upgrade on MX Series devices in a data center fabric. Prior to release 2008, hitless software upgrade was supported only on QFX series devices.

For more information, see Hitless Software Upgrade of Data Center Devices Overview.

Using MX Series Devices to Connect to Third-Party Network Devices

Starting in Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can use MX240, MX480, MX960, or MX10003 device as a border leaf and spine device, to connect to third-party network devices. You can assign CRB-Gateway, CRB-MCAST-Gateway, DCI-Gateway, or DC-Gateway roles to these border gateway devices. However, when you use an MX Series device as a border gateway device, you can only configure eBGP or Static routing protocols on the border gateway device.

For more information, see Using Static, eBGP, PIM, and OSPF Protocols to Connect to Third-Party Network Devices.

Redesigned VLAN-Assignment Ability During Virtual Port Group Creation

In Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can create a VPG without assigning VLANs. VLAN assignment is a dedicated but optional step in the VPG-creation wizard. You can choose to assign VLANs in the wizard or you can assign them separately by clicking the +Add button in the Overlay > Virtual Port Group page.

In scaled setups, there can be a large number of VLANs, making them hard to manage inside the create or edit Virtual Port Group pages of earlier releases. Release 2008 simplifies the assignment of VLANs by introducing a dedicated page for management.

For more information, see Configuring Virtual Port Groups.

Viewing Packet Paths in Topology View

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can view the path a packet takes in a network. To view the packet path, both Contrail Insights and Contrail Insights Flows must be installed.

Port Profile Attributes and Parameters

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, additional port attributes are available for port profile objects including MTU, admin state, LACP, flow control, BPDU loop protection, and QoS (CoS) untrust interface. Additionally, you can apply MTU, admin state, flow control, LACP force up, interface type attributes to physical interfaces; and MTU to logical interfaces. For details, see Configuring Storm Control on Interfaces.

VLAN Forwarding Disabled for DPDK vRouters Deployed on VLAN Interfaces

Starting from Contrail Networking Release 2008, VLAN forwarding interface is disabled by default on DPDK enabled vRouters that are deployed in a fabric. This optimizes the performance of DPDK enabled vRouters.

In releases prior to release 2008, VLAN forwarding interface is enabled by default, enabling packet forwarding between the host and the fabric. This resulted in increased load on vRouters affecting their performance.

To enable VLAN forwarding interface on vRouter, set the value for DPDK_ENABLE_VLAN_FWRD to True in contrail-settings.yaml. If VLAN forwarding interface is enabled, the following message is logged in the contrail-vrouter-dpdk container logs:

Analyzing Traffic Between vRouter and vRouter Agents Using Wireshark Plugin

Contrail Networking Release 2008 provides support for the agent_header.lua Wireshark plugin that enables you analyze the packets exchanged between vRouter data plane and vRouter agent on the pkt0 interface.

For more information, see Using the Wireshark Plugin to Analyze Packets Between vRouter and vRouter Agent on pkt0 Interface.

Support for Viewing Details of a DPDK Enabled vRouter

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, the dpdkinfo command enables you to see the details of the internal data structures of a DPDK enabled vRouter. The dpdkinfo command enables you to view information related to bond interfaces, Link Aggregation Control Protocol (LACP), memory pool (mempool), Logical core (lcore), network interface card (NIC) and application. The dpdkinfo command reads the internal data structures and unstructured data from a DPDK enabled vRouter, and displays the data on the console.

For more information, see vRouter Command Line Utilities.

Packet Latency Improvements in the vRouter

Contrail Networking Release 2008 has significant vRouter packet latency improvements in DPDK deployments. The latency for 64B packets is measured to be around 120 microseconds (µs) in release 2008 as against 300-400 µs prior to release 2008. In historic DPDK deployments, the vRouter functions in a hybrid mode where it uses part pipelining mode and part run-to-completion mode for packet processing thereby ensuring good load balancing and also reasonable latency. However, from release 2008, you can switch the vRouter from hybrid to run-to-completion mode where the packets are processed in a single session with no load balancing thereby reducing latency overheads. To switch DPDK modes, you must set the DPDK_COMMAND_ADDTIONAL_ARGS+= "--vr_no_load_balance" parameter in the ifcfg-vhost0 file on the vRouter.

This feature has the following caveats:

  • The run-to-completion mode has inherent disadvantages such as if the virtual machine is unable to load balance, you might see bottlenecks using this mode.

  • The VNF must be enabled with multiqueue virtio. This is to ensure that the VNF performs load balancing in place of the vRouter.

  • Only MPLSoUDP and VXLAN encapsulation protocols are supported.

Support to Ignore Manual CLI Configuration Changes

Contrail Networking supports the detection of manual CLI configuration changes. You can either accept these manual changes as part of the configuration, or you can reject the CLI changes and the changes are removed from the configuration. With Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can also ignore these manual CLI configuration changes by using the Contrail Command UI. For more information, see Detecting and Managing Manual CLI Configuration Changes.

Support for Clearing vif Statistics Counters

Contrail Networking Release 2008 supports clearing of vif statistics counters for all interfaces by using the --clear command.

For more information, see vRouter Command Line Utilities.

Contrail Tools Container

Contrail-tools container provides centralized location for all the available tools and CLI commands in one place. Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, contrail-tools command will be installed by default. contrail-tools command enables you to log in to the container and execute the tool. Additionally, the command will kill the container on exit. For details, see Using Contrail Tools.

Support for DPDK Release 19.11

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, Contrail vRouter supports DPDK Release 19.11. To view the DPDK version, use the following commands:

Sandump Tool

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, Sandump tool is available in contrail-tools container. Sandump tool captures the Sandesh messages from netlink connection between the Agent and the vRouter (only DPDK mode) and, provides detailed interpretation of all the captured bytes.​ For details, see Using Sandump Tool​.

Deploying Contrail Command and Importing a Contrail Cluster Using Juju in a Kubernetes Environment

Starting in Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can deploy Contrail Command and import an existing Contrail cluster into Contrail Command with a single procedure using Juju in environments where Kubernetes is deployed as the orchestration platform. For details, see How to Deploy Contrail Command and Import a Cluster Using Juju.

Enablement Changes to Optional Contrail Analytics Modules

Starting with Contrail Networking Release 2008, the optional Contrail Analytics modules—analytics alarm, analytics SNMP, and analytics database—must be enabled in the OOO (TripleO) Heat templates. For more information, see TripleO Provisioning in the Contrail Networking Monitoring and Troubleshooting Guide.

Support for Modular Layer 2 Plug-in Connections for Fabric Management—Beta

Starting in Contrail Networking Release 2008, you can configure Contrail Fabric Management to communicate with Openstack deployments that are using the Modular Layer 2 (ML2) neutron plug-in. The ML2 plugin translates events that happen in the Neutron service in Openstack into configuration that can be pushed onto the fabric devices managed using Contrail Command.

This feature is managed using the Infrastructure > External Systems workflow in Contrail Command.

It is currently a beta feature.

OVA Package for Contrail Networking and Contrail Insights

The OVA installation packages available for Contrail Networking and Contrail Insights are for provided for customer early evaluation purposes only. For production installations, we still recommend following the Contrail Networking Installation and Upgrade Guide.