OpenSolaris gets a Crossbow for Christmas
Just before Christmas, OpenSolaris gained an implementation of Project Crossbow, a network virtualisation technology. Crossbow allows administrators to create virtual network adapters (VNICs), either connected to physical network adapters, or to what are called EtherStubs, with no associated physical adapter. The latter allow for creating virtual switches with DMZ's and firewalls to connect virtual network adapters together. This moves networking infrastructure into the domain of virtualisation.
A blog posting by Ben Rockwood of Cuddletech, demonstrates what can be achieved with the new capabilities. He shows the creation of a virtual network with quality of service controls being applied to individual HTTP and HTTPS services. Rockwood also picks out things that can be done with VNICs which were not previously possible, such as tuning and snooping.
The new features have been added to OpenSolaris as of version snv_105, part of the development effort towards the next release of OpenSolaris, 2009.4, expected in April.