Using Calico instead of Open vSwitch

This guide describes how to deploy and run OpenStack environment with Calico ml2 Neutron plugin instead of OVS on top of Kubernetes cluster and how to integrate OpenStack and Kubernetes workloads.


Calico’s pure L3 approach to data center networking integrates seamlessly with cloud orchestration systems (such as OpenStack) to enable secure IP communication between virtual machines, containers, or bare metal workloads.

By using Calico network plugin for both Kubernetes and OpenStack Containerized Control Plane (CCP) we can provide pure L3 fabric and cross-workload security for mixed workloads.

Deployment diagram:


Deployment will look like this:

  • Neutron is configured to use networking-calico ML2 plugin.
  • Neutron DHCP agent is replaced with Calico DHCP agent.
  • Open vSwitch pods are removed from the deployment topology.
  • Additional Kubernetes proxy service is required to provide the connectivity from CCP pods to the main Etcd cluster (they cannot connect to etcd-proxy on a localhost since some containers are running in isolated network space, for example neutron-server).
  • CCP Calico components are connected to the same Etcd DB as Calico services providing networking for Kubernetes.
  • Calico/felix from calico/node container has reporting enabled.

What is needed to deploy CCP with Calico network plugin:

  • Runnning K8s environment with Calico network plugin (for a tested, recommended setup please check out this guide).
  • calico/node version 0.23.0 or higher (you can use latest image tag).
  • CCP installed on a machine with access to kube-apiserver (e.g. K8s master node).
  • CCP CLI config file with custom deployment topology.

Sample deployment

Sample deployment model

Following is an example of CCP deployment with Calico networking integrated with Kubernetes Calico components. Here is breakdown of services assignment to nodes (please note this isn’t yet CCP topology file):

  - controller
  - neutron-server
  - neutron-metadata-agent
  - compute
  - calico-dhcp-agent

Configuring requirements in Kubernetes cluster

Before deploying CCP we should run etcd proxy service (please don’t forget to replace IP addresses in this sample with your K8s cluster Etcd nodes’ IPs):

cat > /var/tmp/etcd-k8s-svc.yaml << EOF
kind: "Endpoints"
apiVersion: "v1"
  name: "etcd-k8s"
  - addresses:
    - ip: ""
    - ip: ""
    - ip: ""
      - port: 2379
        name: "etcd-k8s"
apiVersion: "v1"
kind: "Service"
  name: "etcd-k8s"
  - name: "etcd-k8s"
    port: 2379
    protocol: TCP
  sessionAffinity: None
  type: NodePort
  loadBalancer: {}

kubectl --namespace=default create -f /var/tmp/etcd-k8s-svc.yaml

We also need to enable reporting in Felix:

etcdctl set /calico/v1/config/ReportingIntervalSecs 60

And add some custom export filters for BGP agent:

cat << EOF | etcdctl set /calico/bgp/v1/global/custom_filters/v4/tap_iface
  if ( ifname ~ "tap*" ) then {

Sample CCP configuration

Let’s write CCP CLI configuration file now, make sure you have the following in your configuration file (let’s say it’s ccp.yaml):

  namespace: "ccp"

    plugin_agent: "calico"
      etcd_host: "etcd-k8s"
      etcd_port: "2379"

      - controller
      - neutron-agents
      - compute
      - calico

    - etcd
    - glance-api
    - glance-registry
    - heat-api-cfn
    - heat-api
    - heat-engine
    - horizon
    - keystone
    - mariadb
    - memcached
    - neutron-server
    - nova-api
    - nova-conductor
    - nova-consoleauth
    - nova-novncproxy
    - nova-scheduler
    - rabbitmq
    - neutron-metadata-agent
    - nova-compute
    - nova-libvirt
    - calico-dhcp-agent

Now let’s build images and push them to registry if you have not done this already:

ccp deploy --config-file ccp.yaml build

We can now deploy CCP as usually:

ccp deploy --config-file ccp.yaml deploy

CCP will create namespace named ccp and corresponding jobs, pods and services in it. To know when deployment is ready to be accessed kubectl get jobs command can be used (all jobs should finish):

kubectl --namespace ccp get jobs

Creating networks and instances in OpenStack

After CCP deployment is complete we can create Neutron networks and run VMs.

Install openstack-client:

pip install python-openstackclient

openrc file for current deployment was created in the current working directory. To use it run:

source openrc-ccp

Run test environment deploy script:

bash fuel-ccp/tools/ -a create -c -n NUMBER_OF_VMS

This script will create flavor, upload cirrios image to glance, create network and subnet and launch bunch of cirrios based VMs.

Uninstalling and undoing customizations

To destroy deployment environment ccp cleanup command can be used:

ccp --config-file ccp.yaml ccp cleanup

The following commands can be used to undo related customizations in Calico:

etcdctl rm /calico/bgp/v1/global/custom_filters/v4/tap_iface
etcdctl set /calico/v1/config/ReportingIntervalSecs 0
etcdctl ls /calico/felix/v1/host -r | grep status | xargs -n1 etcdctl rm

Remove Etcd proxy service:

kubectl --namespace=default delete -f /var/tmp/etcd-k8s-svc.yaml