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Mellanox Neutron ML2 Driver

Mellanox ML2 Mechanism Driver implements the ML2 Plugin Mechanism Driver API.

This driver supports Mellanox embedded switch functionality as part of the InfiniBand HCA. Mellanox ML2 Mechanism Driver provides functional parity with Mellanox Neutron plugin.

Mellanox ML2 Mechanism Driver supports DIRECT (pci passthrough) vnic type. For vnic type configuration API details, please refer to configuration reference guide. Hardware vNICs mapped to the guest VMs allow higher performance and advanced features such as RDMA (remote direct memory access).

The driver supports VLAN network type to facilitate virtual networks either on InfiniBand fabrics.

  • Mellanox OpenStack Neutron Agent (L2 Agent) runs on each compute node.
  • Agent should apply VIF connectivity based on mapping between a VIF (VM vNIC) and Embedded Switch port.


sudo add-apt-repository http://www.mellanox.com/repository/solutions/openstack/kilo/ubuntu

InfiniBand Network

The Mellanox Neutron Plugin use InfiniBand Partitions (PKeys) to separate Networks.

SM Node

OpenSM Provisioning with SDN Mechanism Driver

SDN Mechanism Driver allows OpenSM dynamically assign PKs in the IB network.

More details about applying SDN Mechanism Driver with NEO can be found here

Manual OpenSM Configuration

To configure OpenSM:

1. Make sure that all the PKeys are predefined in the /etc/opensm/partitions.conf.

management=0xffff,ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL, ALL_SWITCHES=full,SELF=full;

2. For every network you want to configure in Neutron, you have to configure the PKey associated with the VLAN of this network (defined in Neutron): vlan1=0x1, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full : ALL;

Below is an example of the configuration of the partitions.conf file in case you have 10 VLANs defined in the configuration of the file: /etc/neutron/plugins/mlnx/mlnx_conf.ini. ( network_vlan_ranges = physnet1:1:10)

management=0x7fff,ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full : ALL, ALL_SWITCHES=full,SELF=full;
vlan1=0x1, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan2=0x2, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan3=0x3, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan4=0x4, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan5=0x5, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan6=0x6, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan7=0x7, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan8=0x8, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan9=0x9, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;
vlan10=0xa, ipoib, sl=0, defmember=full: ALL_CAS;

4. Modify the following line in the file /etc/opensm/opensm.conf from FALSE to TRUE:

allow_both_pkeys TRUE

5. Restart the OpenSM:

# service opensmd restart

Controller Node

To configure the Controller node: 1.Configure Mellanox OpenStack Kilo repository

# sudo echo "deb [arch=amd64] http://www.mellanox.com/repository/solutions/openstack/kilo/ubuntu/14.04 openstack-mellanox main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mellanox-openstack-repository.list
# sudo apt-get update

2. Install Mellanox deb packages:

# apt-get install -y neutron-plugin-mlnx python-networking-mlnx

3. Make sure ML2 is the current Neutron plugin by checking the core_plugin parameter in /etc/neutron/neutron.conf:

core_plugin = neutron.plugins.ml2.plugin.Ml2Plugin

4. Make sure /etc/neutron/plugin.ini is pointing to /etc/neutron/plugins/ml2/ml2_conf.ini (symbolic link)

5. Modify /etc/neutron/plugins/ml2/ml2_conf.ini by adding the following:

type_drivers = vlan,flat
tenant_network_types = vlan
mechanism_drivers = mlnx, openvswitch
# or mechanism_drivers = mlnx, [linuxbridge|openvswitch]
network_vlan_ranges = physnet1:1:10
# (StrOpt) Type of Network Interface to allocate for VM:
# mlnx_direct or hostdev according to libvirt terminology
vnic_type = hostdev

6. Start (or restart) the Neutron server:

# service neutron-server restart

Network Node

To configure the Network node:


python-libxml2 package is installed
# sudo apt-get install python-libxml2

1. Make sure that eIPoIB module is up and configured in /etc/infiniband/openib.conf: For more information, please refer to eIPoIB configuration in Mellanox OFED User Manual.


2. Restart openibd:

# service openibd restart

3. Modify the network bridge configuration according to the use of OpenVswitch or LinuxBridge

  • 3.1 OpenVswitch /etc/neutron/plugins/openvswitch/ovs_neutron_plugin.ini
bridge_mappings = physnet1:br-<eIPoIB interface>
  • 3.2 LinuxBridge file /etc/neutron/plugins/linuxbridge/linuxbridge_conf.ini:
physical_interface_mappings = physnet1:<eIPoIB interface>

NOTE: In order to obtain the eIPoIB interface name, run the ethtool tool command (see below) and check that driver name is eth_ipoib:

# ethtool -i <eIPoIB_interface> 
driver: eth_ipoib

4. Restart network bridge and neutron-dhcp-agent:

# service neutron-dhcp-agent restart
  • 4.1 OpenVswitch
# service neutron-linuxbridge-agent restart
  • 4.2 LinuxBridge
# service neutron-openvswitch-agent restart

NOTE: For DHCP support, the Network node should use the Mellanox Dnsmasq driver as the DHCP driver.

DHCP Server (Usually part of the Network node)

1. Install mlnx_dnsmasq:

 # sudo apt-get -y --force-yes install mlnx-dnsmasq

2. Modify /etc/neutron/dhcp_agent.ini as follows and according to OVS or Linuxbridge:

dhcp_driver = mlnx_dhcp.MlnxDnsmasq
dhcp_broadcast_reply = True
# or interface_driver = neutron.agent.linux.interface.BridgeInterfaceDriver
interface_driver = neutron.agent.linux.interface.OVSInterfaceDriver

3. Start DHCP server:

# service neutron-dhcp-agent restart

Compute Nodes

To configure the Compute Node:

1.Configure Mellanox OpenStack Kilo repository

  1. sudo add-apt-repository http://www.mellanox.com/repository/solutions/openstack/kilo/ubuntu
  2. apt-get update

2. Install Mellanox deb packages:

# apt-get install -y neutron-plugin-mlnx-agent neutron-plugin-mlnx eswitchd python-networking-mlnx

3. Apply MLNX patch for Kilo:

# pushd /usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/nova/virt/libvirt/ 
# wget http://www.mellanox.com/repository/solutions/openstack/kilo/patch/mlnx_kilo.patch
# patch < mlnx_kilo.patch
# popd

4. Add a missing line to network filters:

 # echo "ebrctl: CommandFilter, ebrctl, root" >> /etc/nova/rootwrap.d/compute.filters

5. Verify correct name of Mellanox agent service:

 # sed -i s/neutron-plugin-mlnx-agent/neutron-mlnx-agent/g /etc/init/neutron-plugin-mlnx-agent.conf

6. In the file /etc/neutron/plugins/mlnx/mlnx_conf.ini, the parameters tenant_network_type , and network_vlan_ranges should be configured as the controllers:

physical_interface_mappings = physnet1:<ib_interface>(for example physnet1:ib0)

7. Modify the file /etc/eswitchd/eswitchd.conf as follows:

fabrics = physnet1:<ib_interface> (for example physnet1:ib0)

8. Start eSwitchd:

# initctl start eswitchd

9. Start the Neutron agent:

# initctl start neutron-plugin-mlnx-agent

10. Restart Nova compute:

# service nova-compute restart

Known issues and Troubleshooting

For known issues and troubleshooting options refer to Mellanox OpenStack Troubleshooting