At this week’s OpenStack Design Summit in San Francisco, network virtualization firm Nicira and cloud contender Rackspace launched an OpenStack-based production platform network environment that incorporates Nicira’s Network Virtualization Platform (NVP).

The Rackspace OpenStack “Quantum” production environment with Nicira NVP automates network services independently of network hardware, with the goal of increasing operational simplicity and reducing costs for cloud providers managing large, multi-tenant clouds for enterprise customers.

Nicira’s Dan Wendlandt will serve as the Project Technical Lead for Quantum, also known as OpenStack Networking, which “delivers networking-as-a-service in an OpenStack environment,” according to the company. Based on Quantum’s API and pluggable architecture, Nicira designed an NVP plug-in permitting OpenStack deployments to leverage a Nicira distributed virtualized network infrastructure.

Rackspace recently got our attention when it drew “a line in the sand against proprietary cloud providers” when announcing its OpenStack-powered Next Generation Cloud. "With this launch, Rackspace is providing an open cloud alternative, backed by Fanatical Support and our core expertise on OpenStack, to deliver a strong product portfolio that will help customers navigate their way through an increasingly complex cloud environment," said Rackspace CEO Lanham Napier.

“Nicira not only makes truly flexible multitenant clouds possible, it makes the economics incredibly compelling,” said John Engates, Rackspace CTO, in a prepared statement. “Combining our award-winning Fanatical Support with OpenStack Quantum and Nicira, we can now deploy and configure a secure private network and fully featured cloud in seconds, a promise that is very powerful for enterprises large and small.”

Just last week, Nicira announced that DreamHost, which now is moving from web hosting into cloud services, would use its Network Virtualization Platform (NVP).

Talkin’ Cloud readers can click here to read about the Rackspace partner program.