Networking with Open Virtual Network

Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.1

OpenStack Networking with OVN

OpenStack Documentation Team


This is an instructional guide for using OVN in OpenStack Networking Tasks.

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Chapter 1. Explanation of Open Virtual Network (OVN)

Open Virtual Network (OVN) is an Open vSwitch-based software-defined networking (SDN) solution for supplying network services to instances. OVN provides platform-neutral support for the full OpenStack Networking API. With OVN, you can programmatically connect groups of guest instances into private L2 and L3 networks. OVN uses a standard approach to virtual networking that is capable of extending to other Red Hat platforms and solutions.


The minimum Open vSwitch (OVS) version required is OVS 2.9.

OVN uses Python 3.6 packages by default.


OVN is supported only in an HA environment. We recommend that you deploy OVN with distributed virtual routing (DVR).

1.1. List of components in OVN architecture

The OVN architecture replaces the OVS Modular Layer 2 (ML2) plug-in with the OVN ML2 plug-in to support the Networking API. OVN provides networking services for the Red Hat OpenStack platform.

The OVN architecture consists of the following components and services:

OVN ML2 plugin
This plug-in translates the OpenStack-specific networking configuration into the platform-neutral OVN logical networking configuration. It typically runs on the Controller node.
OVN Northbound (NB) database (ovn-nb)
This database stores the logical OVN networking configuration from the OVN ML2 plugin. It typically runs on the Controller node and listens on TCP port 6641.
OVN Northbound service (ovn-northd)
This service converts the logical networking configuration from the OVN NB database to the logical data path flows and populates these on the OVN Southbound database. It typically runs on the Controller node.
OVN Southbound (SB) database (ovn-sb)
This database stores the converted logical data path flows. It typically runs on the Controller node and listens on TCP port 6642.
OVN controller (ovn-controller)
This controller connects to the OVN SB database and acts as the open vSwitch controller to control and monitor network traffic. It runs on all Compute and gateway nodes where OS::Tripleo::Services::OVNController is defined.
OVN metadata agent (ovn-metadata-agent)
This agent creates the haproxy instances for managing the OVS interfaces, network namespaces and HAProxy processes used to proxy metadata API requests. The agent runs on all Compute and gateway nodes where OS::TripleO::Services::OVNMetadataAgent is defined.
ovn components

Chapter 2. Planning your OVN deployment

Deploy OVN in high-availability (HA) deployments only. Deploy with distributed virtual routing (DVR) enabled.


To use OVN, your director deployment must use Generic Network Virtualization Encapsulation (Geneve), and not VXLAN. Geneve allows OVN to identify the network using the 24-bit Virtual Network Identifier (VNI) field and an additional 32-bit Type Length Value (TLV) to specify both the source and destination logical ports. You should account for this larger protocol header when you determine your MTU setting.


Deploy OVN with DVR in an HA environment. OVN is supported only in an HA environment. DVR is enabled by default in new ML2/OVN deployments and disabled by default in new ML2/OVS deployments. The neutron-ovn-dvr-ha.yaml environment file configures the required DVR-specific parameters for deployments using OVN in an HA environment.

2.1. The ovn-controller on Compute nodes

The ovn-controller service runs on each Compute node and connects to the OVN SB database server to retrieve the logical flows. The ovn-controller translates these logical flows into physical OpenFlow flows and adds the flows to the OVS bridge (br-int). To communicate with ovs-vswitchd and install the OpenFlow flows, the ovn-controller connects to the local ovsdb-server (that hosts conf.db) using the UNIX socket path that was passed when ovn-controller was started (for example unix:/var/run/openvswitch/db.sock).

The ovn-controller service expects certain key-value pairs in the external_ids column of the Open_vSwitch table; puppet-ovn uses puppet-vswitch to populate these fields. Below are the key-value pairs that puppet-vswitch configures in the external_ids column:

hostname=<HOST NAME>
ovn-encap-ip=<IP OF THE NODE>

2.2. The OVN composable service

The director has a composable service for OVN named ovn-dbs with two profiles: the base profile and the pacemaker HA profile. The OVN northbound and southbound databases are hosted by the ovsdb-server service. Similarly, the ovsdb-server process runs alongside ovs-vswitchd to host the OVS database (conf.db).


The schema file for the NB database is located in /usr/share/openvswitch/ovn-nb.ovsschema , and the SB database schema file is in /usr/share/openvswitch/ovn-sb.ovsschema.

2.3. High Availability with pacemaker and DVR

In addition to the using the required HA profile, deploy OVN with the DVR to ensure the availability of networking services. With the HA profile enabled, the OVN database servers start on all the Controllers, and pacemaker then selects one controller to serve in the master role.

The ovsdb-server service does not currently support active-active mode. It does support HA with the master-slave mode, which is managed by Pacemaker using the resource agent Open Cluster Framework (OCF) script. Having ovsdb-server run in master mode allows write access to the database, while all the other slave ovsdb-server services replicate the database locally from the master, and do not allow write access.

The YAML file for this profile is the tripleo-heat-templates/environments/services/neutron-ovn-dvr-ha.yaml file. When enabled, the OVN database servers are managed by Pacemaker, and puppet-tripleo creates a pacemaker OCF resource named ovn:ovndb-servers.

The OVN database servers are started on each Controller node, and the controller owning the virtual IP address (OVN_DBS_VIP) runs the OVN DB servers in master mode. The OVN ML2 mechanism driver and ovn-controller then connect to the database servers using the OVN_DBS_VIP value. In the event of a failover, Pacemaker moves the virtual IP address (OVN_DBS_VIP) to another controller, and also promotes the OVN database server running on that node to master.

2.4. Layer 3 high availability with OVN

OVN supports Layer 3 high availability (L3 HA) without any special configuration. OVN automatically schedules the router port to all available gateway nodes that can act as an L3 gateway on the specified external network. OVN L3 HA uses the gateway_chassis column in the OVN Logical_Router_Port table. Most functionality is managed by OpenFlow rules with bundled active_passive outputs. The ovn-controller handles the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) responder and router enablement and disablement. Gratuitous ARPs for FIPs and router external addresses are also periodically sent by the ovn-controller.


L3HA uses OVN to balance the routers back to the original gateway nodes to avoid any nodes becoming a bottleneck.

BFD monitoring

OVN uses the Bidirectional Forwarding Detection (BFD) protocol to monitor the availability of the gateway nodes. This protocol is encapsulated on top of the Geneve tunnels established from node to node.

Each gateway node monitors all the other gateway nodes in a star topology in the deployment. Gateway nodes also monitor the compute nodes to let the gateways enable and disable routing of packets and ARP responses and announcements.

Each compute node uses BFD to monitor each gateway node and automatically steers external traffic, such as source and destination Network Address Translation (SNAT and DNAT), through the active gateway node for a given router. Compute nodes do not need to monitor other compute nodes.


External network failures are not detected as would happen with an ML2-OVS configuration.

L3 HA for OVN supports the following failure modes:

  • The gateway node becomes disconnected from the network (tunneling interface).
  • ovs-vswitchd stops (ovs-switchd is responsible for BFD signaling)
  • ovn-controller stops (ovn-controller removes itself as a registered node).

This BFD monitoring mechanism only works for link failures, not for routing failures.

Chapter 3. Migrating from ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN

Red Hat chose ML2/OVN as the default mechanism driver for all new deployments starting with RHOSP 16.0 because it offers immediate advantages over the ML2/OVS mechanism driver for most customers today. Those advantages multiply with each release while we continue to enhance and improve the ML2/OVN feature set.

If your existing Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RHOSP) deployment uses the ML2/OVS mechanism driver, start now to evaluate the benefits and feasibility of replacing the ML2/OVS mechanism driver with the ML2/OVN mechanism driver.


Red Hat requires that you file a preemptive support case before attempting a migration from ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN. Red Hat does not support migrations without the preemptive support case.

Engage your Red Hat Technical Account Manager or Red Hat Global Professional Services early in this evaluation. In addition to helping you file the required preemptive support case if you decide to migrate, Red Hat can help you plan and prepare, starting with the following basic questions.

Should you migrate?
Red Hat believes that ML2/OVN is the right choice for most deployments. For various reasons, some deployments are better served by ML2/OVS. See Limitations of the ML2/OVN mechanism driver and ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN in-place migration: validated and prohibited scenarios.
When should you migrate?
Timing depends on many factors, including your business needs and the status of our continuing improvements to the ML2/OVN offering. For instance, security groups logging is planned for a future RHOSP release. If you need that feature, you might plan for a migration after the feature is available. See Limitations of the ML2/OVN mechanism driver.
In-place migration or parallel migration?

Depending on a variety of factors, you can choose between the following basic approaches to migration.

  • Parallel migration. Create a new, parallel deployment that uses ML2/OVN and then move your operations to that deployment.
  • In-place migration. Use the script as described in this document. Note that Red Hat supports the script only in deployments that are managed by RHOSP director.

You can migrate from the ML2/OVS to the ML2/OVN mechanism driver with the ovs-firewall firewall driver. Migration with the iptables_hybrid firewall driver is not supported. The intermediate linux_bridge interface used in iptables_hybrid deployments is not compatible with the migration tool.


An ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN migration alters the environment in ways that might not be completely reversible. A failed or interrupted migration can leave the OpenStack environment inoperable. Before migrating in a production environment, file a preemptive support case. Then work with your Red Hat Technical Account Manager or Red Hat Global Professional Services to create a backup and migration plan and test the migration in a stage environment that closely resembles your production environment.

3.1. Limitations of the ML2/OVN mechanism driver

Some features available with the ML2/OVS mechanism driver are not yet supported with the ML2/OVN mechanism driver.

3.1.1. ML2/OVS features not yet supported by ML2/OVN

FeatureNotesTrack this Feature

Distributed virtual routing (DVR) with OVN on VLAN project (tenant) networks.

FIP traffic does not pass to a VLAN tenant network with ML2/OVN and DVR.

DVR is enabled by default. If you need VLAN tenant networks with OVN, you can disable DVR. To disable DVR, inlcude the following lines in an environment file:

  NeutronEnableDVR: false

Fragmentation of packets on east/west UDP/ICMP traffic

In east/west traffic OVN does not yet support fragmentation of packets that are larger than the smallest MTU on the east/west path. For example:

  • VM1 is on Network1 with an MTU of 1300.
  • VM2 is on Network2 with an MTU of 1200.
  • A ping in either direction between VM1 and VM2 with a size of 1171 or less succeeds. A ping with a size greater than 1171 results in 100 percent packet loss.

Port Forwarding

OVN does not support port forwarding.

Security Groups Logging API

ML2/OVN does not provide a log file that logs security group events such as an instance trying to execute restricted operations or access restricted ports in remote servers.

Provisioning Baremetal Machines with OVN DHCP

The built-in DHCP server on OVN presently can not provision baremetal nodes. It cannot serve DHCP for the provisioning networks. Chainbooting iPXE requires tagging (--dhcp-match in dnsmasq), which is not supported in the OVN DHCP server.

3.1.2. Core OVN limitations

North/south routing on VF(direct) ports on VLAN tenant networks does not work with SR-IOV because the external ports are not colocated with the logical router’s gateway ports. See

3.2. ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN in-place migration: validated and prohibited scenarios

Red Hat continues to test and refine in-place migration scenarios. Work with your Red Hat Technical Account Manager or Global Professional Services to determine whether your OVS deployment meets the criteria for a valid in-place migration scenario.

3.2.1. Validated ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN migration scenarios


Start: RHOSP 16.1.1 with OVS with DVR. Geneve project (tenant) networks.

End: RHOSP 16.1.1 with OVN with DVR. Geneve project (tenant) networks.

SR-IOV and TLS-everywhere were not present in the starting environment or added during or after the migration.

Centralized routing + SR-IOV with virtual function (VF) ports only

Start: RHOSP 16.1.1 with OVS (no DVR)and SR-IOV.

End: RHOSP 16.1.1 with OVN (no DVR) and SR-IOV.

Workloads used only SR-IOV virtual function (VF) ports. SR-IOV phyical function (PF) ports caused migration failure.

3.2.2. ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN in-place migration scenarios that have not been verified

You cannot perform an in-place ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN migration in the following scenarios until Red Hat announces that the underlying issues are resolved.

OVS deployment uses network functions virtualization (NFV)
Red Hat supports new deployments with ML2/OVN and NFV, but has not successfully tested migration of an ML2/OVS and NFV deployment to ML2/OVN. To track progress on this issue, see
SR-IOV with physical function (PF) ports
Migration tests failed when any workload uses an SR-IOV PF port. To track progress on this issue, see
Transport layer security everywhere (TLS-e)
Migration tests failed when the OVS deployment had TLS-e enabled. If your OVS deployment has TLS-e enabled, do not perform an ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN migration. To track progress on this issue, see and
OVS uses trunk ports
If your ML2/OVS deployment uses trunk ports, do not perform an ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN migration. The migration does not properly set up the trunked ports in the OVN environment. To track progress on this issue, see
DVR with VLAN project (tenant) networks
Do not migrate to ML2/OVN with DVR and VLAN project networks. You can migrate to ML2/OVN with centralized routing. To track progress on this issue, see

3.3. Preparing to migrate from ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN

Environment assessment and preparation is critical to a successful migration. Your Red Hat Technical Account Manager or Global Professional Services will guide you through these steps.


  • Your pre-migration deployment is Red Hat OpenStack Platform (RHOSP) 16.1 or later.
  • Your pre-migration deployment does not use the iptables_hybrid firewall driver. The intermediate linux_bridge interface used in iptables_hybrid deployments is not compatible with the migration tool.
  • Your RHOSP deployment is up to date. In other words, if you need to upgrade or update your OpenStack version, perform the upgrade or update first, and then perform the ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN migration.
  • You have the docker-podman package installed on your undercloud and overcloud. This package might not be installed if you performed a Framework for Upgrades upgrade (FFU) from RHOSP 13 to RHOSP 16.1.1.
  • You have worked with your Red Hat Technical Account Manager or Global Professional Services to plan the migration and have filed a preemptive support case.


In the undercloud, perform the following steps:

  1. If your ML2/OVS deployment uses VXLAN or GRE project networks, schedule for a 24-hour waiting period after the setup-mtu-t1 step.

    • This wait allows the VMs to catch up with the new MTU timing. During this time you may need to manually set MTUs on some instances and reboot some instances.
    • 24 hours is the time based on default configuration of 86400 seconds. The actual time depends on /var/lib/config-data/puppet-generated/neutron/etc/neutron/dhcp_agent.ini dhcp_renewal_time and /var/lib/config-data/puppet-generated/neutron/etc/neutron/neutron.conf dhcp_lease_duration parameters.
  2. Install python3-networking-ovn-migration-tool.

    sudo dnf install python3-networking-ovn-migration-tool
  3. Create a directory on the undercloud, and copy the Ansible playbooks:

    mkdir ~/ovn_migration
    cd ~/ovn_migration
    cp -rfp /usr/share/ansible/networking-ovn-migration/playbooks .
  4. Create the script. Choose the appropriate steps based on whether your deployment was upgraded from RHOSP 13 with a fast forward upgrade (FFU).

    If your deployment was upgraded by FFU
    • Copy the file, which was used in the FFU, to
    • Edit to replace openstack overcloud upgrade prepare with openstack overcloud deploy.

      Run the following commands with overcloud credentials.

      • Run openstack endpoint list | grep cinder to verify that endpoints and services of type volume are not present. Only volumev2 and volumev3 services should be present.
      • If a service of Service Type volume is present, delete it. The following command deletes all endpoints of type volume: openstack service delete volume.
      • Verify the delete volume results : openstack endpoint list | grep cinder.
    If your deployment was not upgraded by FFU
    • Copy the script to in your $HOME directory.
  5. Clean up the script.

    1. Ensure the script starts with a command to source your stackrc file. For example source ~/stackrc.
    2. Remove any references to files specific to neutron OVS, such as neutron-ovs-dvr.yaml, neutron-ovs-dpdk.yaml and, if your deployment uses SR-IOV, neutron-sriov.yaml.
    3. Change any vxlan project networks to geneve. To do this, ensure that in your custom heat templates or environment files:

      • NeutronTunnelType is set to geneve
      • the list of values in NeutronNetworkType begins with geneve and does not include vxlan.


        NeutronTunnelTypes: 'geneve'
        NeutronNetworkType: ['geneve', 'vlan', 'flat']

  6. Find your migration scenario in the following list and perform the appropriate steps to customize the openstack deploy command in

    Scenario 1: DVR to DVR, compute nodes have connectivity to the external network
    • Add the following environment files to the openstack deploy command in Add them in the order shown.

      * -e /usr/share/openstack-tripleo-heat-templates/environments/services/neutron-ovn-dvr-ha.yaml \
      -e $HOME/ovn-extras.yaml
    Scenario 2: Centralized routing to centralized routing (no DVR)
    • If your deployment uses SR-IOV, add OS::TripleO::Services::OVNMetadataAgent to the Controller role.
    • Preserve the pre-migration custom bridge mappings.

      • Run this command on the master controller to get the current bridge mappings:

        sudo podman exec -it neutron_api crudini --get /etc/neutron/plugins/ml2/openvswitch_agent.ini ovs bridge_mappings

        Example output

      • Create an environment file for the bridge mappings: /home/stack/neutron_bridge_mappings.yaml.
      • Set the defaults in the environment file. For example:

            NeutronBridgeMappings: "datacentre:br-ex,tenant:br-isolated"
    • Add the following environment files to the openstack deploy command in Add them in the order shown. If your environment does not use SR-IOV, omit the neutron-ovn-sriov.yaml file.

      -e /usr/share/openstack-tripleo-heat-templates/environments/services/neutron-ovn-ha.yaml \
      -e /usr/share/openstack-tripleo-heat-templates/environments/services/neutron-ovn-sriov.yaml \
      -e /home/stack/ovn-extras.yaml  \
      -e /home/stack/neutron_bridge_mappings.yaml
    • Leave any custom network modifications the same as they were before migration.
    Scenario 3: Centralized routing to DVR, with Geneve type driver, and compute nodes connected to external networks through br-ex

    If your ML2/OVS deployment uses centralized routing and VLAN project (tenant) networks, do not migrate to ML2/OVN with DVR. You can migrate to ML2/OVN with centralized routing. To track progress on this limitation, see

    • Ensure that compute nodes are connected to the external network through the br-ex bridge. For example, in an environment file such as compute-dvr.yaml, set the following:

      type: ovs_bridge
          # Defaults to br-ex, anything else requires specific # bridge mapping entries for it to be used.
          name: bridge_name
          use_dhcp: false
            type: interface
            name: nic3
            # force the MAC address of the bridge to this interface
            primary: true
  7. Ensure that all users have execution privileges on The script requires execution privileges during the migration process.

    $ chmod a+x ~/
  8. Use export commands to set the following migration-related environment variables. For example:

    $ export PUBLIC_NETWORK_NAME=my-public-network
    • STACKRC_FILE - the stackrc file in your undercloud.

      Default: ~/stackrc

    • OVERCLOUDRC_FILE - the overcloudrc file in your undercloud.

      Default: ~/overcloudrc

    • OVERCLOUD_OVN_DEPLOY_SCRIPT - the deployment script.

      Default: ~/

    • PUBLIC_NETWORK_NAME - the name of your public network.

      Default: public.

    • IMAGE_NAME - the name or ID of the glance image to use to boot a test server.

      Default: cirros.

      The image is automatically downloaded during the pre-validation / post-validation process.

    • VALIDATE_MIGRATION - Create migration resources to validate the migration. Before starting the migration, the migration script boots a server and validates that the server is reachable after the migration.

      Default: True.


      Migration validation requires at least two available floating IP addresses, two networks, two subnets, two instances, and two routers as admin.

      Also, the network specified by PUBLIC_NETWORK_NAME must have available floating IP addresses, and you must be able to ping them from the undercloud.

      If your environment does not meet these requirements, set VALIDATE_MIGRATION to False.

    • SERVER_USER_NAME - User name to use for logging to the migration instances.

      Default: cirros.

    • DHCP_RENEWAL_TIME - DHCP renewal time in seconds to configure in DHCP agent configuration file.

      Default: 30

  9. Run generate-inventory to generate the inventory file hosts_for_migration and the ansible.cfg file. Review hosts_for_migration for correctness.

    $ generate-inventory
  10. Run setup-mtu-t1. This lowers the T1 parameter of the internal neutron DHCP servers that configure the dhcp_renewal_time in /var/lib/config-data/puppet-generated/neutron/etc/neutron/dhcp_agent.ini in all the nodes where DHCP agent is running.

    $ setup-mtu-t1
  11. If your original OVS deployment uses VLAN project networks, skip to step 17.
  12. If your original OVS deployment uses VXLAN or GRE project networking, wait at least 24 hours before continuing.
  13. If you have any instances with static IP assignment on VXLAN or GRE project networks, you must manually modify the configuration of those instances to configure the new Geneve MTU, which is the current VXLAN MTU minus 8 bytes. For example, if the VXLAN-based MTU was 1450, change it to 1442.


    Perform this step only if you have manually provided static IP assignments and MTU settings on VXLAN or GRE project networks. By default, DHCP provides the IP assignment and MTU settings.

  14. If your instances were not updated to reflect the change to the T1 parameter of DHCP, reboot them.
  15. [Optional] Verify that the T1 parameter has propagated to existing VMs.

    • Connect to one of the compute nodes.
    • Run tcpdump over one of the VM taps attached to a project network.

      If T1 propagation is successful, expect to see that requests happen on an interval of approximately 30 seconds:

      [heat-admin@overcloud-novacompute-0 ~]$ sudo tcpdump -i tap52e872c2-e6 port 67 or port 68 -n
      tcpdump: verbose output suppressed, use -v or -vv for full protocol decode
      listening on tap52e872c2-e6, link-type EN10MB (Ethernet), capture size 262144 bytes
      13:17:28.954675 IP > BOOTP/DHCP, Request from fa:16:3e:6b:41:3d, length 300
      13:17:28.961321 IP > BOOTP/DHCP, Reply, length 355
      13:17:56.241156 IP > BOOTP/DHCP, Request from fa:16:3e:6b:41:3d, length 30013:17:56.249899 IP > BOOTP/DHCP, Reply, length 355

      This verification is not possible with cirros VMs. The cirros udhcpc implementation does not respond to DHCP option 58 (T1). Try this verification on a port that belongs to a full Linux VM. Red Hat recommends that you check all the different types of workloads that your system runs (Windows, different flavors of Linux, etc..).

  16. Lower the MTU of the:pre-migration VXLAN and GRE networks:

    $ reduce-mtu

    This step reduces the MTU network by network and tags the completed network with adapted_mtu. The tool ignores non-VXLAN/GRE networks, so if you use VLAN for project networks, this step is not expected to change any values.

  17. Make director prepare the new container images for OVN.

    If your deployment did not have a containers-prepare-parameter.yaml, you can create one with the following command:

    $ test -f $HOME/containers-prepare-parameter.yaml || sudo openstack tripleo container image prepare default \
    --output-env-file $HOME/containers-prepare-parameter.yaml

    If you had to create the file, verify that it is present at the end of your $HOME/ and $HOME/

    Change the neutron_driver in the containers-prepare-parameter.yaml file to ovn:

    $ sed -i -E 's/neutron_driver:([ ]\w+)/neutron_driver: ovn/' $HOME/containers-prepare-parameter.yaml

    [Optional] Verify the changes to the neutron_driver:

    $ grep neutron_driver $HOME/containers-prepare-parameter.yaml
    neutron_driver: ovn

    Update the images:

    $ sudo openstack tripleo container image prepare \
    --environment-file /home/stack/containers-prepare-parameter.yaml

    Provide the full path to your containers-prepare-parameter.yaml file. Otherwise, the command completes very quickly without updating the images or providing an error message.

    Director validates the containers and pushes them to your local registry.

3.4. Migrating from ML2/OVS to ML2/OVN

The ovn-migration script performs environmental setup, migration, and cleanup tasks related to the in-place migration from ML2/OVN to ML2/OVS.


  • Run start-migration to begin the migration process.

    $ start-migration


The script performs the following actions.

  • Creates pre-migration resources (network and VM) to validate existing deployment and final migration.
  • Updates the overcloud stack to deploy OVN alongside reference implementation services using the temporary bridge br-migration instead of br-int. The temporary bridge helps to limit downtime during migration.
  • Generates the OVN northbound database by running neutron-ovn-db-sync-util. The utility examines the Neutron database to create equivalent resources in the OVN northbound database.
  • Clones the existing resources from br-int to br-migration, to allow ovn to find the same resource UUIDS over br-migration.
  • Re-assigns ovn-controller to br-int instead of br-migration.
  • Removes node resources that are not used by ML2/OVN, including the following.

    • Cleans up network namespaces (fip, snat, qrouter, qdhcp).
    • Removes any unnecessary patch ports on br-int.
    • Removes br-tun and br-migration ovs bridges.
    • Deletes ports from br-int that begin with qr-, ha-, and qg- (using neutron-netns-cleanup).
  • Deletes Networking Service (neutron) agents and Networking Service HA internal networks from the database through the Networking Service API.
  • Validates connectivity on pre-migration resources.
  • Deletes pre-migration resources.
  • Creates post-migration resources.
  • Validates connectivity on post-migration resources.
  • Cleans up post-migration resources.
  • Re-runs the deployment tool to update OVN on br-int.

Chapter 4. Deploying OVN with director

The following events are triggered when you deploy OVN on the Red Hat OpenStack Platform:

  1. Enables the OVN ML2 plugin and generates the necessary configuration options.
  2. Deploys the OVN databases and the ovn-northd service on the controller node(s).
  3. Deploys ovn-controller on each Compute node.
  4. Deploys neutron-ovn-metadata-agent on each Compute node.

4.1. Deploying ML2/OVN with DVR

To deploy and manage distributed virtual routing (DVR) in an ML2/OVS deployment, you configure settings in heat templates and environment files.


This procedures in this guide deploy OVN with the default DVR in an HA environment.

The default settings are provided as guidelines only. They are not expected to work in production or test environments which may require customization for network isolation, dedicated NICs, or any number of other variable factors.

The following example procedure shows how to configure a proof-of-concept deployment of ML2/OVN, HA, DVR using the typical defaults.


  1. Verify that the value for OS::TripleO::Compute::Net::SoftwareConfig in the environments/services/neutron-ovn-dvr-ha.yaml file is the same as the OS::TripleO::Controller::Net::SoftwareConfig value in use. This can normally be found in the network environment file used to deploy the overcloud, such as the environments/net-multiple-nics.yaml file. This creates the appropriate external network bridge on the Compute node.


    If you customize the network configuration of the Compute node, you may need to add the appropriate configuration to your custom files instead.

  2. Configure a Networking port for the Compute node on the external network by modifying OS::TripleO::Compute::Ports::ExternalPort to an appropriate value, such as OS::TripleO::Compute::Ports::ExternalPort: ../network/ports/external.yaml
  3. Include environments/services/neutron-ovn-dvr-ha.yaml as an environment file when deploying the overcloud. For example:

    $ openstack overcloud deploy \
        --templates /usr/share/openstack-tripleo-heat-templates \
     -e /usr/share/openstack-tripleo-heat-templates/environments/services/neutron-ovn-dvr-ha.yaml
  4. Ensure that the Compute and Controller roles in roles_data.yaml include the tag external_bridge:

    - name: Compute
      description: |
        Basic Compute Node role
      CountDefault: 1
      # Create external Neutron bridge (unset if using ML2/OVS without DVR)
        - external_bridge
    - name: Controller
      description: |
        Controller role that has all the controller services loaded and handles
        Database, Messaging and Network functions.
      CountDefault: 1
        - primary
        - controller
        - external_bridge

4.2. Deploying the OVN metadata agent on Compute nodes

The OVN metadata agent is configured in the tripleo-heat-templates/deployment/ovn/ovn-metadata-container-puppet.yaml file and included in the default Compute role through OS::TripleO::Services::OVNMetadataAgent. As such, the OVN metadata agent with default parameters is deployed as part of the OVN deployment. See Chapter 4, Deploying OVN with director.

OpenStack guest instances access the Networking metadata service available at the link-local IP address: The neutron-ovn-metadata-agent has access to the host networks where the Compute metadata API exists. Each HAProxy is in a network namespace that is not able to reach the appropriate host network. HaProxy adds the necessary headers to the metadata API request and then forwards the request to the neutron-ovn-metadata-agent over a UNIX domain socket.

The OVN Networking service creates a unique network namespace for each virtual network that enables the metadata service. Each network accessed by the instances on the Compute node has a corresponding metadata namespace (ovnmeta-<net_uuid>).

4.2.1. Troubleshooting Metadata issues

You can use metadata namespaces for troubleshooting to access the local instances on the Compute node. To troubleshoot metadata namespace issues, run the following command as root on the Compute node:

# ip netns exec ovnmeta-fd706b96-a591-409e-83be-33caea824114 ssh USER@INSTANCE_IP_ADDRESS

USER@INSTANCE_IP_ADDRESS is the user name and IP address for the local instance you want to troubleshoot.

4.3. Deploying Internal DNS with OVN

To use domain names instead of IP addresses on your local network for east-west traffic, use internal domain name service (DNS). With internal DNS, ovn-controller responds to DNS queries locally on the compute node. Note that internal DNS overrides any custom DNS server specified in an instance’s /etc/resolv.conf file. With internal DNS deployed, the instance’s DNS queries are handled by ovn-controller instead of the custom DNS server.


  1. Enable DNS with the NeutronPluginExtensions parameter:

      NeutronPluginExtensions: "dns"
  2. Set the DNS domain before you deploy the overcloud:

      NeutronDnsDomain: ""
  3. Deploy the overcloud:

    $ openstack overcloud deploy \
        --templates /usr/share/openstack-tripleo-heat-templates \
     -e /usr/share/openstack-tripleo-heat-templates/environments/services/neutron-ovn-dvr-ha.yaml

Chapter 5. Monitoring OVN

You can use the ovn-trace command to monitor and troubleshoot OVN logical flows, and you can use the ovs-ofctl dump-flows command to monitor and troubleshoot OpenFlows.

5.1. Creating aliases for OVN troubleshooting commands

OVN database commands (such as ovn-nbctl show) run on the ovn_controller container. The container runs on the controller node and compute nodes. To simplify your access to the commands, create and source a script that defines aliases.


  • New deployment of Red Hat OpenStack Platform 16.0 or higher, with ML2/OVN as the default mechanism driver.

Creating and using OVN database command aliases

  1. Create a shell script file in the appropriate directory on the overcloud node where you want to run the ovn commands. For example, log in to the controller node as heat-admin and create the file in the heat-admin user’s ~/bin directory.
  2. Save the following commands in the script file.

    $(sudo ovs-vsctl get open . external_ids:ovn-remote | awk -F: '{print $2}')
    export NBDB=tcp:${EXTERNAL_ID}:6641
    export SBDB=tcp:${EXTERNAL_ID}:6642
    alias ovn-sbctl="sudo podman exec ovn_controller ovn-sbctl --db=$SBDB"
    alias ovn-nbctl="sudo podman exec ovn_controller ovn-nbctl --db=$NBDB"
    alias ovn-trace="sudo podman exec ovn_controller ovn-trace --db=$SBDB"
  3. Source the script file. For example, log in to the controller node as heat-admin and run the following command.

    # source
  4. Validate an alias. For example, show the northbound database.

    ovn-nbctl show

    Example output

    switch 26ce22db-1795-41bd-b561-9827cbd81778 (neutron-f8e79863-6c58-43d0-8f7d-8ec4a423e13b) (aka internal_network)
    	port 1913c3ae-8475-4b60-a479-df7bcce8d9c8
        	addresses: ["fa:16:3e:33:c1:fc"]
    	port 1aabaee3-b944-4da2-bf0a-573215d3f3d9
        	addresses: ["fa:16:3e:16:cb:ce"]
    	port 7e000980-59f9-4a0f-b76a-4fdf4e86f27b
        	type: localport
        	addresses: ["fa:16:3e:c9:30:ed"]

5.2. Monitoring OVN logical flows

OVN uses logical flows that are tables of flows with a priority, match, and actions. These logical flows are distributed to the ovn-controller running on each Compute node. You can use the ovn-sbctl lflow-list command on the Controller node to view the full set of logical flows, as shown in this example.

$ ovn-sbctl --db=tcp: lflow-list
    Datapath: "sw0" (d7bf4a7b-e915-4502-8f9d-5995d33f5d10)  Pipeline: ingress
      table=0 (ls_in_port_sec_l2  ), priority=100  , match=(eth.src[40]), action=(drop;)
      table=0 (ls_in_port_sec_l2  ), priority=100  , match=(vlan.present), action=(drop;)
      table=0 (ls_in_port_sec_l2  ), priority=50   , match=(inport == "sw0-port1" && eth.src == {00:00:00:00:00:01}), action=(next;)
      table=0 (ls_in_port_sec_l2  ), priority=50   , match=(inport == "sw0-port2" && eth.src == {00:00:00:00:00:02}), action=(next;)
      table=1 (ls_in_port_sec_ip  ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=2 (ls_in_port_sec_nd  ), priority=90   , match=(inport == "sw0-port1" && eth.src == 00:00:00:00:00:01 && arp.sha == 00:00:00:00:00:01), action=(next;)
      table=2 (ls_in_port_sec_nd  ), priority=90   , match=(inport == "sw0-port1" && eth.src == 00:00:00:00:00:01 && ip6 && nd && ((nd.sll == 00:00:00:00:00:00 || nd.sll == 00:00:00:00:00:01) || ((nd.tll == 00:00:00:00:00:00 || nd.tll == 00:00:00:00:00:01)))), action=(next;)
      table=2 (ls_in_port_sec_nd  ), priority=90   , match=(inport == "sw0-port2" && eth.src == 00:00:00:00:00:02 && arp.sha == 00:00:00:00:00:02), action=(next;)
      table=2 (ls_in_port_sec_nd  ), priority=90   , match=(inport == "sw0-port2" && eth.src == 00:00:00:00:00:02 && ip6 && nd && ((nd.sll == 00:00:00:00:00:00 || nd.sll == 00:00:00:00:00:02) || ((nd.tll == 00:00:00:00:00:00 || nd.tll == 00:00:00:00:00:02)))), action=(next;)
      table=2 (ls_in_port_sec_nd  ), priority=80   , match=(inport == "sw0-port1" && (arp || nd)), action=(drop;)
      table=2 (ls_in_port_sec_nd  ), priority=80   , match=(inport == "sw0-port2" && (arp || nd)), action=(drop;)
      table=2 (ls_in_port_sec_nd  ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=3 (ls_in_pre_acl      ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=4 (ls_in_pre_lb       ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=5 (ls_in_pre_stateful ), priority=100  , match=(reg0[0] == 1), action=(ct_next;)
      table=5 (ls_in_pre_stateful ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=6 (ls_in_acl          ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=7 (ls_in_qos_mark     ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=8 (ls_in_lb           ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=9 (ls_in_stateful     ), priority=100  , match=(reg0[1] == 1), action=(ct_commit(ct_label=0/1); next;)
      table=9 (ls_in_stateful     ), priority=100  , match=(reg0[2] == 1), action=(ct_lb;)
      table=9 (ls_in_stateful     ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=10(ls_in_arp_rsp      ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=11(ls_in_dhcp_options ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=12(ls_in_dhcp_response), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=13(ls_in_l2_lkup      ), priority=100  , match=(eth.mcast), action=(outport = "_MC_flood"; output;)
      table=13(ls_in_l2_lkup      ), priority=50   , match=(eth.dst == 00:00:00:00:00:01), action=(outport = "sw0-port1"; output;)
      table=13(ls_in_l2_lkup      ), priority=50   , match=(eth.dst == 00:00:00:00:00:02), action=(outport = "sw0-port2"; output;)
    Datapath: "sw0" (d7bf4a7b-e915-4502-8f9d-5995d33f5d10)  Pipeline: egress
      table=0 (ls_out_pre_lb      ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=1 (ls_out_pre_acl     ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=2 (ls_out_pre_stateful), priority=100  , match=(reg0[0] == 1), action=(ct_next;)
      table=2 (ls_out_pre_stateful), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=3 (ls_out_lb          ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=4 (ls_out_acl         ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=5 (ls_out_qos_mark    ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=6 (ls_out_stateful    ), priority=100  , match=(reg0[1] == 1), action=(ct_commit(ct_label=0/1); next;)
      table=6 (ls_out_stateful    ), priority=100  , match=(reg0[2] == 1), action=(ct_lb;)
      table=6 (ls_out_stateful    ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=7 (ls_out_port_sec_ip ), priority=0    , match=(1), action=(next;)
      table=8 (ls_out_port_sec_l2 ), priority=100  , match=(eth.mcast), action=(output;)
      table=8 (ls_out_port_sec_l2 ), priority=50   , match=(outport == "sw0-port1" && eth.dst == {00:00:00:00:00:01}), action=(output;)
      table=8 (ls_out_port_sec_l2 ), priority=50   , match=(outport == "sw0-port2" && eth.dst == {00:00:00:00:00:02}), action=(output;)

Key differences between OVN and OpenFlow include:

  • OVN ports are logical entities that reside somewhere on a network, not physical ports on a single switch.
  • OVN gives each table in the pipeline a name in addition to its number. The name describes the purpose of that stage in the pipeline.
  • The OVN match syntax supports complex Boolean expressions.
  • The actions supported in OVN logical flows extend beyond those of OpenFlow. You can implement higher level features, such as DHCP, in the OVN logical flow syntax.


The ovn-trace command can simulate how a packet travels through the OVN logical flows, or help you determine why a packet is dropped. Provide the ovn-trace command with the following parameters:

The logical switch or logical router where the simulated packet starts.
The simulated packet, in the syntax used by the ovn-sb database.

This example displays the --minimal output option on a simulated packet and shows that the packet reaches its destination:

$ ovn-trace --minimal sw0 'inport == "sw0-port1" && eth.src == 00:00:00:00:00:01 && eth.dst == 00:00:00:00:00:02'
    # reg14=0x1,vlan_tci=0x0000,dl_src=00:00:00:00:00:01,dl_dst=00:00:00:00:00:02,dl_type=0x0000

In more detail, the --summary output for this same simulated packet shows the full execution pipeline:

$ ovn-trace --summary sw0 'inport == "sw0-port1" && eth.src == 00:00:00:00:00:01 && eth.dst == 00:00:00:00:00:02'
# reg14=0x1,vlan_tci=0x0000,dl_src=00:00:00:00:00:01,dl_dst=00:00:00:00:00:02,dl_type=0x0000
ingress(dp="sw0", inport="sw0-port1") {
    outport = "sw0-port2";
    egress(dp="sw0", inport="sw0-port1", outport="sw0-port2") {
        /* output to "sw0-port2", type "" */;

The example output shows:

  • The packet enters the sw0 network from the sw0-port1 port and runs the ingress pipeline.
  • The outport variable is set to sw0-port2 indicating that the intended destination for this packet is sw0-port2.
  • The packet is output from the ingress pipeline, which brings it to the egress pipeline for sw0 with the outport variable set to sw0-port2.
  • The output action is executed in the egress pipeline, which outputs the packet to the current value of the outport variable, which is sw0-port2.

See the ovn-trace man page for complete details.

5.3. Monitoring OpenFlows

You can use ovs-ofctl dump-flows command to monitor the OpenFlow flows on a logical switch in your network.

$ ovs-ofctl dump-flows br-int
NXST_FLOW reply (xid=0x4):
 cookie=0x0, duration=72.132s, table=0, n_packets=0, n_bytes=0, idle_age=72, priority=10,in_port=1,dl_src=00:00:00:00:00:01 actions=resubmit(,1)
 cookie=0x0, duration=60.565s, table=0, n_packets=0, n_bytes=0, idle_age=60, priority=10,in_port=2,dl_src=00:00:00:00:00:02 actions=resubmit(,1)
 cookie=0x0, duration=28.127s, table=0, n_packets=0, n_bytes=0, idle_age=28, priority=0 actions=drop
 cookie=0x0, duration=13.887s, table=1, n_packets=0, n_bytes=0, idle_age=13, priority=0,in_port=1 actions=output:2
 cookie=0x0, duration=4.023s, table=1, n_packets=0, n_bytes=0, idle_age=4, priority=0,in_port=2 actions=output:1

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