Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, ManageEngine IT Matters, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Article

The Seven Properties of Network Virtualization

A great starting point for requirements for your enterprise architecture

A review of the key properties of network virtualization can inform your planning and help in requirements generation as you architect new systems. The best source of information I’ve found on network virtualization is at Nicira, a firm anyone with an infrastructure should be paying attention to now.

The following is drawn from their paper on The Seven Properties of Network Virtualization”

1. Independence from network hardware
In the emerging multi-tenant cloud, the old rules of vendor lock-in are rapidly changing. A network virtualization platform must be able to operate on top of any network hardware, much like x86 server hypervisors work on top of any server. This independence means the physical network can be supplied by any combination of hardware vendors. Over time, newer architectures that better support virtualization as well as commodity options are becoming available, further improving the capital efficiency of cloud.

2. Faithful reproduction of the physical network service model
The vast bulk of enterprise applications have not been written as web applications, and the cost/payback ratio of rewriting tens of billions of dollars of application development is neither realistic nor even possible. Therefore, a network virtualization platform must be able to support any workload that runs within a physical environment today. In order to do so, it must recreate Layer 2 and Layer 3 semantics fully, including support for broadcast and multicast. In addition it must be able to offer higher-level in-network services that are used in networks today such as ACLs, load balancing, and WAN optimization.

It is also important that the virtual network solution fully virtualize the network address space. Commonly, virtual networks are migrated from or integrated with physical environments where it is not possible to change the current addresses of the VMs. Therefore, it is important that a virtual network environment not dictate or limit the addresses that can be used within the virtual networks, and that it allows overlapping IP and MAC addresses between virtual networks.

3. Follow operational model of compute virtualization
A key property of compute virtualization is the ability to treat a VM as soft state, meaning it can be moved, paused, resumed, snapshotted, and rewound to a previous configuration. In order to integrate seamlessly in a virtualized environment, a network virtualization solution must support the same control and flexibility for virtual networks.

4. Compatible with any hypervisor platform
Network virtualization platforms must also be able to work with the full range of server hypervisors, including Xen, XenServer, KVM, ESX, and HyperV, providing the ability to control virtualized network connectivity across any network substrate as well as between hypervisor environments. This “any-to-any” paradigm shift provides for:

  • Ÿ More effective utilization of existing network investments,
  • Ÿ Cost and management reduction of new, Layer 3 fabric innovations,
  • Ÿ Workload portability from enterprise to cloud service provider environments.

5. Secure isolation between virtual networks, the physical network, and the control plane
The promise of multi-tenancy requires maximum utilization of compute, storage and network assets through sharing of the physical infrastructure. It is important that a network virtualization platform maintain this consolidation while still providing the isolation needed by regulatory compliance standards such as PCI or FINRA, as well as provide the same security guarantees of compute virtualization.Like compute virtualization, a network virtualization platform should provide strict address isolation between virtual networks (meaning one virtual network cannot inadvertently address another) as well address isolation between the virtual networks and the physical network. This last property removes the physical network as an attack target unless the virtualization platform itself is undermined.

6. Cloud performance and scale
Cloud drives a significant increase in the scale of tenants, servers, and applications supported in a single data center. However, current networks are still bound by the physical limitations of networks, especially VLANs (which are limited to 4,096). VLANS were designed during an earlier era before server virtualization dramatically increased the requirements for the numbers of virtually isolated environments. Network virtualization must support considerably larger scale deployments with tens thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of virtual networks. This not only enables a larger number of tenants, but also support critical services like disaster recovery, data center utilization, etc., which outstrip current limitations.

A virtual network solution should also not introduce any chokepoints or single points of failure into the network. This roughly entails that to all components for the solution must be fully distributed, and all network paths should support multi-pathing and failover. Finally, a network virtualization solution should also not significantly impact data path performance. The number of lookups on the data path required to implemented network virtualization is similar to what data paths perform today. It is possible to implement full network virtualization in software at the edge of the network and still perform at full 10G line rates.

7. Programmatic network provisioning and control
Traditionally, networks are configured one device at a time, although this can be accelerated through the development of scripts (which emulate individual configuration). Current approaches make network configuration slow, error prone and open to security holes through a mistaken keystroke. In a large-scale cloud environment, this introduces a level of fragility and manual configuration costs that hurt service velocity and/or profitability.

A network virtualization solution should provide full control over all virtual network resources and allow for these resources to be managed programmatically. This allows the provisioning to happen at the service level versus the element level significantly simplifying provisioning logic and any disruption that might occur due to physical network node failure. The programmatic API should provide full access to management and configuration of a virtual network to not only support dynamic provisioning at cloud time scales, but also the ability to introduce and configure services on the fly.

Concluding Thoughts
The seven key features above are a great starting point for requirements for your enterprise architecture. The good news is that you can enjoy all these features of network virtualization without significant change. The only thing it really requires is an understanding of this new approach and access to the technical thought leadership.

For more on this topic a great place to start your research is with Nicira.

 

This post by was first published at CTOvision.com.

More Stories By Bob Gourley

Bob Gourley writes on enterprise IT. He is a founder and partner at Cognitio Corp and publsher of CTOvision.com

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT serv...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
Existing Big Data solutions are mainly focused on the discovery and analysis of data. The solutions are scalable and highly available but tedious when swapping in and swapping out occurs in disarray and thrashing takes place. The resolution for thrashing through machine learning algorithms and support nomenclature is through simple techniques. Organizations that have been collecting large customer data are increasingly seeing the need to use the data for swapping in and out and thrashing occurs ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP Integration will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EARP Integration is a passionate software house. Since its inception in 2009 the company successfully delivers smart solutions for cities and factories that start their digital transformation. EARP provides bespoke solutions like, for example, advanced enterprise portals, business intelligence systems an...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...