Welcome!

Containers Expo Blog Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Dana Gardner, Flint Brenton, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Release Management , Cloud Security, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Post

Network Design in a Virtual World

Applications and operations must rule

We get quite caught up in high level architectures at times. It is good to read some posts that focus on design and implementation and the practicality of taking higher level architectures to reality. Two of Ivan’s posts caught my eye this week. In the first, he discusses the difference in how application and network folks look at the deployment of tiered applications and what that means for the security between them. In the second, he asks a question that our entire industry has under delivered on for more than a decade: why can’t we have plug-n-play networking? They may appear as wildly different topics, but in my mind they are more than related. Applications and operations must drive network design and implementation.

In creating a data center design it is important to carefully design how L2 and L3 are layered on top of the physical network. L2 and L3 provide different levels of separation and security domains and understanding what can (or should) go where can very significantly change how efficient an application runs on the network. As Ivan points out, in many cases layers of an application require additional network services between them. The obvious ones are firewalls and loadbalancers, less obvious ones may include IPS/IDS systems, mirror and compliance monitoring and I am sure you can come up with a few more.

Traffic from applications (or between tiers of an application, the often mentioned east-west traffic) needs to be passed through one or more of these network services (or none). With the distributed nature of the VM components of a tiered application, getting the traffic to these services is not always easy. There is a movement to virtualizing these services and have them distributed and co-located with the actual VMs, but some services simply need to be a applied in a more central place because of the context they need to do their work.

Getting traffic to centralized or semi-distributed services can be accomplished in several ways. By far the easiest is to have the application send the traffic explicitly to the service. Many firewalls also act as a router for a segment, so telling the application where its default router is ensures its traffic always ends up on the firewall. Most loadbalancers terminate a http or other connection oriented session on the “outside” and attach it to a new session on the “inside”, so that traffic also naturally flows to the service.

Carefully crafting the boundaries between subnets, what belongs on each subnet and what service is applied on and between subnets is not at all trivial. There are those that believe every server or even VM should be in its own 31 bit subnet. And while just about every application (and I include storage in that too for the most part) only really needs L2 connectivity to its router, there are traits of not requiring to route traffic that may reduce the need for the network services. Multicast based applications within a subnet just work without complexity. IGMP snooping on the switch ports is about all you need. Worrying about intrusion becomes easier when VMs or portions of applications cannot be reached from outside the subnet. There is no one size fits all, no magic design or template.

The question of plug and play networking should be an embarrassing one for all of us in the industry. We have not done anything to significantly improve the automatic provisioning of networks. Sure we have glued together some DHCP, LLDP, CDP or 802.1X based VLAN memberships (mostly pushed by VoIP phone enablement), but we honestly have not moved on significantly from those most basic steps. There is certainly progress when creating fabrics and we are doing our part to significantly reduce the amount of provisioning touches. The bulk of provisioning and configuration however is on the access side of a network, where we plug in our servers, appliances, storage and everything else. And Ivan is totally correct. Some of the fundamental tools exist to exchange useful information between the devices just connected, but we have not taken that to a next level and taken a good chunk of provisioning out of the hands of the operator (and their scripts).

The reality of network design and implementation is in the details. An understanding of the applications that use the networks and how they are tiered and separated into VMs is critical to understand how L2 and L3 are layered on top of a network. Virtualization may make this easier to dynamically attach VMs to network segments (L2 or L3), but the resulting traffic flow still needs to make sense. Especially if network services need to be applied.

When we talk to our customers, the discussion moves on from spine and leaf versus a mesh fabric very quickly in most cases. The bulk of the discussions are focused on flexibility, automation, placement of boundaries and adjustment of topologies. The design process is driven by the application. Which is why it is nice to see Ivan’s video article starting with an application and deriving a network design from it. Even if the application was a generic one.

[Today's fun fact: Half of all Americans live within 50 miles of their birthplace. This is called propinquity.]

The post Network Design in a Virtual World: Applications and Operations must Rule appeared first on Plexxi.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Marten Terpstra

Marten Terpstra is a Product Management Director at Plexxi Inc. Marten has extensive knowledge of the architecture, design, deployment and management of enterprise and carrier networks.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
IoT is rapidly becoming mainstream as more and more investments are made into the platforms and technology. As this movement continues to expand and gain momentum it creates a massive wall of noise that can be difficult to sift through. Unfortunately, this inevitably makes IoT less approachable for people to get started with and can hamper efforts to integrate this key technology into your own portfolio. There are so many connected products already in place today with many hundreds more on the h...
No hype cycles or predictions of zillions of things here. IoT is big. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, Associate Partner at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data analytics considerations, edge-to-cloud tec...
Announcing Poland #DigitalTransformation Pavilion
Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that All in Mobile, a mobile app development company from Poland, will exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO. All In Mobile is a mobile app development company from Poland. Since 2014, they maintain passion for developing mobile applications for enterprises and startups worldwide.
The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo, taking place November 12-13 in New York City, NY, is co-located with 22nd international CloudEXPO | first international DXWorldEXPO and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
JETRO showcased Japan Digital Transformation Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo® at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) is a non-profit organization that provides business support services to companies expanding to Japan. With the support of JETRO's dedicated staff, clients can incorporate their business; receive visa, immigration, and HR support; find dedicated office space; identify local government subsidies; get...
Dion Hinchcliffe is an internationally recognized digital expert, bestselling book author, frequent keynote speaker, analyst, futurist, and transformation expert based in Washington, DC. He is currently Chief Strategy Officer at the industry-leading digital strategy and online community solutions firm, 7Summits.
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...