Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ONS 2014 Google Keynote: Software Defined Network Virtualization at Scale

Google is a big believer in cloud networking because it promises an easier operational model and opens the doors to state-of-the-art infrastructure and services, said Amin Vahdat, Distinguished Engineer and Technical Lead for Networking at Google, in a keynote for Open Networking Summit 2014 in Santa Clara, California.

Google's Cloud Platform is enabled by its "Andromeda Network Virtualization" platform -- a software-defined networking (SDN) framework extending across the entire hardware/software stack.  Google takes a holistic approach to all layers in order to achieve QoS, latency parameters and fault tolerance.   Google is making huge investments in its cloud data centers -- at least $2.9 billion in additional planned data centers worldwide in support of cloud services. As reported in the press, managing the energy consumption of these huge facilities is as important as ongoing capital spending.  The company has an extensive CDN footprint to reduce delivery times to end users.

In talks at previous Open Networking Summits, Google first described its global Software-defined WAN, describing the massive backbone as a homegrown project that has enabled the company to treat WAN bandwidth as though it were LAN bandwidth.

Some notes from Amin Vahdat's presentation:

  • Google adopted a share infrastructure model pretty much since its inception.  Hundreds of application run across the same cloud platform.
  • Google is into cluster networking, where storage is disaggregated into pools for virtual machines
  • Google has found that a logically centralized/hierarchical control plane with a peer-to-peer data plane beats out decentralized models.
  • The Andromeda Network Virtualization stack runs on this centralized/hierachical control plane model.
  • Network virtualization bring challenges:  virtual networks must be isolated from each others, DDoS attacks are a threat, network functions virtualization is key to the operation of these networks.
  • Looking ahead a few years, based on Amdahl's Law, Google calculates that future clouds will require extremely high bandwidth and low latencies to interconnect compute resources and shared pools of Flash storage.
  • Virtual machine migration capabilities will be key to support high-availability infrastructure.
  • Vahdat believes that commodity servers running control protocols will be widely used for SDN.
  • Google wishes to eliminate 'one-off' protocols and siloed middle boxes in its network.
  • Google is looking at programmable packet processors to extend network functionality
  • NFV is really about virtualized SDN
  • Andromeda is capable of splitting NFV between soft switches and commodity packet processors.
  • Andromeda capabilities also include cloud load balancing, virtual machine migration, storage services, bandwidth provisioning, and network configuration tools (ACLs, firewall and isolation)
The full keynote has now been posted online by @OpenNetworking Summit.

ONS 2014 AT&T Keynote: SDN Innovations Drive Transformation

AT&T is on a mission to transform its networks, operations, business models and even culture by leveraging a new spirit of innovation, said John Donovan, Senior Executive Vice President for AT&T Technology and Network Operations, in a key note address at Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, California.

A key theme driving this transformation is openness, said Donovan, and AT&T is moving aggressively to implement "the network of the future" - what it calls the User-Defined Network Cloud, a multi-service, multi-tenant platform where equipment is flexible.

AT&T's User-Defined Network Cloud is all about becoming fast, nimble and more customer-focused, said Donovan.  AT&T will take an evergreen approach, preferring to build a new network rather than overlays on the legacy infrastructure.  AT&T will look at new, non-traditional networking vendors, the academic community and the open source movement.

Some notes on Donovan's presentation:

  • AT&T has led the way through several technology transformation inflection points over the course of its long history.  This will be one of them.
  • Over time, all of AT&T's network capabilities will become cloud-centric workloads
  • Customers will have more control to adapt their applications in real time.
  • Applications will pivot from traditional networking to cloud models.
  • AT&T will pursue openness everywhere, including with its Domain 2.0 program, to encourage opinions and innovations.
  • AT&T has half a dozen "beach-head" projects underway in NFV.
  • At times, AT&T will develop its own solutions.  For instance, the control plane of the AT&T backbone is already a software-defined network that manages the 4 million routes of the footprint.
  • AT&T is actively recruiting people with skills in these areas.

One question after the keynote was "why are you really moving to SDN?"  Donovan's answer:  "Because no army can hold back an economic principle whose time has come"

The entire keynote has now been posted on YouTube.

Equinix Introduces Performance Hub

Equinix introduced its "Performance Hub" concept — a new solution that combines elements of data centers, networking infrastructure and connectivity, and cloud computing access.  The gial is to improve application performance and deliver a globally consistent quality of experience to end users.

Performance Hub deployments include:

  • Equinix IBX data center hosting - Cabinets, power, and cross connects
  • Network connectivity - Metro-Ethernet, long-haul (MPLS-VPN), ISP
  • Network equipment - Routing, switching, firewalls, SSL-VPN, load-balancers, WAN-acceleration
  • Cloud connectivity - Private, high-bandwidth connectivity to leading public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Windows Azure and many others

Equinix said its Performance Hub delivers significant improvement in performance across metro (coast-to-coast) scenarios including:
50 percent improvement in http-load tests for web-based applications

  • Greater than 40 percent improvement on file transfers for Microsoft Sharepoint®
  • 40 percent improvement on Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) launch times
  • Reduced jitter and latency for video streaming applications
  • For applications hosted on public cloud infrastructure, 30 percent improvement in page-load tests for web-based applications, if consumed via Equinix Performance Hub with direct connectivity to public cloud infrastructure vs. Internet connectivity; and 100x improvement in data transfers for data-replication applications such as Oracle Data Guard

The Equinix Performance Hub is being launched in Equinix's North American data centers and will be available globally later this year.

NTT Comm and 25 Partner Carriers Agree to Improve Global Network Service Quality

NTT Communications and 25 of its global telecommunications-carrier partners on a number of policies to further improve its Arcstar (TM) global network service quality during the Arcstar Carrier Forum 2014, which took place in Tokyo on March 5 and 6.

The Arcstar Carrier Forum is an international conference organized by NTT Com to consider strategies for strengthening Arcstar-branded managed network services for multinational corporations.

NTT Com Partner Carriers:
Singtel Optus Pty Limited
China Telecom Corporation Limited
Orange Business Services
Hong Kong:
Hutchison Global Communications
Hong Kong:
Wharf T&T Limited
Bharti Airtel Limited
Tata Communications Limited
PT Indosat tbk
PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International
KT Corporation
Telekom Malaysia Berhad
Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company
Singapore Telecommunications Limited
StarHub Ltd.
South Africa:
Internet Solutions
Chunghwa Telecom Co., Ltd.
CAT Telecom Public Company Limited
Colt Technology Services Group Limited
Interoute Communications Ltd.
AT&T Inc.
Level 3 Communications, LLC
XO Communications
Verizon Communications Inc.
Vietnam Datacommunication Company
CMC Telecommunication Infrastructure Corporation
- Message by Guest Speaker who attended Arcstar Carrier Forum 2014

Corvil Develops Alliances for Streaming Data Capture

Corvil, which specializes in real-time operational performance monitoring, has kicked off its Industry Alliance Partner Program to drive advanced solutions and architectures for streaming data, storage and real-time analytics.  Alliance partners include APCON, Arista, Cisco, cPacket, Gigamon, Ixia/Anue and VSS.

Corvil and partners has developed a next generation architecture for time-stamped data capture over the network, lossless storage and real-time IT operational analytics.