Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Interview with Google's Bikash Koley: What is Andromeda?

In this video, Bikash Koley, Principal Architect at Google, introduces Andromeda, the software-defined networking stack that now powers Google's global infrastructure. Separating the control plane from the data plane has enabled a very rapid pace of networking innovation.  For developers, Google says Andromeda lets you "get a software-defined network without having to build it."

Koley says the whole idea of Andromeda is to take network functions and virtualize them -- this includes functions like routing packets, load balancing, filters, access control lists, DDoS mitigation and potentially deep packet inspection.  In a traditional network, you would have specialized boxes for these functions.  Google's Andromeda virutalizes all of that and makes it available as simple APIs, providing progammable access to the same infrastructure that runs all of Google's services.  Koley says this essentially delivers the "somewhat magical scaling" that would be difficult to achieve any other way.

Video timeline:

00:03 -What is Andromeda?
04;56 - Since Andromeda supports virtualized network functions, will Google be offering hosted network services like hosted firewalls?
05:25 - To orchestrate the Google infrastructure, Andromeda must deliver performance and scalability. How are these attained?
06:52 - Is Andromeda an open platform for developers?

Watch 8-minute video: http://youtu.be/wpin6GKpDm8

In April 2014, Google announced that its  "Andromeda" network virtualization stack is now powering two of its Google Compute Engine zones: us-central1-b and europe-west1-a. The company will be migrating its other data centers to Andromeda in the coming months.

Google describes Andromeda as a Software Defined Networking (SDN)-based substrate that serves as  the orchestration point for provisioning, configuring, and managing virtual networks and in-network packet processing. The goal is to expose the raw performance of the underlying network while simultaneously exposing network function virtualization (NFV), including distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, transparent service load balancing, access control lists, and firewalls.

Google reports a significant performance gain in throughput for customers in the data centers running Andromeda, with TCP throughput for 200 streams soaring from under 2 Gbps (baseline) to 5 Gbps (powered by Andromeda).


Citrix Unveils Public Cloud-based Workspace Services

Citrix unveiled a new platform for provisioning and delivering mobile workspace across a wide range of public clouds, including the market leaders, as well as private clouds and datacenter infrastructure.

The forthcoming Citrix Workspace Services platform is built on Microsoft Azure, leveraging capabilities such as Azure App Services, Azure Active Directory and Azure Virtual Network, and is engineered for global availability, massive scalability, security and reliability.  The control plane and store front for the application run in Microsoft Azure, but the applications and data could reside in another cloud or local data center.

Citrix said Workspace Services will leverage the open architecture of Citrix XenApp and Citrix XenDesktop virtual app and desktop delivery.

Citrix Workspace Services will be available as a technology preview with cloud desktops in the second half of 2014.  Pricing was not disclosed.

Citrix noted that some cloud providers may differentiate their workspace services by offering 3D desktop performance enhancements accelerated by GPUs.

"With Workspace Services, Citrix is building upon its leadership in DaaS to help our customers and partners more rapidly take advantage of cloud delivery to create complete mobile workspaces for their users. Workspace Services gives customers and partners what no other vendor can, a choice in clouds, the ability to deliver a wide range of workspace services, with the high-definition user experience that users have come to expect from Citrix," stated Mitch Parker, Vice President and General Manager, Citrix Cloud Services.


Cisco Supports new Citrix Workspace Suite

Cisco announced its support for the new Citrix Workspace Suite, which simplifies how organizations provide highly secure and optimized access to apps, data, communications and services on any device from networked locations.

The Cisco Mobile Workspace Solution with Citrix is an end-to-end solution that delivers application and desktop virtualization as well as highly secure mobile access control and enterprise mobility management (EMM), including enterprise file sharing. The combined solution is customizable and can be deployed in part or comprehensively to meet the broadest range of work styles and business requirements.

“Our alliance with Cisco spans many years, and as Cisco’s first mobile workspace partner, we share a common vision of helping customers embrace mobility by seamlessly uniting our technologies to deliver a solution that enables better ways of working. Today, we are delivering on that vision and offering customers a powerful solution that enhances user experience and productivity while simplifying and securing IT infrastructure in a cost-effective manner,” stated Sudhakar Ramakrishna, senior vice president and general manager, Enterprise and Service Provider Division, Citrix.


Verizon Delivers LTE for Schindler's Remote Monitoring Center

Verizon announced an agreement with Schindler Elevator Corp. to provide 4G LTE network coverage for Schindler's Remote Monitoring Center (SRM), which monitors a variety of operational features on elevator and escalator equipment 24/7 to detect changes in performance. When equipment malfunctions are found, SRM relays the intelligence and diagnostics to a Schindler technician so they can correct the issue faster than traditional troubleshooting methods, and often before the customer even becomes aware of the problem. Schindler is one of the only manufacturers able to provide remote monitoring on any brand of elevator or escalator equipment.


tw telecom Expands Fiber Network Across Los Angeles

tw telecom is expanding its existing footprint in Los Angeles, including fiber rollouts from Santa Monica, into West LA and down into the southern communities of LA County.  tw telecom now serves  business communities across Los Angeles including Century City, El Segundo, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Westwood and other areas of West Los Angeles, with its Business Ethernet and Intelligent Network capabilities.

"The introduction of several new products, access to a wide range of real estate commercial building portfolios, new building construction, and customer demand has helped fuel new demand for our network solutions," said Dan Cross, vice president and general manager, tw telecom Los Angeles.


Cyan Posts Q1 Sales of $19 Million

Cyan reported Q1 2014 revenue of $19.0 million compared with $26.3 million in the first quarter of 2013 and $20.9 million for the fourth quarter of 2013. GAAP net loss for the first quarter was $17.8 million, or $0.38 per share, compared with a net loss of $9.4 million, or $3.61 per share, in the same period last year, and a net loss of $13.7 million, or $0.29 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“In 2014 we are seeing industry momentum accelerate as servicer providers are announcing initiatives to transform their networks with SDN and NFV technologies,” said Mark Floyd, Cyan’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We believe Cyan is well positioned in the market and has a unique, first mover advantage in helping customers to orchestrate both network and virtualized resources across multi-domain, multi-vendor networks.”