Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cloud Fabrics and Virtual Networks

In the last couple of years, nearly every networking equipment vendor is touting their new data center fabric aimed at the creation of clouds. Take a look at the [partial] list below, culled from the respective web sites:

Company Fabric Offering
Arista Networks ????
Brocade Communication Systems, Inc. Data Center Fabric
Cisco Systems Unified Data Center Fabric
Extreme Networks Open Fabric Data Center
Force10 Networks Open Cloud Networking
HP FlexFabric
IBM BladeCenter
Juniper Networks QFabric
NEC ????

Thursday, May 26, 2011

At the Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Group: Zynga presents a Real World Case Study

If you believe cloud computing is still in its infancy, you have not learnt about Zynga. While Zynga have a hybrid cloud that powers their game servers involving their data center, a private cloud, zCloud, and a public cloud, namely Amazon Web Services (AWS), the more interesting fact is that they expect to be profitable in 2011 with a net margin of 35%, or a net profit of $630m on a $1.8B revenue.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

At the Cloud and Virtualization SIG on Virtual Networks

This SDForum Cloud and Virtualization SIG meeting saw a set of very exciting set of presentations by vCider, Big Switch and Cisco. There have been mature commercial availability of CPU and storage clouds, but there have been no rich commercial offerings of [virtual] networks1.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Virtual Networking and Clouds.

Recently, in a blog post written by Chris Marino, titled Virtual Networking, It’s Not Just a VLAN…, I came across a beautiful definition of what a virtual network is:
"A virtual network is a network you control that runs on top of another network that you don’t control."

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cloud Computing according to Yahoo!

In a presentation yesterday at Cloud Computing at Yahoo! Lessons, Challenges and Futures, Yahoo! Cloud Wrangler Geoff Arnold presented a view of how the Yahoo network needs to evolve in the present day cloud computing environment.
Although the actual extent of the present day Yahoo network could not be divulged for obvious reasons, Geoff argued that public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) could not support the functionality that is expected of the Yahoo network. Even if the public network were to be made use of for a 24x7x365 production network, Yahoo would have to rent bare metal CPUs networked and storaged1 together, and I do not know if the economics for such a deployment is already there. (We know, though, that Netflix uses AWS for streaming movies to its subscribers). This is probably true of other network based services such as Facebook's, Google's, etc.
Yahoo! Cloud Architectural Vision

The Yahoo! cloud architectural vision that was laid out — slide 31 on — somewhat explains why general purpose public cloud services may not be sufficient: There seems to be substantial functionality that is somewhat Yahoo-specific that is not necessarily readily available in the public cloud. And, Geoff talked about "planet scale" for most of the functionality Yahoo delivers. In addition to the familiar layers of SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, that are probably richer than their run-of-the-mill counterparts, he also sees a Knowledge as a Service (KaaS) layer sandwiched between SaaS and PaaS.

Overall, you come away with the awesome feeling that the Yahoo network is really very big.

The video of the presentation is at the Silicon Valley Cloud Computing Group channel at Ustream.

1We can regard this kind of journalistic license [of creating new verbs on the fly] as an advantage of the computer science profession.