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.

All of the presenters argued about the need for network virtualization. Chris Marino of vCider visualized a network cloud offering that could straddle multiple cloud service providers. (Amazon and Rackspace mentioned in the slide 14 of his presentation on the right). Guido Appenzeller of Big Switch focused on a network of OpenFlow switches2. Ram Durairaj of Cisco described the concept of Network Container, a Cisco proposal to the OpenStack community.

One thing is certainly clear: In the last 25 or so years since the commercial availability of digital networks, thanks to the Ethernet, we have seen an explosion of enterprise networks and data centers. Many of the concepts employed in data centers today would need to be available in cloud form in the coming years ...

1Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a commercial offering, but is not yet as flexible as what was described this evening.
2The OpenFlow Controller is somewhat similar to the Path Computation Element concept in that they both are focused on offloading of control plane logic to separate computing element(s).

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