The software-defined data center was all the rage at VMworld 2013, when NSX, VMware’s network virtualization platform, was announced. At VMworld 2014, the honeymoon of the NSX hype had worn off some, yet network virtualization is still a key growing and maturing technology. Nevertheless, it is still too immature for an all-out adoption at this point, in my opinion. I had an opportunity during the VMworld 2014 Tech Field Day Extra to sit in on a briefing and demo from Nuage Networks.
Articles Tagged with Network Virtualization
Every time we as an industry come up with a wonderful innovation, we tend to deploy that innovation before we have the ability to manage it in production. This occurred with the first round of data center virtualization—and resulted in an entirely new category of operations management solutions. But these new solutions did not arrive until several years after CPU and memory virtualization had become widely adopted. Gigamon and VMware seem determined to break this cycle with their joint announcement addressing the question of NSX visibility.
It is that time of the year again when we make our annual pilgrimage to San Francisco’s Moscone Center for VMworld. I am looking forward to talking with all the friends and colleagues I only see in person once a year. This time around, VMworld will be a little different for me in that I will be one of the Tech Field Day delegates on Monday and Wednesday. Each year before the conference, I like to share some tips on surviving the show and offer some thoughts on what I believe will be the up-and-coming tech to look out for.
SDN is getting a lot of hype at the moment. Coupled with its kissing cousin, network virtualization, it is all the buzz.
So what exactly is it?
At its most basic level, SDN is an approach to networking in which the control plane is decoupled from hardware and given over to a software controller.
Recently, I had the opportunity to talk about the shortest path bridging (SPB) protocol with Avaya while at Interop. This conversation was one of many with networking companies. While SPB is a very interesting protocol, my questions were about how deep into the virtual environment the protocol extends. While SPB and other networking protocols are considered by some to be network virtualization, I could not see this within the realm of the virtual network and hence, confusion reigned. Depending on who is talking to whom, the same words can mean many different things. What I found amazing, still, is that most people thinks networking ends at the physical NIC within the virtualization host, and that what is inside, does not matter as much as what is outside.
VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, and Citrix have all successfully virtualized CPU and memory in their respective hypervisors. VMware is building a Software Defined Data Center with the intention of virtualizing networking and storage as well. Perhaps it is time to take a step back and think about what exactly it means to virtualize these various resources, and what benefits come from the virtualization of each one.