So you probably have been hearing about Software Defined Networking for now quite a while but are wondering how it is exactly, how does it work and how you implement that in your organization. In a serie of posts here, I will give you some overview of the various components it takes to deploy SDN in the real world.
But first let’s start with the basics in this post!
Why doing SDN?
With the utilization of clouds, we seen datacenters becoming very much bigger and way denser so we had the address the following problems:
- we reached the technical limits of IP networks for multi-tenancy (VLAN can host only 4 thousands different networks, Private VLAN not suitable for all situations)
- networking processes being manual and error-prone: while compute virtualization allowed us to gain more flexibility and programmability, not much has evolved for a long time in the networking field, hence networking becoming a bottleneck for growth and innovation.
- vendor-specific extensibility: how to go beyond some hardware specific limitations and pricing?
While they embrace cloud models, companies adopt at the same time new paradigms for developing and hosting their applications:
- From endpoints VM that are relatively long-lived, we host applications in containers that average lifetime is in minutes.
- Micro-services architectures makes endpoint instantiated on-demand, so the slowness of network processes and procedures is no longer bearable and we must automate everything.
For many organizations it has become crazily complex to understand network flows, so we need to adopt a new paradigm for managing hybrid clouds. With SDN we want to achieve:
- fully automated network operations: from a complex architecture to deploy, we want a high level of abstraction environment that will deploy transparently to networks the policies we define.
- decreasing operational costs: because you better administer the network, you can better use the compute, densifying your virtualization platform and getting more ROI and savings on energy.
- improving security and compliance: you program once your network and its rules, and it gets applied everywhere.
- accelerating time to market: network is programmed, is integrated into companies development strategies and tooling for DevOps.
- openness and easiness of integration: easy to deploy third parties components to enable new features and functions on the network.
Now you might think that SDN is only for cloud providers or huge organizations. Actually it’s not only the case. Take 10 hypervisors that you have in your current environment: can you describe precisely the networking operations that occurs on them? Can you tell for sure if a VM moves from one host to the other if its going to survive? How do you manage integration with other networks: non-virtualized or in cloud services?
Nuage Networks Solution Overview
Nuage Networks has been doing SDN for more than 5 years with field-proven cases and big deployments for mission-critical workloads with a suite of solutions. Here’s what we have for you:
Virtualized Services Platform
VSP Is a suite of solutions that solves today’s IT datacenter and hybrid-cloud challenges:
- VCS: for the datacenter needs, network virtualization, distributed routing and switching, micro-segmentation, enterprise distributed firewall and many more.
- VSS: allows you to define filtering services and micro-segmentation. (It’s a brand new product to be released soon.)
- VSAP: extends SDN with an additional level of control and management: it enables administrators to understand all the routing topology, correlates the IP layers, routing layers and the virtualization layers to offer you quicker problem resolution and preventive guidance.
- VNS: is our solution for SD-WAN. It allows you extend the SDN to branch offices and cloud services easily.
In this specific post, I will start introducing the datacenter solution building blocks:
Virtualized Cloud Services
VSG or VRGS
Putting it together
So for a logical view of a basic SDN solution in an organization, it would look something like that:
- Management Plane: VSD allows you to define the network configuration, you can also use various cloud management solutions of the market: OpenStack, VMware, CloudStack and more.
- Control Plane: SDN controller work is done by VSC. For high availability of this role, you can deploy multiples VSC, they will exchange route information with other controllers and it will also allow you to scale-out linearly for the biggest environments. You can also very easily integrate it with your edge routing devices (from your service providers), as they talk BGP too.
- Data Plane: You deploy VRS on the hypervisors in your environment, non-virtualized workloads can be connected to gateways (VRS-G, VSG, or third parties hardware).
Now that we have the basics, we will further study in later post how the components talk together to make a complete and comprehensive enterprise SDN solution. In the meantime, you can review:
- Nuage Networks Website: www.nuagenetworks.net
- Unconstrained datacenters for the cloud era
- Micro-segmentation and policy automation with Nuage Networks
- SD-WAN Solution
- SD-WAN Experience with Nuage
You can also reach out to me directly if you need help with SDN!