Sunday, September 13, 2015

IoT is a Cloud Network

Cloud Native, SDN and SOA are all techniques not technologies. IoT is not a technique it is a use case that needs to use the above mentioned techniques to enable a mesh of connections that is manageable, secure and most of all just works. IoT could use any infrastructure including the carrier network but it is most likely end up using the cloud as a IaaS. IoT is a cloud networking problem that needs some connectivity middleware to sit on top of a virtual network. IoT is an application designed using SOA that will provision its network using SDN and will use ephemeral compute threads that have preexisting binding to the language runtimes. 

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

sdn and CMS

Only a few years ago, datacenter architects picked their overlay tunnel technology and created a list of stacks with which to build out their datacenter network. The cloud management system or even "the cloud" was an after thought. Today the tables have turned. We have datacenter architects debating the merits of various CMSes like OpenStack, vVMware (vSphere, vCAC, NSX) and a very distant third or fifth CloudStack. Within their CMS they are asking for support from one or more SDN stacks. The days of stanalone SDN stacks are gone. The battle today is between an open ecosystem like OpenStack vs. multiple closed ecosystems.

So what are the SDN stacks being evaluated on by these cloud datacenters?

First is ability to scale. And by scale, I don't mean just the overcoming the vlan exhaustion issue with annoating BGP or encapsulating L2 in L3 etc. Scale means the performance of the cloud network scales with the number of nodes in the datacenter. The nodes are server nodes. The cloud network does not scale with number of switches. Scale means your automation system can manage the configuration of a 50 node cloud as easily as 5K node cloud.

Second is heterogeneity. This one is a quite a beast because it requires supporting all the major hypervisors, authentication systems, SIAMs,  best of breed appliance (virtual and physical). From a cloud vendor's perspective this is where the R&D dollars are mostly spent i.e. in creation of a heterogenous ecosystem. Not proprietary ones like iCloud.

Third is security. Not just network security, or long expensive compliance test but application data input validation, fraud prevention, almost waf like.


Monday, April 06, 2015

Killer App for Overlay Networking/SDN

SDN has been searching for a killer app since its birth in the midst of protocol and encapsulation debates of 2011. It wasn't monitoring, flow management or physical network orchestration for a controller. It turns out it is container networking.

Container is challenging the VM or a group of them is a unit of application. Its value proposition is removal of the virtualization tax and being open source it does not cost a whole lot to try out. The schedulers (k8, mesos etc.) seem to be maturing fast enough but the networking behind is still quite elementary.

Using offloads that accelerate encap/decap of an overlay network on the JEOS (Just enough OS), containers with virtual interfaces can outperform hypervisor based VMs and integrate better with orchestration technology like gubernetes.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Utility Pricing in Cloud

The license management technology is still behind the times when it comes to cloud deployment. Most of the license enforcement mechanisms are based on hostname, ip address, usernames and are licensed based on seats.

There is pretty much no utility based pricing anywhere in the cloud. Either it is a flat subscription or a host based or site based license. If we want to regulate the internet as a utility, we need to figure out a way to charge the user for software used as a utility. There is nothing that I can see inside software system that even meters usage. Without this there is no way to bill a user based on usage. A utility based smartmeter for software is something that the industry needs if cloud biz model is to take off.