Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Wayne Salpietro, Pat Romanski, Christoph Schell

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo

Containers Expo Blog: Blog Feed Post

Midokura - The SDN with a Hive Mind

Centralized control, decentralized execution comes to life with Midokura's MidoNet

Whether bees or Martians, science or science-fiction, the notion of a hive mind is one that pops up frequently within the realm of psychology, philosophy, theology, science and, last but not least, technology. A hive mind is one that has a collective memory, sharing information from the past and present with every other member of the hive.

This capability (if it really exists) enables incredible resiliency on the population as a whole, because every member of the population has the information necessary to replace another at any moment. This concept has been applied to scaling applications since scaling applications because a necessity. If applications share session state information – usually by sharing a session data base – then any instance can immediately take over for another without disrupting a user session. Like bees, there is no need for on-the-job-training, it just "knows" – as though it tapped into a shared database full of not only standard hive knowledge but of the current state of the hive.

shared-session-arch

This concept is partially included in many SDN implementations, with varying degrees of success. In the most common, centralized-controller model of SDN a singular entity (the controller) maintains this vault of knowledge but disseminates only partial views of that state to relevant pieces of the infrastructure. Thus it is not a fully participative hive mind, but a partial one. This leads to over-reliance on the controller, which is responsible not just for management of the shared knowledge but of dissemination. Like the queen bee, loss of the controller is devastating to the ability of the controller-focused SDN to function.

Midokura, offers a new model with a more complete collective "hive mind" that inherently supports resilient software-defined networks and alleviates the potential risk of relying on a singular entity through which to disseminate state of the network.

MidoNet

Midokura is a global startup focused on network virtualization. It officially entered the US market in mid-October 2012 with the introduction of its primary solution: MidoNet.

 

MidoNet virtualizes the network stack for popular cloud platforms such as OpenStack®. Midokura’s approach not only adds automation that significantly reduces the human cost (OPEX) of managing the network, but also impacts the overall economics of cloud computing (CAPEX) by simplifying network requirements.

MidoNet is a distributed, de-centralized, multi-layer software defined virtual network solution for IaaS. By taking an overlay-based approach to network virtualization, MidoNet sits on top of any IP-connected network, and pushes the network intelligence to the edge of the network, in software.

-- Midokura Press Release

 

Cutting through the marketing speak, MidoNet is a fabric of distributed, software-defined networking services. It requires no specialized hardware infrastructure, but rather turns any Linux-based host running the Open vSwitch kernel module and the MidoNet agent into a node on a fully-meshed, L2-4 virtual network fabric.The network executes on a role-based networking principle, with each node able to execute on a broad set of L2-4 policies based on its assigned role in the flow. By taking an overlay-based approach to network virtualization, MidoNet can be deployed atop any existing network, using traditional L2/L3 connectivity as the means to create and utilize its peer-to-peer virtualized tunnels.

midonet-2 MidoNet applies faithfully the idea of centralized management coupled with de-centralized execution.Traditional edge services are applied at the perimeter of the network using virtual policy execution, and then packets are routed via a tunnel to the designated end-point.  Policies are not so much deployed as they are simply applied at the appropriate ingress node. Each node may play multiple roles, guided by the process governing specific flows.

Failure, then, is inherently managed by the ability of any edge node to apply the appropriate policies based on the role being executed. There is no reliance on a controller - commonly associated with SDN implementations – because local agents manage the application of appropriate policies on ingress and egress traffic. It's a "shared session" approach to networking, in which the entire state of the network is stored in scalable database systems and distributed throughout the network. Just as is the case with "shared session" applications, failure in any given node simply means flows are directed through a different node – which has complete knowledge of all the information previously known to the failed node by virtue of sharing the network state database.

Like a hive mind, every node knows what every other node knows – and has known – and it is only the roles assigned to any given node that indicates a difference in how that node executes on traffic.

The difference between MidoNet's architecture and the centralized architecture of a controller-based SDN is in the execution. While both models "share" state and configuration, ostensibly, a controller-based SDN relies on centralized execution. MidoNet does not, leveraging shared state and configuration as a means to enable resiliency.

MidoNet does not come without questions. Any agent-based system brings with it overhead, and MidoNet is no exception. The question becomes how much overhead and does it significantly impact performance of the host system. Similarly, how many roles can a single node assume before it becomes overwhelmed? How well does MidoNet react to failures in the underlying L2/L3 physical network?

And while MidoNet offers a mix of stateless and stateful services, the higher up the stack one traverses, the less robust such services become. Layer 4 load balancing as currently offered by MidoNet is acceptable for simple load balancing, but depending on the application and demand may result in uneven distribution that can make capacity planning and elasticity less efficient and more difficult to perform.

Also problematic with any simple L4 load balancing service are issues with application dependencies on persistence and topological architecture and the resulting impact on load balancing algorithms. Midokura does not refute the unique challenges associated with moving up the stack – nor with the rudimentary nature of its existing L4 services – but believes these challenges can eventually be addressed.

All in all, MidoNet is an impressive adaption of SDN principles into a more resilient, flexible model. The application of a shared session architecture combined with role-based networking is a fascinating twist on the more common centralized control and command model put forth by competing SDN players.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
"Peak 10 is a hybrid infrastructure provider across the nation. We are in the thick of things when it comes to hybrid IT," explained Michael Fuhrman, Chief Technology Officer at Peak 10, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
Data reduction delivers compelling cost reduction that substantially improves the business case in every cloud deployment model. No matter which cloud approach you choose, the cost savings benefits from data reduction should not be ignored and must be a component of your cloud strategy. IT professionals are finding that the future of IT infrastructure lies in the cloud. Data reduction technologies enable clouds — public, private, and hybrid — to deliver business agility and elasticity at the lo...
"At the keynote this morning we spoke about the value proposition of Nutanix, of having a DevOps culture and a mindset, and the business outcomes of achieving agility and scale, which everybody here is trying to accomplish," noted Mark Lavi, DevOps Solution Architect at Nutanix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"DivvyCloud as a company set out to help customers automate solutions to the most common cloud problems," noted Jeremy Snyder, VP of Business Development at DivvyCloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We focus on SAP workloads because they are among the most powerful but somewhat challenging workloads out there to take into public cloud," explained Swen Conrad, CEO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protoco...
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
"I think DevOps is now a rambunctious teenager – it’s starting to get a mind of its own, wanting to get its own things but it still needs some adult supervision," explained Thomas Hooker, VP of marketing at CollabNet, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"I will be talking about ChatOps and ChatOps as a way to solve some problems in the DevOps space," explained Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From personal care products to groceries and movies on demand, cloud-based subscriptions are fulfilling the needs of consumers across an array of market sectors. Nowhere is this shift to subscription services more evident than in the technology sector. By adopting an Everything-as-a-Service (XaaS) delivery model, companies are able to tailor their computing environments to shape the experiences they want for customers as well as their workforce.
If you read a lot of business and technology publications, you might think public clouds are universally preferred over all other cloud options. To be sure, the numbers posted by Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft’s Azure platform are nothing short of impressive. Statistics reveal that public clouds are growing faster than private clouds and analysts at IDC predict that public cloud growth will be 3 times that of private clouds by 2019.
"Outscale was founded in 2010, is based in France, is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes and has done quite a bit of work with divisions of Dassault," explained Jackie Funk, Digital Marketing exec at Outscale, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
For over a decade, Application Programming Interface or APIs have been used to exchange data between multiple platforms. From social media to news and media sites, most websites depend on APIs to provide a dynamic and real-time digital experience. APIs have made its way into almost every device and service available today and it continues to spur innovations in every field of technology. There are multiple programming languages used to build and run applications in the online world. And just li...
If you are thinking about moving applications off a mainframe and over to open systems and the cloud, consider these guidelines to prioritize what to move and what to eliminate. On the surface, mainframe architecture seems relatively simple: A centrally located computer processes data through an input/output subsystem and stores its computations in memory. At the other end of the mainframe are printers and terminals that communicate with the mainframe through protocols. For all of its appare...
"As we've gone out into the public cloud we've seen that over time we may have lost a few things - we've lost control, we've given up cost to a certain extent, and then security, flexibility," explained Steve Conner, VP of Sales at Cloudistics,in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.