Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Karthick Viswanathan, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Mehdi Daoudi

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
These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
Most of the time there is a lot of work involved to move to the cloud, and most of that isn't really related to AWS or Azure or Google Cloud. Before we talk about public cloud vendors and DevOps tools, there are usually several technical and non-technical challenges that are connected to it and that every company needs to solve to move to the cloud. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Stefano Bellasio, CEO and founder of Cloud Academy Inc., will discuss what the tools, disciplines, and cultural...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
With the rise of DevOps, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in Enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery for the business. When it comes to adopting containers in the enterprise, security is the highest adoption barrier. Is your organization ready to address the security risks with containers for your DevOps environment? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist, NA West at Red Hat, will discuss: The top security r...
"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.
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
‘Trend’ is a pretty common business term, but its definition tends to vary by industry. In performance monitoring, trend, or trend shift, is a key metric that is used to indicate change. Change is inevitable. Today’s websites must frequently update and change to keep up with competition and attract new users, but such changes can have a negative impact on the user experience if not managed properly. The dynamic nature of the Internet makes it necessary to constantly monitor different metrics. O...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
The nature of the technology business is forward-thinking. It focuses on the future and what’s coming next. Innovations and creativity in our world of software development strive to improve the status quo and increase customer satisfaction through speed and increased connectivity. Yet, while it's exciting to see enterprises embrace new ways of thinking and advance their processes with cutting edge technology, it rarely happens rapidly or even simultaneously across all industries.
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Today companies are looking to achieve cloud-first digital agility to reduce time-to-market, optimize utilization of resources, and rapidly deliver disruptive business solutions. However, leveraging the benefits of cloud deployments can be complicated for companies with extensive legacy computing environments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, founder and CEO of Metavine, will outline the challenges enterprises face in migrating legacy solutions to the cloud. He will also prese...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?