Physical Networks in the Virtual Networking World
I’m a big fan of the work of Dr. Bruce Davie. For those who know him already I imagine you will share this thought with me. Bruce works now as a Principal Engineer at VMware after the acquisition of Nicira 2 years ago where he was last titled Chief Service Provider Architect.
Oh, and he co-invented a little thing you may have heard of called MPLS.
Staying Physical in a Software-Defined World
One of the more common misconceptions around the idea that SDN (Software-Defined Networking) will somehow reduce the need for physical networks. This is patently false, but what it will do is to enhance the abilities to extend physical networks into virtualized environments and maximize the benefits using new tools and techniques.
A great phrase from the article I read talks about what the goal of network virtualization is:
…one of the tenets of network virtualization is that a virtual network should faithfully reproduce all of the networking stack, from L2-L7, just as server virtualization faithfully reproduces a complete computing environment…
This article is a phenomenal summary of the importance of the role of the the interaction between physical and virtualized networks and how these physical edges and virtual edges need to be our target to attain better adoption of NV technologies.
The advancements in the interactions between networks and endpoints has come a long way in a seemingly short time, and continues to see powerful innovation and optimization as more companies and developers contribute time to protocol and software development.
As L2/L3 from ToR switch to VTEP and right to the endpoint has been well established among all of the network virtualization products, we need to look further up the OSI model to more effectively stretch the L4-L7 capabilities among these products on both the physical and virtual side.
Nothing could do better to explain it better than Bruce does in the article, and I highly recommend you take the time to read it, plus all of the referenced articles (all links contained in the source article). Click here to view the article on the Network Heresy blog and I hope you find it as informative and valuable as I did!