Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, John Basso, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Mihai Corbuleac

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
There will be new vendors providing applications, middleware, and connected devices to support the thriving IoT ecosystem. This essentially means that electronic device manufacturers will also be in the software business. Many will be new to building embedded software or robust software. This creates an increased importance on software quality, particularly within the Industrial Internet of Things where business-critical applications are becoming dependent on products controlled by software. Qua...
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Large scale deployments present unique planning challenges, system commissioning hurdles between IT and OT and demand careful system hand-off orchestration. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Smith, Senior Director and a founding member of Incenergy, will discuss some of the key tactics to ensure delivery success based on his experience of the last two years deploying Industrial IoT systems across four continents.
CenturyLink has announced that application server solutions from GENBAND are now available as part of CenturyLink’s Networx contracts. The General Services Administration (GSA)’s Networx program includes the largest telecommunications contract vehicles ever awarded by the federal government. CenturyLink recently secured an extension through spring 2020 of its offerings available to federal government agencies via GSA’s Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts. GENBAND’s EXPERiUS™ Application...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, explained how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
In today's uber-connected, consumer-centric, cloud-enabled, insights-driven, multi-device, global world, the focus of solutions has shifted from the product that is sold to the person who is buying the product or service. Enterprises have rebranded their business around the consumers of their products. The buyer is the person and the focus is not on the offering. The person is connected through multiple devices, wearables, at home, on the road, and in multiple locations, sometimes simultaneously...
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
We all know the latest numbers: Gartner, Inc. forecasts that 6.4 billion connected things will be in use worldwide in 2016, up 30 percent from last year, and will reach 20.8 billion by 2020. We're rapidly approaching a data production of 40 zettabytes a day – more than we can every physically store, and exabytes and yottabytes are just around the corner. For many that’s a good sign, as data has been proven to equal money – IF it’s ingested, integrated, and analyzed fast enough. Without real-ti...
I wanted to gather all of my Internet of Things (IOT) blogs into a single blog (that I could later use with my University of San Francisco (USF) Big Data “MBA” course). However as I started to pull these blogs together, I realized that my IOT discussion lacked a vision; it lacked an end point towards which an organization could drive their IOT envisioning, proof of value, app dev, data engineering and data science efforts. And I think that the IOT end point is really quite simple…
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.