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Briefing Notes: Midokura
Briefing Notes: Midokura
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Briefing Notes: Midokura
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Briefing Notes: Midokura

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Briefing note by Lori Macvittie on Midokura

Briefing note by Lori Macvittie on Midokura

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  • 1. Midokura    A  Briefing  Note  by  Lori  MacVittie   Midokura   A  Briefing  Note  by  Lori  MacVittie     Company:     Midokura  (www.midokura.com)   Market:     SDN       Products:     MidoNet     Summary:     MidoNet  is  a  Software-­‐Defined  Networking  solution  attempting  to   address  the  limitations  of  competing  controller-­‐based  models  through   a  shared  state,  fully  meshed  virtual  overlay  network  architecture.     MidoNet  is  designed  to  overlay  existing  L2/L3  networks  and  provides  a   highly  dynamic  and  flexible  virtual  network  defined  solely  through   roles  and  policies.  The  resulting  architecture  expands  seamlessly  to   inter-­‐domain  network  architectures,  enabling  federated  hybrid  cloud   implementations.      
  • 2. Midokura    A  Briefing  Note  by  Lori  MacVittie   Market  Overview     The  market  for  SDN  (Software-­‐Defined  Network)  is  just  beginning  to  emerge  into  an  early  adoption  state   as  organizations  begin  to  refocus  their  virtualization  efforts  on  the  network  and  explore  ways  to  realize   benefits  similar  to  that  achieved  in  server  infrastructure  with  network  infrastructure.     As  with  any  emerging,  highly  disruptive  technology,  SDN  is  already  plagued  by  diasaporic  definitions.  At   least  three  major  views  of  SDN  are  accepted  by  this  nascent  market:     1. Network  Virtualization     Network  virtualization  focuses  on  the  implementation  of  virtual  overlay  networks  to  provide  the   dynamism  and  policy-­‐based  networking  required  to  manage  high  rates  of  change,  particularly  in   cloud  computing  environments.  It  is  particularly  well-­‐suited  to  federated  hybrid  cloud  models  in   which  disparate  networks  must  be  managed  as  a  singular  network.     2. Protocol-­‐based  Virtualization     Protocol-­‐based  virtualization  is  the  expansion  of  existing  L2  and  L3  network  domains  through   the  use  of  virtualization-­‐friendly  protocol  extensions  such  as  VXLAN,  NVGRE,  STT,  and  VPLS.     Protocol-­‐based  virtualization  address  challenges  with  physical  and  topological  location   associated  with  highly  mobile  virtual  applications  and  services  as  well  as  scalability  limitations   on  existing  network  protocols.     3. Centralized  Control-­‐Based  Networks     Centralized  control-­‐based  networks  are  those  implementing  a  centrally  controller  model  for     management  and  routing  decisions  that  subsequently  disseminate  routing  paths  via  an  open,   standards-­‐based  protocol  such  as  OpenFlow.  OpenFlow-­‐based  SDN  models  are  currently  viewed   as  most  favorable  due  to  its  ability  to  reduce  operational  reliance  on  human  capital  and   introduce  a  higher  level  of  resiliency  due  to  the  controller’s  ability  to  automatically  reroute   around  failures.     The  market  is  dominated  by  protocol-­‐based  virtualization  with  a  secondary  focus  on  centralized  control-­‐ based  networks.  The  need  to  overcome  intra-­‐environment  challenges  associated  with  virtual  machine   mobility,  high-­‐rates  of  change,  and  operational  complexity  are  driving  early  adoption  of  both  models  in   the  enterprise.     Standards  are,  at  this  juncture,  clustered  around  protocol-­‐based  virtualization  with  the  exception  of   OpenFlow.  Though  its  supporters  are  non-­‐trivial  (Deutsche  Telekom,  Facebook,  Google,  Microsoft,   Verizon,  and  Yahoo!  are  founders  of  the  Open  Networking  Foundation  (ONF)  where  standardization   efforts  are  currently  ongoing)  and  the  base  of  OpenFlow-­‐enabled  hardware  is  quite  broad,  it  remains  to   be  seen  whether  OpenFlow  will  survive  a  mostly  vendor-­‐driven  standards  process.     Midokura  Overview     Midokura  has  chosen  to  focus  its  SDN  efforts  in  network  virtualization  with  its  MidoNet  product,  a  fully   meshed,  P2P  tunnel-­‐driven,  layer  2-­‐4  virtual  network  overlay  model.  Implementation  takes  advantage  of   commoditized  x86  hardware  running  a  MidoNet  agent  that  connects  to  an  Open  vSwitch  deployed  on  a  
  • 3. Midokura    A  Briefing  Note  by  Lori  MacVittie   Linux-­‐based  host.  Each  host  becomes  a  node  in  the  MidoNet  virtual  overlay  network  and  each  host  can   be  assigned  a  variety  of  roles,  each  able  to  apply  relevant  L2-­‐4  service  policies.       Using  a  scalable  shared  network  state  database,  MidoNet  enables  a  completely  distributed  execution   model  that  can  be  deployed  atop  existing  L2/L3  networks.  Flows  are  routed  through  the  overlay   network  using  P2P  tunnels  between  every  other  MidoNet  agent  endpoint,  which  creates  a  fully  meshed   virtual  network  topology.     Remote  MidoNet-­‐enabled  endpoints  can  provide  inter-­‐domain  network  normalization  by  leveraging  the   VPN  service.  Multi-­‐tenancy  can  be  extended  across  inter-­‐domain  boundaries  by  assigning  the   appropriate  role  to  the  endpoint.  Midokura  supports  limited  L4  services,  specifically  targeting  load   balancing,  NAT,  DHCP  and  firewall  functionality.     MidoNet  does  not  leverage  OpenFlow  to  communicate,  using  instead  a  proprietary  bi-­‐directional   protocol  to  share  state  and  session  between  the  Network  State  Database  and  appropriate  endpoints.   MidoNet  also  does  not  take  advantage  of  existing  protocol-­‐based  virtualization  efforts,  eschewing  the   popular  VXLAN  and  NVGRE  protocols  for  its  own  “tenant  id”  to  provide  the  isolation  required  to   implement  multi-­‐tenant  support.       Advantages     -­‐ Non-­‐disruptive  to  existing  architecture     -­‐ Does  not  require  new  physical  network  infrastructure     -­‐ Shared  state  and  session  model  enables  rapid  response  to  failure     -­‐ Multi-­‐tenancy  and  related  isolation  does  not  rely  on  traditional  protocols  extensions  that   would  require  changes  to  core  network  characteristics,  e.g.  MTU.     Disadvantages       -­‐ Does  not  address  operational  challenges  in  managing  existing  L2/L3  network     -­‐ Resource  burden  on  hosts  from  agents  an  unknown    
  • 4. Midokura    A  Briefing  Note  by  Lori  MacVittie   -­‐ Visibility  into  existing  L2/L3  network  status  and  reaction  to  failure  in  physical  network  may   be  limited     -­‐ Lack  of  support  for  Windows-­‐based  MidoNet  agent  may  be  problematic  for  enterprises     -­‐ Use  of  proprietary  protocol  for  multi-­‐tenancy  may  inhibit  interoperability  with  other  models   Competitors     1. Network  Virtualization     a. Vyatta   b. Embrane     c. Nicira  (VMware)     d. Xsigo  (Oracle)     2. Protocol-­‐based  Virtualization     a. Brocade   b. Citrix  (Xen)     c. Juniper     d. Big  Switch     e. Arista       f. Microsoft   g. VMware     3. Centralized  Control-­‐Based  Networks     a. IBM   b. Dell   c. HP     d. Cisco     e. Radware     f. Juniper     g. Big  Switch     h. Arista     Summary     Midokura  brings  a  fairly  unique  offering  to  the  SDN  table  by  applying  traditional  shared-­‐session   architectural  models  to  nascent  network  virtualization  models.  Combined  with  a  role-­‐based  service   model,  MidoNet  appears  to  have  resolved  existing  challenges  with  SDN  around  resiliency  and  scale  as   related  to  centralized  controller  models.  It  remains  to  be  seen  if  performance  of  the  resulting  virtual   network  and  ramifications  on  capacity  (and  therefore  cost)  from  an  agent-­‐based  model  will  be  able  to   satisfy  the  demanding  requirements  of  not  only  service  providers  but  an  increasing  number  of   enterprises.    

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