Software-Defined Networking (SDN): Unleashing the Power of the Network


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It goes without saying that cloud computing has dramatically reshaped the information technology services landscape. Virtualization is unleashing the power of commodity-based technology and open source communities are building new applications and services at an astonishing rate, but networking has lagged behind compute and storage in virtualization and automation. We’ve become accustomed to specialized networking silicon, complex operating systems and highly distributed control planes. For the most part, we’ve accepted the model along with its high costs.

All that is changing! New protocols such as OpenFlow are freeing the network control plane from proprietary operating systems and hardware platforms. We are entering a new era where customers control the features – and release schedules – of new, open networking applications that address the needs of the mega-scale world.

A lot of work is required to realize the potential of Software-Defined Networking (SDN), where we can enjoy the benefits derived from “software automating software.” This talk will examine some of the history that led us to the point where current networking architectures are no longer viable for cloud computing at mega-scale. We’ll take a look at the basics of SDN and some of its key elements – OpenFlow, network virtualization, and orchestration – along with some of the initiatives and companies that are setting the stage for the next generation of networking.

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Software-Defined Networking (SDN): Unleashing the Power of the Network

  1. 1. Software-Defined Networking Robert KeaheyIEEE-Consultants’ Network of Silicon Valley – 2012/10/16
  2. 2. Agenda  SDN  Trends, Drivers, Models, Use Cases  OpenFlow  Network Virtualization  Essential things to know2 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  3. 3. The Next (R)evolution? • What is it? • When will it be here? • Who will use it? • Why will they use it? • Where will they use it? How big is this thing?3 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  4. 4. Cloud Enablement Report Card Automation Resource Pooling Resource Visibility Granularity of Control Troubleshooting Application Ecosystem Vendor Independence Compute Storage Network4 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  5. 5. Looking Back – Networking 2007 AccessRouting Mgmt Control VPNs … • Millions of lines of code • 5,400 RFCs Operating Systems & Middleware • High barrier to entry • Billions of gatesSpecialized Packet Handling/Forwarding Hardware • Huge complexity • Power/people intensive• Many complex functions embedded into the infrastructure • OSPF, BGP, Multicast, NAT, TE, MPLS, Firewalls, … • Redundant layers/services • Unique “differentiation”• Mainframe mentality industry• Functionality  standards  hardware  nodes Source: Adapted from ONS12 presentation by Brandon Heller, et al5 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  6. 6. Compounding the problem… WAN • Evolved campus Ethernet model into tree structure • CoreCampus • Aggregation Core • Access • Most (95%) of traffic is 95% “north-south” Aggregation • Segregated campus networks Access at Access to avoid spanning tree problems 5%6 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  7. 7. Compounding it further… WAN • Applied same model to the data center • Different traffic patternsData Center • Majority “east-west” Core • Different performance needs • Lossless storage traffic 20% • Low latency, high bandwidth Aggregation • Different service needs to Access support virtual compute model • Static to dynamic • Multi-tenancy • Workload management 80% by 2014(1) Source: (1) Gartner Synergy Report7 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  8. 8. And even further… • Significant gap exists • Architectural • Operational • Organizational • Assumption that physical fabric is “up and running” • YoYo mindset • Extends to intra- and inter-data center deployments • Metro • WAN • Carrier8 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  9. 9. Additional market drivers Video and Mobility are transforming business communications Up to At least More than 10X 50 Billion 25% Increase in network Devices will connect to Of all daily business capacity to support new wireless networks by communications will be wave of business video the year 2020 video or multi-media applications communications by UNIFIED WIRED 2013 INCREASE IN AND WIRELESS CAMPUS COLLABORATION, T BANDWIDTH NETWORKS, IT RAINING, PRODUCT REQUIREMENTS CONSUMERIZATION IVITY Source: Gartner – G00207476 Key Technology Analysis Gartner – G00175764 Key Issues For Communications Strategies, 2010 ONS129 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  10. 10. General shift in networking FROM TO Hardware/Appliances (Open) Software Custom ASICs/FPGAs Merchant Silicon (Logically) Centralized Control Distributed Control Plane Plane Protocols APIs Policy-based Apps and Function-Specific Features Services Vendor-controlled Releases Rapid Innovation Cycles Source: Adapted from ONS12 Presentation by Dan Pitt10 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  11. 11. Which leads us to SDNONFIn the SDN architecture, thecontrol and data planes are SDN Modeldecoupled, networkintelligence and state arelogically centralized, and theunderlying networkinfrastructure is abstractedfrom the applications.WikipediaA network architecture inwhich the network controlplane is decoupled from thephysical topology. Source: ONF White Paper Software-Defined Networking: The New Norm for Networks – April 13, 201211 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  12. 12. SDN theory and practice The Premise… The Promise…  Commodity (merchant silicon)  Centralized management and solutions can be exploited control  Control plane can be  More granular network control distributed  Improved automation and  State can be externalized management  Acceptable performance can  Rapid innovation be maintained  Programmability  Standards will evolve  Increased network reliability  Networking manufacturers will and security adopt SDN-enabling protocols  Better end-user experience and features12 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  13. 13. Essential elements of SDN  Abstraction  Pooling OpenStack CloudStack VMware  Orchestration Nimbula et al  Automation  Service Insertion  Apps  Programmability (APIs)13 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  14. 14. Inside the layers • Virtual network overlays • Slicing • Tenant-aware broadcast • Application-aware path computation • Traffic engineering • Network services (FW, LB, Security) • Data plane resource management • Common services and libraries • Topology • Metadata • State abstraction • Packet forwarding • Packet manipulation • Statistics gathering Source: Adapted from Dan Pitts, ONF14 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  15. 15. Typical use cases to date  Multi-Tenancy  Network Access Control  Load Balancing  Network Taps  Cut-Through Applications  Network Virtualization (overlays)  Campus slicing15 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  16. 16. OpenFlow OpenFlow SDN (by itself)16 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  17. 17. OpenFlow  A protocol specification  Open Networking Foundation  Requires OpenFlow-enabled devices  Switches  Defines controller messages  PACKET_IN, PACKET_OUT, FLOW_REMOVED, etc.  Enables construction of Flow Tables  Match/Action17 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  18. 18. Analogy Data Web Virtual Load APP APP Base Server Overlay Balancer OS API Network OS API Server Network Operating System Operating System (SDN Controller) CPU Instruction Set OpenFlow Instruction Set and, or, xor, add, sub, mult, load, move… Match, Add, Modify, Translate, Forward, Drop Server Hardware OpenFlow-enabled Device Source: Adapted from IBM ONS12 presentation by Rakesh Saha, IBM & Amit Agarwal, Google18 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  19. 19. Simple OpenFlow-enabled Example ( f View ) ( f View ) ( f View ) Control Control Control Programs Programs Programs Abstract Network View Network Virtualization Global Network View Network OS Packet Forwarding Packet Forwarding Packet Packet Forwarding Packet Forwarding Forwarding Source: Nick McKeown – Stanford University19 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  20. 20. Simple OpenFlow-enabled Example ( f View ) firewall.c ( f View … ) f View ( ) Control if(Control pkt->tcp->dport == 22) dropPacket(pkt); Control Programs Programs … Programs Abstract Network View Network Virtualization Global Network View Network OS 1. <Match, Action> 2. <Match, Action> 1. <Match, Action> 3. <Match, Action> 2. <Match, Action> 4. <Match, Action> 3. <Match, Action> 5. <Match, Action> Packet 6. … 4. <Match, Action> 5. <Match, Action> Forwarding 7. … 1. <Match, Action> 6. … 1. <Match, Action> 2. <Match, Action> Packet 7. … 2. <Match, Action> 3. <Match, Action> Forwarding 3. <Match, Action> 4. <Match, Action> 4. <Match, Action> 5. <Match, Action> 5. <Match, Action> 1. <Match, Action> 6. … 6. … 7. … 2. <Match, Action> Packet 7. … 3. <Match, Action> Packet Packet 4. <Match, Action>Forwarding 5. <Match, Action> Forwarding Forwarding… 6. 7. … Source: Nick McKeown – Stanford University20 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  21. 21. Flow Table Example ( f View ) ( f View ) ( f View ) Control Programs Control Programs Control Programs Flow Table Abstract Network View Network Virtualization Generic primitive that sits on top Global Network View of (virtual) switch TCAM, Network OS designed to match well with common ASICs OpenFlow-enabled switch Example actions: 1. Switching and routing (port) 2. Firewall (drop) 3. Use with switch’s non- OpenFlow logic (local) 4. Send to controller for processing (controller) Foundation network functions are split between switch and high- level decisions at the controller Source: Adapted from ONS12 Presentation by Dan Pitt21 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  22. 22. Major OpenFlow (SDN) Controllers Languag Controller Platform(s) License Originator e Beacon Java Linux GPL Stanford University Floodlight Java Linux GPL Big Switch (based on Beacon) Windows, Mac, GPL (core), FOSS Maestro Java Rice University Linux, Android Licenses for your code Python, NOX Linux OpenFlow Stanford University C++ Java, OpenTransit Linux CPlane License CPlane (LAYERZngn) Python ProgrammableFlow Ruby, C Linux (RHEL 6.1) GPL/NEC NEC (based on Trema) Controller Programmable Network Ruby, C Linux (RHEL 6.1) GPL/IBM IBM (NEC OEM) Controller Open Network Cisco Environment (ONE) Virtual Application HP – Available 2H13 Networks SDN (Rumored to be Big Switch) Controller NetScaler SDX Citrix – Early 2013 ? Juniper Networks22 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  23. 23. OpenFlow-Enabled Switches • Arista • IBM • 7050 • IBM RackSwitch G8264 • Brocade • Juniper Networks • MLX Series • MX Series • NetIron XMR Series • Marvell • NetIron CER 2000 Series • Prestera • NetIron CES 2000 Series • NEC • Cisco • PF5240 • Nexus 7000 Series • PF5280 • Dell • NoviFlow • Force10 MXL 10/40GbE • NoviKit 100 • Extreme Networks • NETGEAR • Black Diamond X Series • ProSafe Plus Series • HP • Pica8 • 3500 Series • 3290, 3295, 3780, 3920 • 3800 Series • Pluribus Networks • 5400 Series • F64 Series • 8200 Series23 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  24. 24. Real-world “G-scale” OF example Source: Google ONS12 presentation24 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  25. 25. Data Center/Cloud Networking Issues  VLAN limits (4,094)  Spanning Tree Protocol disabled links  Reconfiguration to extend VLANs  MAC address contention  MAC address table size in ToR switches  Layer 3 address contention  Security “choke points”  …25 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  26. 26. Virtual Overlays Using IP-encapsulation Data Center A Data Center B Hypervisor Hypervisor Hypervisor Hypervisor VM VM VM VM VM VM VM VM VIRTUAL OVERLAY VIRTUAL OVERLAY Overlay-enabled Overlay-enabled Overlay-enabled Overlay-enabled Virtual Switch Virtual Switch Virtual Switch Virtual Switch Physical Physical Network Network • “Similar” to other tunneling methods (L2TPV3, AToM, VPLS, LISP) • Encapsulation via tunnel “endpoints” • Not dependent on specific transports • Layer 2 over Layer 3 (e.g., ECMP/OSPF) • VMs see only Layer 2 • “Customer-edge”  easier to set up26 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  27. 27. Common IP-based Encapsulation MethodsMethod Full Name Sponsors Approach Distributed Overlay DOVE Virtual Ethernet IBM Leverages OTV and VXLAN Arista Networks, Network Virtualization Broadcom, Dell, 24-bit Virtual Subnet IdentifierNVGRE using Generic Routing Emulex, HP, Intel, (VSI) in GRE header Encapsulation Microsoft 24-bit Overlay ID in OTV header Overlay Transport OTV Virtualization Cisco inside UDP VLAN extension via GRE/MPLS (Nexus 7000) 64-bit Context ID in STT header, Stateless Transport STT Nicira (VMware) “TCP-like” header, leverages Tunneling TSO/LRO Arista Networks, 24-bit VXLAN Network Identifier Virtual Extensible Local Broadcom, Cisco, VXLAN (VNI) in VXLAN header inside Area Network to destination endpoint identification Citrix, Red Hat,• Different approaches UDP packet VMware• Different approaches to load balancing for efficiency• Can be negatively impacted by “middle boxes” (firewalls, intrusion protection, etc.)• Some increased exposure to MAC-over-IP security threats27 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  28. 28. Encapsulation Headers VXLAN NVGRE STT OTV* Outer Ethernet Outer Ethernet Outer Ethernet Outer Ethernet Header Header Header Header Outer IP Header Outer IP Header Outer IP Header Outer IP Header GRE Header TCP-Like Header UDP Header UDP Header Contains VSID (ACK/SEQ Fields) Contains OVERLAY ID VXLAN Header Inner Ethernet STT Header Inner Ethernet Contains VNI Header Contains Context ID Header Inner Ethernet Inner IP Header Payload Payload Header Payload Payload TCP-Like Header Payload TCP-Like Header Payload *As described in IETF Draft28 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  29. 29. But wait… Service/ SDN needs to enable this Application …and needs more than OpenFlow and virtual overlays FC Switch FC Switch SAN SAN Fiber Ethernet Optical Optical Ethernet V V V V Switch V V V V Switch M M M M M M M M Hypervisor Hypervisor Workload Migration29 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  30. 30. Still work to be done… Data Plane Control Plane  State of specifications  Scalability  Maturity  Changes across releases  Centralized vs distributed  Silicon Concerns  State coherence between  Specifications outpace silicon control and data plane development  Merchant silicon not optimized  Interoperability for OF  SDN to non-SDN  Performance  Inter-Controller  Scalability of Flow-Matches (limited by TCAM size)  Multi-orchestrator conflicts  Cost driver excludes rich multi-  Virtual overlays core xPU ecosystem Source: Adapted from ONS12 Presentation by Geng Lin - Dell30 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  31. 31. IEEE Learning network… IETF Clean Slate Standards ONF ONRC Research Big Switch Networks ON.LAB CPlane SDNCentral Scott ConteXtreamipSpace Shenker Contrail Systems Emerging Nick SDN Blogs Martin McKeown Players Embrane Casado Midokura Brad CloudHedlund EtherealMind Stuff Vyatta Nicira (VMware) Twilight in the Pluribus Valley of the Networks NEC OpenStack Nerds CloudStack Nimbula PLUMgrid Routing-Bits VMware31 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  32. 32. Resource Links • Big Switch Networks: • Brad Hedlund: • CloudStack: • ConteXtream: • Contrail Systems • CPlane: • Embrane: • Ethereal Mind: • IEEE: • IETF: • ipSpace: • Midokura: • NEC: • Nicira: Martin Nick Scott • Nimbula: Casado McKeown Shenker • ONRC: • ON.LAB: • ONF: • OpenStack: • ONF: • PLUMgrid: • Pluribus Networks: • Routing-Bits: • SDNCentral: • Stanford Clean Slate: • Twilight in the Valley of the Nerds: • VMware: • Vyatta: www.vyatta.com32 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012
  33. 33. Thank you! Robert Keahey www.cplane.net33 SummaLogic LLC/CPlane 10/16/2012