Cloud computing: Redefining How Services are Provided from Within the Network


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By proactively managing the cloud delivery and security
services found within the network, you can significantly
improve performance, adhere to corporate security standards
and governance, and improve your bottom line through the
CapEx and OpEx optimizations that cloud computing offers.

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Cloud computing: Redefining How Services are Provided from Within the Network

  1. 1. Cloud Computing:Cloud Computing: Redefning oo eeriiee ee eorided eom Redefining How Services Are Provided from Within the Network By proactively managing the cloud delivery and security services found within the network, you can significantly improve performance, adhere to corporate security standards and governance, and improve your bottom line through the CapEx and OpEx optimizations that cloud computing offers.ittin tte etooer By Bill Erdman 1
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  3. 3. T he European railway system is consid- and effective way to schedule, provision, andCloud Computing: Redefning oo eeriiee ee eorided eom ered among the best rail networks in manage the services within the network. the world. It connects 30 countries in Europe and provides flexible travel options for Some elements of managing the network in people and efficient transportation of goods. the cloud are simple extensions of the physi- Through its interconnectivity, it also provides cal model. Others, necessarily, must change. access to countries outside of Europe. All are focused on the same fundamental goals of managing the pipe ― however In the cloud, the network is similar to an effi- broad or limited ― to ensure optimal perfor- cient and widespread railway system. It links mance, maintain requisite levels of security, the compute and storage resources that make and facilitate the ongoing flexibility of the up the private cloud, and it provides connectiv- cloud environment. ity to the public cloud. And like the railway system, when provisioned intelligently, clouds Again, like a railroad, the network is not the can deliver a wide variety of payloads across end goal. It is the means by which the ends are the same set of networking pipes. achieved. But, like any transportation system, the less differentiated the service over time, By taring a peoaitire etanie tooaed the more consumers will seek alternativeittin tte etooer managing tte netooer in tte iloud, offerings that have better guarantees to meet enteepeieee ian deamatiially impeore their needs. The cost of failures in service pee oemanie, maintain elaetiiity, can be widespread. By taking a proactive and optimize eetuen on ttie eignifiant stance toward managing the network in the cloud, enterprises can dramatically improve IT inreetment. performance, maintain elasticity, and optimize The cloud relies on flexible interconnections return on this significant IT investment. that facilitate dynamic provisioning, motion, and elasticity, all of which would be impossible Cloud eeriiee Erolution: Tte without network resources. A cloud without Role o etooer eorieioning networking services is undifferentiated — all utomation (oe Oeiteeteation) payloads are delivered equally with little secu- For many services, whether they be trains rity, segmentation, per-customer tracking, or or clouds, the first-to-market offerings are individual accounting. often very basic and increase their service capabilities over time. Trains today have first-, Like the modern-day railway system, the second-, and third-class; express trains; same set of tracks is used to haul different freight trains; grain trains; and so on — all classes of passengers and freight, all with for handling a wide variety of service needs. different delivery requirements. The evolution And as the train system increased its service of clouds must expand to offer differentiated capabilities, the need for more robust sched- services like the railway system. This goal uling and capacity management to maintain can be achieved only through a more efficient a viable system increased as well. 3
  4. 4. Similarly, when you begin to add a diverse and compression are already common in set of virtual machines into a cloud (beyond traditional physical environments — and have the early adopters of clouds who had very been adopted by cloud service providers as basic needs), you need an enhanced set of well. As customers convert to clouds, these services. And while these services may be services remain important yet are provisioned hosted differently within a cloud, moving from in a much more dynamic and automated physical to logical, the need for service at the way. Again the needs do not change, but the application level still exists. What is different platforms in which the services are hosted is that the application is now within a shared and provisioned do change. Continuing to infrastructure and must be scheduled and develop a cloud environment without these managed with other applications sharing components can significantly lessen the value the same physical resources, yet logically of the infrastructure for your users. segmented. By looring at tte moee adranied Nonetheless, many enterprises have paid neede o eeeriie peorideee oe guid- limited attention to the role of the network, anie, enteepeieee ian eee tte utuee having deployed “only” a few thousand virtual o netooer eeeriiee and tte ability to machines (VMs) in their young cloud environ- dynamiially ionfguee ttem in tteie ments, primarily geared toward application iloud enrieonmente. developers and testing teams. In contrast, a tier one or tier two service provider might A case in point with regard to these network deploy hundreds of thousands of VMs for services is dynamic load balancing, which hundreds of customers. As enterprises deploy improves the end-user experience when more production, multi-tier applications in the accessing Web pages from a physical or cloud (each with a database, business logic, virtual server. For example, when an enter- and Web tier), actively managing the network prise faces the end-of-the-quarter close, and its services will become more important the holiday shopping season, or even just a to them as well. surge of traffic to its Web site, load balancing within the network can offload the process- e enteepeieee deploy moee peoduition, multi- ing on the server farm while improving thetiee appliiatione in tte iloud, aitirely managing response time. This capability offers enhancedtte netooer and ite eeeriiee oill beiome moee application delivery performance and ensuresimpoetant to ttem ae oell. productivity within the user community. By looking at the more advanced needs of Many of the applications initially hosted within service providers for guidance, enterprises clouds were not Web front-end-based and can see the future of network services and therefore did not require these services. As the ability to dynamically configure them the adoption of clouds increases, customers in their cloud environments. Security (fire- will want to host their Web applications within walls), quality of service, load balancing, the cloud and will require load balancing 4
  5. 5. services from the network to ensure applica- to complex, multi-tier production applications,Cloud Computing: Redefning oo eeriiee ee eorided eom tion performance. While many of the same proactive network management becomes load balancing rules still apply whether imperative to the scalability and value of the the environment is a dedicated physical cloud environment. infrastructure or now virtual within a cloud, the load balancing platform within the cloud ialing oe Ctange: Extending needs the ability to partition and segment Teaditional Management customer Web traffic into virtual contexts and While many of the traditional best practices of to scale to thousands of Web sessions. network management apply to cloud environ- ments, some elements of the cloud extend Tte earinge aitiered tteougt those traditions to meet the more taxing teaditional data iompeeeeion applied demands of a dynamic infrastructure. Just in a iloud enrieonment ie beioming as the scheduling of trains that can add ieuiial oe eeeriie peorideee ae oell capacity dynamically bears a resemblance ae oe indiridual enteepeieee. to simple scheduling — but with added complexity — the role of standards and This demand often requires bigger, more automation in a cloud environment is like powerful load balancers, while highly leverag- their physical equivalents — but customizedittin tte etooer ing across a great number of customers and for on-demand requirements. virtual machines. Moreover, also needed is an intelligent scheduling and configuration To get tte moet beneft eom tte iloud, bott system that can manage hundreds of load enteepeieee and eeeriie peorideee muet balancing instances across many customers. dynamiially peorieion and ionfguee iloud eeeriiee automatiially. Data compression is another network-based service that can reduce the costs of storage and of the local- and wide-area networks Defne eeriie tandaede required to carry backup and restore traffic. Some railroad lines can accommodate In a cloud environment, where the number high-speed trains. Others are strictly slow- and scale of workloads increase, the criticality train lines. Some trains, of course, can clear of these services is growing, and the potential 100 miles an hour, while others are designed to network burden can be great. The savings be local. Luckily, it is easy to tell the difference achieved through traditional data compression between the trains and their requirements, applied in a cloud environment is becoming because they adhere to a set of standards that crucial for service providers with their mas- the operators can easily consume. sive, multi-customer data requirements, as well as for individual enterprises as their use Managing and moving a cloud service requires of cloud-based services increases. some metadata about the service itself, codi- fied in a standard descriptor. While incredible As enterprise cloud environments grow from progress has been made on the VM front in this serving primarily development and test needs regard, the network side continues to develop. 5
  6. 6. Cisco is working with major service provid- properly leveraging network resources anders to enhance those standards to describe services are appropriately applied.some of the networking services a cloudservice might require, such as multi-tenant utomate to Meet Requieementeprovisioning, network partitioning, firewalls, To get the most benefit from the cloud, bothload balancing, or compression services. Once enterprises and service providers mustimplemented, these standards will provide dynamically provision and configure cloudan abstracted definition of the virtualized services automatically to meet their users’resource that an enterprise or a service needs. Given the scale of a cloud-basedprovider could use to provision a cloud service infrastructure ― tens of thousands of serverswithin any data center, private or public. Until and storage devices — as well as the speedthen, the onus will remain on the enterprise or with which load balancers can move servicesservice provider to ensure cloud services are around the environment, it is impossible for 5 UNIQUE REQUIREMENTS for Service Provider Networks When it comes to basic network management and network services, enterprises and service providers have many of the same needs. But there are five areas where service providers, by virtue of their scale, their business model, and their customers, have very different needs. They are: » The configuration tools and processes to host hundreds of thousands of services within a single cloud — building hundreds or thousands of smaller clouds for individual customers, or even groups of customers, doesn’t provide the economies of scale that generate the maximum ROI » Multi-tenant partitioning provided by network container provisioning, executed with a level of rigor and auditability that may not be required by enterprise customers managing private clouds » Very complete self-service portals that make it easy for large numbers of external customers to establish an account; create, manage, and delete cloud services; and review their bill without the need for manual support or calls to a help desk » Service level monitoring and transparency, ensuring that public cloud customers are consistently apprised of both the service levels delivered and the areas of potential latency in the environment » Billing and service level agreement (SLA) monitoring capabilities, which include tracking the metrics (CPU cycles, storage consumed, number of users, etc.) for each customer and the ability to feed these metrics to customer billing systems 6
  7. 7. humans to make the necessary decisions cloud service automatically. In the JapaneseCloud Computing: Redefning oo eeriiee ee eorided eom quickly enough, even if a company could afford train system, the concept of the women’s car enough trained staff. is similar. Regardless of which train and what time, the women’s car enforces the women- All the functions within the traditional FCAPS only rule. network management model ― fault, con- figuration, accounting, performance, and oerload poetability ie one o tte majoe benefte security ― are also required in the cloud. But o tte iloud. in the cloud, where all are abstracted, execu- tion of those management functions must Managing network containers (the ability to operate without the benefit of hard physical create, change, delete, and take other action visibility. Just as a railway company wouldn’t on the containers) enables automated control manage its train system and traffic flow by of connectivity throughout the infrastructure, analyzing ticket sales data alone, the chal- allowing services to move more flexibly lenge of ensuring service continuity without throughout the cloud while maintaining the the traditional physical cues and correlations appropriate separation from each other. is a task best left to automation. Greater movement means greater ability to optimize capacity, performance, and returnittin tte etooer Geeatee morement meane geeatee on investment (ROI) in the cloud. ability to optimize iapaiity, pee oemanie, and ROI in tte iloud. et eo Requieemente: Only in tte Cloud Enterprises and ser vice providers can Not all network management changes are also automate the provisioning of network natural extensions of their physical brethren. resources. Network containers, a cloud- Some are net new functions required by the ready extension of the virtual local area dynamic environment. Like a swap to driverless network (VLAN) concept, can be created trains might prompt the need for an entirely or allocated at the time the cloud service is different approach to braking — potentially provisioned. Either based on policy or user giving passengers much less whiplash — the selections, the network container defines change to the cloud has enabled some interest- the security rules that govern every cloud ing new network management use cases. service within, and associates firewalls and load balancers accordingly. Eneuee oerload oetability Workload portability is one of the major ben- The network container is abstracted from efits of the cloud, allowing you to move cloud the physical network to which it is connected. services from overburdened servers, storage, Regardless of where the cloud service is or network resources to peer resources that placed, the network container enforces the can better meet performance and reliability connectivity policies associated with that needs. This portability can range from moving 7
  8. 8. an application that needs higher performance uppoet Multi-tenaniy to a server that has excess capacity all the Multi-tenancy is a software architecture that way to migrating complete groups of appli- enables support of multiple clients or tenants cations to a different data center to reduce on a single instance of the software. Rather network latency. than creating and managing separate, individ- ual instances for each tenant, one installation Such portability allows an enterprise to better allows consolidation of physical resources, manage capacity during peak and off-peak change processes, and the IT expertise nec- periods, and allows service providers to essary to maintain the environment. Service make the most efficient use of their massive providers in particular prefer multi-tenant soft- data centers by shifting new workloads to ware architectures, because they maximize the infrastructure that has the most capacity (or provider’s ability to provide the same service even the lowest power costs) at any time. to many customers simultaneously. While the origin and the destination of the Multi-tenant provisioning segregates the workload is often the highlight of any conver- applications and data of different users or sation on workload portability, the network is customers to ensure their isolation and privacy. the means by which it travels. Very much like With privacy and security a longstanding con- the railway system of the cloud, the network cern in their market, service providers routinely and its support for portability are critical to publicize how their multi-tenant architectures the achievement of this type of flexibility in ensure one customer cannot access informa- the infrastructure. tion that belongs to another. However, this network service is becoming more critical forMulti-tenant eoftoaee aeititeitueee maximize enterprises, too, as their clouds serve greatertte peoridee’e ability to peoride tte eame eeeriie portions of their many iuetomeee eimultaneouely. The goal of multi-tenancy is to ensure that The proximity of the network aggregation cloud services are not able to identify their point, the bandwidth capacity for moving peers on the same physical infrastructure. applications and the associated data, and They should be isolated from each other, the configuration of different network con- ensuring that no data can be gathered about tainers can all impact the portability of the each other by any means. The primary mecha- workload. Without the correct identification of nism by which data could be shared is through dependencies between multi-tiered applica- the network traffic reaching the physical server, tions and the maintenance of appropriate intended for another, peer VM on that server. connectivity, the movement of a cloud service Thus, support for multi-tenant infrastructures can wreak havoc on its operations. While often requires network controls. the workload may be portable, the network ensures it can move — and function — when Even within the private cloud of an enterprise, it reaches its destination. such multi-tenant support might be critical. 8
  9. 9. For example, in some industries, regulations components together. Whether the cloud isCloud Computing: Redefning oo eeriiee ee eorided eom mandate that the employee who requisitions operated by an enterprise or a service provider, the purchase of goods or services cannot also the network requires many of the traditional approve the purchase. To meet customer network management functions — and a security requirements, a retailer might need few new ones — to deliver value to the cloud to separate the databases that contain infrastructure. Proper cloud management customer-specific credit card information and services are necessary to deliver the core from those that pool anonymous customer cloud benefits, such as workload portability, data for business intelligence. In such cases, multi-tenancy for capacity management, and an organization might use multi-tenancy to reduced capital and operational expenses. enable both applications to share a cloud envi- ronment, but prevent unauthorized access to tettee tte iloud ie opeeated by an enteepeiee data or applications. oe a eeeriie peoridee, tte netooer eequieee many o tte teaditional netooer management unitione — By implementing multi-tenancy within the and a eo neo onee — to deliree ralue to tte cloud infrastructure, organizations can lend iloud in eaeteuituee. additional flexibility to their capacity planning efforts. If cloud services are blind to each To ensure they support the goals of their cloudittin tte etooer others’ existence, they can more readily inter- initiatives, both the enterprise and the service mingle throughout the infrastructure’s large provider need to consider carefully how to pool of resources, significantly increasing best deploy network services such as load utilization across the infrastructure, and thus balancing, compression, multi-tenancy, and lowering the overall cost for all concerned. basic network provisioning. The payoff will be better optimization, faster ROI, and a more Realize tte Benefte flexible, adaptable cloud environment. Many people think of only virtual servers and virtualized storage when they hear “cloud As with rail travel, we often consider the computing.” In reality, though, no such cloud departure point and the destination. But could exist without a network to link its sometimes, as in life, it’s about the journey. ● About the Author Bill Eedman is a senior director within Cisco’s Service Provider Systems unit and is leading a cloud provisioning and systems management integration team. He has extensive product, market, and customer experience in the cloud market. Erdman is a 16-year veteran within Cisco and has experience in the areas of systems management, high-performance switching, storage area networking, infrastructure convergence, voice, and wireless. Previous to Cisco, Erdman worked for 3Com Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation, and General Electric. He holds a master’s degree in business administration from Babson College. This article appears in VIEWPOINT, Focus on: Cloud Computing, published by BMC Software. To order a complimentary copy of VIEWPOINT, please click here tttp://go.bmi.iom/ oeme/E M_TL_Vieopoint_Cloud_BMCCom_E _Mae2011. 9