Businesses are increasingly using service providers to host critical applications and data in order to better control the security and availability of the data and to mitigate the expenses associated with hosting and serving data locally to the entire business user base. They access these applications and data over the service provider’s business edge network. This creates a challenge for the service provider, because their customers measure the success of the network by its ability to handle critical data and provide a superior user experience. With more and more applications and data centralized, the importance of the network, and its role in the success of the business, becomes ever more critical.
If you are considering how best to do Layer 2 stretch for virtual machine mobility, then you might be considering Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV). OTV designed by Cisco to offer L2 stretch with what they said was an easy to deploy protocol. It was only available on the Nexus switching product line, which didn’t support VPLS/MPLS. Until recently MPLS/VPLS was Juniper’s recommended technology for network segmentation and Layer 2 stretch, which Cisco also offers on the ASR routers. We’ve recently announced E-VPN, which is MPLS/VPLS based and brings all of the benefits of VPLS and then some. Cisco has announced E-VPN on the ASR router as well. Now that E-VPN is available, maybe it’s time to consider your best option. Let’s take a look at why OTV isn’t the best choice for VM mobility and why E-VPN is.
Organizations are increasingly using virtual machine mobility to optimize server resources, ensure application performance and to aid in disaster avoidance. Typically VM live migration has relied on increasing the scale of the L2 broadcast domain to ensure that the VMs can be reached after migrations using their current addressing. This has resulted in the increasing use of VLANs and the need for L2 extension over the WAN. As a result organizations are looking for ways overcome the limitations with VLAN scale and for methods to extend the L2 domain over the WAN that ensure the best performance. VxLAN has emerged as an alternative technology to VLANs, and EVPN has emerged at a better way to transport VMs over the WAN. Together these technologies can enable VM live migration over the WAN, or long distance Motion in VMware parlance, but they need to all work together effectively and this is where OVSDB, VxLAN routing and a new technology from Juniper called ORE come in to play.
Organizations need to insure that their applications are available and performing. Server virtualization helps by enabling virtual machine mobility. If a server is overworked or will be unavailable vMotion can be used to migrate live workloads to another server in the current data center or in another data center. This requires that the addressing including the MAC, IP address and VLAN ID remain the same so that sessions are not dropped when the VM move happens. This is done by extending the L2 domain to the new location, know as Layer 2 stretch. Within a subnet this is easy to do. Across subnets in the data center it becomes more difficult. Doing live migration over the WAN introduces considerable challenges. Juniper has introduced a number of technologies to make virtual machine live migration possible.
In conversations with customers across the Asia Pacific, one recurrent topic has been the constant uphill battle they face in managing the complexity of their IT environment with limited IT resources. As their organisations grow, the traditional approach to connecting more users and servers and rolling out more applications, has been to deploy more ports and switches. This has inevitably led to a proliferation of interconnected devices resulting in more devices to manage and troubleshoot.
As we look back on the last couple of weeks there was a lot of news about networking that we are still taking in. The networking industry is evolving and there are important considerations to make as you build out your networks. We are seeing an ever increasing need for bandwidth, a need for greater application awareness and the need to quickly provision, trouble shoot and adapt the network to ensure application performance and availability. As a result we are seeing a transition to software defined networks. If you are building networks to serve your business then you are probably considering how your choices today will affect your ability to respond to the changes that come in the future. How do you get to where you need to be? What is best for your organization?
Organizations are rolling out new applications that they use to drive the business. These applications are virtualized. They are increasingly distributed, dynamic and they can span locations. They connect employees, customers and the supply chain. They make employees more productive, help customers to engage with the business and facilitate better inventory management. They also provide timely business intelligence. This means revenue to the organization. Time to deploy is critical. Organizations need to be agile when it comes to deploying new applications.
If your organization is going through a data center transformation project you are probably looking at your options for switching infrastructure. As you design your network to support the move to virtualized compute infrastructure and the roll out of new application deployments the choice of switching infrastructure becomes a critical decision. One of the most versatile switching platforms on the market is Juniper’s QFX Series 10GbE/40GbE devices. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many of our customers about the projects that they are using the QFX switches for and why they chose it over the other options in the market. I’d like to share these examples with you.
In order ensure application performance and increase productivity across the organization while trying to keep budgets under control Enterprise organizations have been increasingly evaluating and implementing a series of new technologies for the past few years. These technologies hold out the promise of increasing the agility of new application rollouts that deliver game changing services, and meeting the needs of the organization to understand the business and make timely and well informed decisions as well as meeting the changing needs of the organization as they adapt to moves, consolidations and mergers.
Throughout Europe and the rest of the world the most recognizable name in motor racing is the Formula One Grand Prix. If you follow Formula One racing then you know that last weekend the teams came back from their summer break. Now they are at a turning point in their strategy. It’s time for the teams to decide where to focus their development efforts. Should they focus on winning points this year, or on designing a car that will win next year? With the rewriting of the rules for car design for 2014 this decision is especially difficult. You may be wondering what this means for Juniper and for networking. The answer is quite a lot. Juniper provides networking equipment to the Lotus F1 Team and their driver Kimi Raikkonen was 2nd in the driver’s championship running until last Sunday’s race in Belgium. Data analysis and computer aided design are keys to determining a winning strategy and to building a winning car.
We are continuing on a long transition from the physical data center to the virtual data center. Resources that were wholly physical are being virtualized. Resources that were static are now dynamic. This trend started with server virtualization and has expanded to network virtualization. With the move to virtualization you have made progress in gaining better utilization your physical resources. You are using fewer physical servers but they are larger and denser. There are more virtual machines and more network ports to connect them. This has created an exponential growth in the number of interactions that you must make on the network to get everything connected and communicating. The challenge is in the time it takes to get work done. Let’s look at some tools that Juniper provides to make your life easier.
Similar to the data center, organizations are growing increasingly reliant on the wide area network that connects data centers to help them run their businesses. While the WAN is key to data backup plans for maintaining business continuity, many WAN links aren’t up to the task. Standards-based data center interconnect technology could help you keep operating in the face of a disaster, but some reengineering of the WAN might be in order if the plan is going to work.
Storage and data network convergence holds the promise to transform the data center and make it a more cost effective operation for the Enterprise. There is the potential for considerable savings as a result of reducing the number of network interface cards per server, reducing cabling, and lowering the power and cooling draw, as well as having one less physical network to manage. The change is made possible by the capability to transport Fiber Channel frames over 10 GB Ethernet using Fiber Channel over Ethernet technology. Making the transition isn’t an easy task though. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations and how the transition can be made more easily.
Software Defined Networking represents the biggest change to the network in many years. What makes SDN interesting is the transformation that it can enable. Businesses are looking for more control over their applications on the network. SDN promises to deliver agility and simplification in the network to support applications. With SDN, the network becomes more efficient and agile, and an enabler for delivering on business goals for application performance. As a buyer, it’s understandably difficult to separate the hype from the reality. I’d like to suggest a few points to consider as you map out your SDN strategy.
Juniper will be at Interop Las Vegas from May 7 to May 9 at booth 1751. We have a lot going on and hope that you will come by to see our new products and meet our team. We will be featuring 8 demo areas in the booth that will include a look at the new EX9200 programmable core switch and the JunosV Contrail overlay network technology. There will be a presentation theater that will feature 4 presentations on topics including SDN and the virtual data center. We will also have meeting rooms so that you can discuss your network requirements with our executives and technology specialists.
CK has been with Juniper for 6 years covering data center since he first join from IBM. He has 20+ years of network experience working as a network engineer in a large local SI, in Novell Systems, Intel and as Specialist in IBM. He travels frequently around APAC meeting up with CIOs and Senior VPs on some of their data center challenges and issues they faced.