Home > Blogs > The Network Virtualization Blog > Monthly Archives: July 2013

Monthly Archives: July 2013

Network Virtualization In Action: Phoenix NAP

Phoenix NAP® is a full service data center and primary network access point (NAP) offering cloud services, dedicated server hosting, colocation, and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). William Bell, vice president of product development, cloud and enterprise services at Phoenix NAP, tells us that the company has implemented VMware network virtualization as a business-critical component of their new Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC).

“Network virtualization forms the foundation of everything else we’re able to do from a service delivery perspective, and it’s a major reason why we were able to extend our services globally to increase our business opportunities.”

 

Phoenix NAP’s VPDC combines leading-edge technologies, including network virtualization from VMware, to enable customers to rapidly extend their current IT environments to the cloud without high costs or lengthy timelines. Using VMware network virtualization technology, Phoenix NAP dynamically create virtual networks with advanced security services that are completely decoupled and independent from the physical network hardware. Phoenix NAP abstracts the network from physical underlying hardware to provide an integrated point-and-click network environment that enables customers to deploy their product closer to their locations. This allows Phoenix NAP to more efficiently utilize existing data center infrastructure, while reconnecting legacy environments within virtualized networks for customers.

“Network virtualization from VMware has freed us from the constraints of physical networking. We have more flexibility in determining where, when and how we advanced cloud services to our customers, and we have the agility to expand and contract those services in near real-time in an automated and programmatic way.”

 

The use of network virtualization reduces the time it takes Phoenix NAP to help customers extend their IT infrastructure to the cloud and more easily adopt infrastructure-as-a-service to improve their business agility.

Roger Fortier, VMware, Inc.

Network Virtualization Production Deployments Continue to Rise

It was interesting to read this post on TechTarget that posed the question, “Is network virtualization real or just vaporware?” The facts are pretty clear that network virtualization is being deployed in production networks today to create business opportunities and solve infrastructure challenges for real-world customers.

For example, NTT Communications, one of the world’s largest telecommunications providers, announced it is deploying network virtualization as foundation for its new service enterprise cloud service.

WorldPay has deployed network virtualization to enable user self-provisioning and support around-the-clock development to speed the delivery of new line-of-business applications. By virtualizing the network, WorldPay gains operational simplicity to quickly create development environments in a non-disruptive way, and has on-demand access to network services such as load balancing and firewalls.

How about ViaWest, one of the largest privately-held data center, cloud computing and managed service providers in North America? Network virtualization provides ViaWest with a more efficient way of deploying cloud services than traditional hardware-defined networking approaches, leading to lower overall costs and a more consistent customer experience.

Or Logicworks, which specializes in private, public and hybrid cloud solutions for a broad array of industries, including a cloud offering focused specifically on the emerging healthcare market. Network virtualization enables Logicworks to be flexible in meeting app-specific infrastructure requirements for healthcare customers in a fraction of the time it would take to deploy applications using traditional, physical infrastructure.

To his credit, the author took all of the feedback and comments in stride. He wrote a follow up post on his own blog where he answers his own question, saying, There’s no question that network virtualization is real and is a serious force in the market.”

I’m glad the industry as a whole is starting to see potential for our VMware NSX network virtualization platform. We look forward to delivering on both the potential and the excitement which the author highlighted.

Roger Fortier, VMware, Inc.

Network Virtualization – Monitoring And Troubleshooting Series

This post was written by Martin Casado and Amar Padmanahban, with input from Scott Lowe, Bruce Davie, and T. Sridhar, and appeared on the Network Heresy Blog. There is a lot of discussion in the market surrounding. They will be publishing  a multi-part discussion on visibility and debugging in networks that provide network virtualization, and specifically in the case where virtualization is implemented using edge overlays.

Visibility, Debugging and Network Virtualization (Part 1)

In this post, we’re primarily going to cover some background, including current challenges to visibility and debugging in virtual data centers, and how the abstractions provided by virtual networking provide a foundation for addressing them. The macro point is that much of the difficulty in visibility and troubleshooting in today’s environments is due to the lack of consistent abstractions that both provide an aggregate view of distributed state and hide unnecessary complexity. And that network virtualization not only provides virtual abstractions that can be used to directly address many of the most pressing issues, but also provides a global view that can greatly aid in troubleshooting and debugging the physical network as well.

A Messy State of Affairs –>read more.

 

What is a Distributed Firewall?

In the post “What is Network Virtualization?” I described a model where the application’s complete L2-L7 virtual network is decoupled from hardware and moved into a software abstraction layer for the express purpose of automation and business agility. In this post I’ll focus on network security, and describe an imminent firewall form factor enabled by Network Virtualization — the Distributed Firewall.

ALL YOUR PACKET ARE BELONG TO US

If InfoSec ruled the world … well, OK, maybe not the world … if InfoSec ruled the data center network design, and if money was no object, we would probably have something like this. Every server in the data center directly connected to its own port on one massive firewall. Every packet sent from every server would be inspected against a stateful security policy before going anywhere. And every packet received by every server would pass one final policy check before hitting the server’s NIC receive buffer. The firewall wouldn’t care about the IP address of the servers, for the simple reason that it’s directly connected to every server. E.g. “The server on this port can talk to the server on that port, on TCP port X”. And if that wasn’t good enough, the firewall knows everything about the servers connected to it, and can create rules around a rich set of semantics. All of this with no performance penalty. That would be awesome, right? Continue reading

Thinking Out Loud: The Future of VLANs

This post originally appeared on the blog of Scott Lowe, a member of the VMware team and is a tremendous resource for information about all things virtualization. 

It’s interesting to me how much the idea of a VLAN has invaded the consciousness of data center IT professionals. Data center folks primarily tasked with managing compute workloads are nearly as familiar with VLANs as their colleagues primarily tasked with managing network connectivity. However, as networking undergoes a transformation at the hands of SDN, NFV, and network virtualization, what will happen to the VLAN? Continue reading