There are three emerging data centre networking technologies dealing with the challenges of rapid expansion of cloud computing and server virtualization: Standards for Data Centre Bridging, Software Defined Networks (SDNs) and Virtualization Overlays
InterPort Software Solutions for Standards Based Data Center Networking
A standards based approach driven by IEEE and its Data Centre Bridging Task group consists of new protocols or enhancements to existing protocols to address requirements for highly reliable, low-latency, lossless and high bandwidth Ethernet connections in Data Centre Networks. Such protocols are implemented and deployed on data centre networking equipment, such as Top of Rack/End of Rack switches, or Data Centre Edge devices.
The InterPort Software Solutions for Data Centre Networking provides a set of independent portable, standards compliant software modules, architected for deployment into the data centre equipment control plane. A datasheet for the Standards Based Data Center Networking Solutions can be downloaded here.
InterPort Software Solutions for Software Defined Networking (SDN)
Software Defined Networking (SDN) represents a novel and rapidly emerging technology aimed at decoupling the data and control planes. Hence, instead of the classical network equipment architecture, where the network intelligence was distributed among the network equipments and the forwarding paths were determined based on the collaborative interactions of the control plane protocols running in each device, the SDN architecture is based on a logically centralized, programmable network controller which manages distributed forwarding data planes. Standards such as OpenFlow describe the interface between the centralized controllers and the forwarding network elements.
In this architecture, SDN controlled forwarding network equipment does not need to implement and run control plane protocols. Moreover, the forwarding paths, the protection mechanisms or the performance monitoring within the SDN network are defined through centralized algorithms implemented in the SDN controller rather than by the peer protocols such as RSTP/MSTP, G.8031 or Shortest Path Bridging. However, the SDN networks must interoperate with non-SDN devices in the data centre or in the WAN. Hence, the SDN controllers must be able to process the packets and interoperate with the protocol instances running on the devices connected to the SDN network. This is particularly important for protocols such as LLDP, which propagate network capabilities and define Congestion Notification Domains or protocols which generate topology change notifications to the network.
The SDN edition of the InterPort protocols is architected for deployment on scalable SDN controllers allowing seamless integration between SDN networks and standard based devices.
InterPort Software Solutions for Network Virtualization Overlays
Network virtualization overlays have been developed by IETF to provide large scale network isolation solutions for cloud computing. In particular, each tenant within the data centre requires its own logically isolated Layer 2 network for its virtualized servers. Moreover, as workload migration becomes a norm in the virtualized environments, Layer 2 virtual networks must span over L3 physical boundaries. Such requirements are addressed by various network overlay technologies such as VXLAN, NVGRE or NVO3. In practical terms, the virtualization overlay protocols define encapsulation methods for native L2 frames. Virtualization endpoints (such as NVO3’s Virtual Access Points) are located either on the physical devices in the data centre network (Top of Rack switches) or as port of virtual switches (vSwitches) in the hypervisors. The encapsulation creates a logical overlay network. This is required to support fault isolation and performance monitoring mechanisms s well as the defect notification to the upper layers. OAM requirements for network overlays are current under discussion within the IETF.
The Network Overlay edition of the InterPort protocols provides standard based solutions for the network overlay level performance monitoring, fault isolation and path protection and the protocols are architected for seamless integration into the Virtual Access Points of the network virtualization infrastructure, be it Top of Rack physical switches of hypervisor based vSwitches.