A Network Virtualization fairy tale . . .

I recently had the opportunity to co-present at vForum Singapore 2015 along with Al Da Silva from Juniper on the topic – “Smart Software is Indispensable, Smart Networking Hardware is Fundamental”

The flow of the presentation starts with the Value of SDDC and why it is the way forward.

We then provided a basic overview of what NSX is all about, while at it we also debunked some questions and myths around Network Virtualization such as , “Are we replacing Network hardware through NSX ?” or “Are the network engineers’ career doomed !!!”

Not really, to understand better draw a parallel of what was done in the Server Virtualization space. We consolidated x86 servers into more powerful hardware and enabled phenomenal features like vMotion, HA , DRS that transformed the way servers were managed.

By doing so we met the following objectives – Capex/Opex reduction, better resiliency, better operations management and automation capabilities and most importantly we delivered IT as a Service in the most optimal, efficient and rapid pace.

Very similarly from a networking standpoint, we want to be able to implement Network & Security Services such as load balancing, firewall, switching & routing from the software layer to accomplish the same objectives. We obviously are not getting rid of the physical networking gear, we actually need the IP backplane to be able to scale and optimize to meet the requirements of a Software Defined Networking.

We got into more details as we spoke about the convergence of Overlay and Underlay networks. We discussed tunneling as an example to demonstrate how different VxLAN replication modes require the physical network to be configured in a certain way to be able to build a robust L2 over L3. Juniper is able to provide “Single Switch management ” capabilities via Virtual Chassis Fabric. This is being positioned as the ideal fabric layout for the SDDC.

We then delved into how SDDC created newer challenges that were non-existent in conventional datacenter, for instance in a multi-tenant cloud how we cannot allow IP workloads run adjacently i.e. on the same ESX host without sufficient protection. This obviously requires security at the Virtual NIC level. With Micro-segmentation we are able to achieve just that, traffic is intercepted and governed even before it hits the “Virtual Wire”.

My favorite part of the session was the Management integration,VROPS NSX Management Pack together with Juniper Network Director provide amazing management and monitoring capabilities. For instance a drop down menu has a list of overlay identifiers(VNI), at the click of the VNI we can see all the VM’s running across various different hosts and their datapaths. Troubleshooting made easy isn’t it.

I’ve attached the presentation deck for your reading pleasure, it’s mostly self explanatory, but obviously not the same as being part of the live session.

If there is any ambiguity, drop me a note – cedric.rajendran@gmail.com


..a true fairy tale in the technology arena



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