Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: William Schmarzo, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Dana Gardner, Christopher Keene

Related Topics: SDN Journal, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo

SDN Journal: Blog Feed Post

Bandwidth, Bandwidth, Bandwidth!

To really provision bandwidth efficiently you have to get inside the application

One of the most commonly cited use cases for SDN (the classical, architectural definition) centers on ensuring quality of service for applications, usually by adjusting bandwidth constraints and prioritization, sometimes dynamically based on the operating conditions present on the network.

In such a scenario the application magically informs the SDN controller of its bandwidth and service-level requirements and the controller adjusts the network and distributes the appropriate flow tables to the network fabric to support the application.

This is a great vision, but it is not without challenges.

The most significant obstacle is actually not getting the application to talk to the SDN controller. Northbound APIs could be used for this purpose, or some other API-based mechanism that is used to instruct the controller on application specific requirements. Let's not rat hole on that and assume that this is easily enough accomplished.

At this point the SDN controller has some requirements dictated by an application. Given the way in which an SDN controller distributes forwarding information to the network fabric, one has to ask how the SDN controller will represent the requirements of the application and, more importantly, how it will distribute those requirements.

Assuming a classical SDN architecture and the use of OpenFlow or a protocol similar in capability, the flow table in the network fabric will only be able to distinguish packets on a per-IP / port combination. Let's assume that's an accurate representation of the overall topology; that is, every application has a distinct IP / port combination. That means the SDN controller can, in fact, push flow table rules that are able to provision the appropriate bandwidth for those application flows as well enforce prioritization (if that's needed, too).

So far so good. You're thinking I'm barking up a pedantic tree or something, aren't here? Nope, here comes a significant problem starting with the question: How does the application define its need for bandwidth?

"Applications" today are comprised of a variety of functions and capabilities ranging from the delivery of simple text to dozens of images to embedded multi-media to video (and probably a few others I'm missing). The bandwidth needs of video is different from text is different from images is different for real-time messaging applications. Sensitivity to latency, throughput, bandwidth - these characteristics are peculiar to content-types, not the application itself (capabilities of the client-side network and device not withstanding, either). Given an application will varying - sometimes wildly - content types and requirements, should it simply request from the network the highest throughput and lowest latency required of all content being delivered? That's terribly inefficient.

HTTP is the new TCP
At the root of the problem is the reality that HTTP is the new TCP, with a significant percentage (62% in our research) of applications all using HTTP. A smaller percentage of those applications use port 8080 and port 443, but are still HTTP. In an increasingly API-enabled application world, the best chance we have to profile bandwidth needs for an "application" is at the URI level.

http-the-new-tcp-f5All the interesting application-layer stuff is going on above layer 7 (HTTP) or more precisely within layer 7, in the payload (and across multiple packets and flows, but that's a different discussion). To really define the specific bandwidth needs of an application you have to look at the content being delivered. In many cases that content-type can be deduced from clues in the URI (file extensions like JPG, PNG, CSS, etc...) or extracted from the HTTP header Content-Type, which spells it out. In either case, you must be able to inspect and evaluate data in the HTTP payload, not merely IP and TCP parameters.

The biggest problem is that the current SDN architectural model, which focuses heavily on packet and flow-based processing, does not have the depth of visibility necessary to properly distinguish content type within an application and thus apply routing and forwarding policies based on each content type's unique requirements. An application delivering both video (a plurality of video is delivered via HTTP today, and it's increasing rapidly) and text will either need to be optimized for one or the other, but not both. The same is true for images, and even for different delivery models (push, pull, real-time, static) of text-based information.

To do that you need visibility into the application, down to the payload in some cases. That's just not a capability that the classical SDN architecture today is able to provide, for a variety of reasons. Current SDN architectures assume visibility and action on L2-4 only. Unfortunately the data necessary is at and above L7.

Ultimately the answer to this conundrum is to include L7 capable data path elements in the SDN architecture. The standard L2-3 SDN fabric can then optimally route packets through the network based on general, application-oriented network requirements while allowing the L7 aware data path elements the ability to do what they do best: inspect, analyze, evaluate and even modify (optimize) application messages in order to optimally deliver data to the end-user.

Application awareness, as it's often referred to, is not enough. To really ensure the network - and thus SDN - is able to offer application-specific services in the network requires application fluency. And application fluency isn't something you find by peeking at packets from layer 2-4. You've got to go deeper - to layer 7 and beyond.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Lori MacVittie

Lori MacVittie is responsible for education and evangelism of application services available across F5’s entire product suite. Her role includes authorship of technical materials and participation in a number of community-based forums and industry standards organizations, among other efforts. MacVittie has extensive programming experience as an application architect, as well as network and systems development and administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning Senior Technology Editor at Network Computing Magazine, where she conducted product research and evaluation focused on integration with application and network architectures, and authored articles on a variety of topics aimed at IT professionals. Her most recent area of focus included SOA-related products and architectures. She holds a B.S. in Information and Computing Science from the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, and an M.S. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University.

@CloudExpo Stories
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Redis is not only the fastest database, but it is the most popular among the new wave of databases running in containers. Redis speeds up just about every data interaction between your users or operational systems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Dave Nielsen, Developer Advocate, Redis Labs, will share the functions and data structures used to solve everyday use cases that are driving Redis' popularity.
To leverage Continuous Delivery, enterprises must consider impacts that span functional silos, as well as applications that touch older, slower moving components. Managing the many dependencies can cause slowdowns. See how to achieve continuous delivery in the enterprise.
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
"Software-defined storage is a big problem in this industry because so many people have different definitions as they see fit to use it," stated Peter McCallum, VP of Datacenter Solutions at FalconStor Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Deploying applications in hybrid cloud environments is hard work. Your team spends most of the time maintaining your infrastructure, configuring dev/test and production environments, and deploying applications across environments – which can be both time consuming and error prone. But what if you could automate provisioning and deployment to deliver error free environments faster? What could you do with your free time?
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addres...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
The competitive landscape of the global cloud computing market in the healthcare industry is crowded due to the presence of a large number of players. The large number of participants has led to the fragmented nature of the market. Some of the major players operating in the global cloud computing market in the healthcare industry are Cisco Systems Inc., Carestream Health Inc., Carecloud Corp., AGFA Healthcare, IBM Corp., Cleardata Networks, Merge Healthcare Inc., Microsoft Corp., Intel Corp., an...
Cloud analytics is dramatically altering business intelligence. Some businesses will capitalize on these promising new technologies and gain key insights that’ll help them gain competitive advantage. And others won’t. Whether you’re a business leader, an IT manager, or an analyst, we want to help you and the people you need to influence with a free copy of “Cloud Analytics for Dummies,” the essential guide to this explosive new space for business intelligence.
Aspose.Total for .NET is the most complete package of all file format APIs for .NET as offered by Aspose. It empowers developers to create, edit, render, print and convert between a wide range of popular document formats within any .NET, C#, ASP.NET and VB.NET applications. Aspose compiles all .NET APIs on a daily basis to ensure that it contains the most up to date versions of each of Aspose .NET APIs. If a new .NET API or a new version of existing APIs is released during the subscription peri...
Enterprise networks are complex. Moreover, they were designed and deployed to meet a specific set of business requirements at a specific point in time. But, the adoption of cloud services, new business applications and intensifying security policies, among other factors, require IT organizations to continuously deploy configuration changes. Therefore, enterprises are looking for better ways to automate the management of their networks while still leveraging existing capabilities, optimizing perf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA) has announced that NoviFlow Inc.has deployed IxNetwork® to validate the company’s designs and accelerate the delivery of its proven, reliable products. Based in Montréal, NoviFlow Inc. supports network carriers, hyperscale data center operators, and enterprises seeking greater network control and flexibility, network scalability, and the capacity to handle extremely large numbers of flows, while maintaining maximum network performance. To meet these requirements, NoviFlow in...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Continuous testing helps bridge the gap between developing quickly and maintaining high quality products. But to implement continuous testing, CTOs must take a strategic approach to building a testing infrastructure and toolset that empowers their team to move fast. Download our guide to laying the groundwork for a scalable continuous testing strategy.