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Feb 06

Originally published on February 6th, 2018 on The New Stack by Lee Calcote and Swapnil Bhartiya. 

VMware has played a pivotal role in helping transform the data center by virtualizing compute. The company has also been doing the same with network virtualization.

VMware’s network virtualization platform, called NSX, creates network services like routing, load balancing, firewalling and more. All of it is done in software that can be implemented on any underlying infrastructure as long as it does IP transfer. At a higher level, VMware has essentially decoupled NSX from the underlying physical infrastructure — the product’s key differentiator.

“As a result, we could bring the same networking and security services across different environments and manage them through a single pane of glass,” said Suresh Thiru, senior director, product management at VMware. “This is applicable for east-west traffic and north-south traffic between containers and between pods. NSX can do micro-segmentation at the coarse level and at a granular level.” Continue reading »

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Jan 18

Originally published on January 18th, 2018 on The New Stack by Lee Calcote and Swapnil Bhartiya.

In the cloud-native space, broadly speaking, there are two groups of users: platform operators and developers. And rarely does a new product or service meet the needs of both groups equally well.

Through the recently announced PKS (Pivotal Container Service), VMware and Pivotal — in partnership with Google Cloud — are focused squarely on solving this problem. Their new commercially supported release of the Cloud Foundry Container Runtime promises to make Kubernetes easy to run and operate for virtualization administrators, thus giving development teams the support they want for new initiatives that require reliable infrastructure in the form of Kubernetes running on vSphere or Google Cloud Platform.

By combining Kubernetes with VMware’s infrastructure tooling and multi-cloud capabilities, Pivotal and VMware have created a product that may truly bring devs and ops together. Continue reading »

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Mar 11

Ship with tug (source: tpsdave via Pixabay).

Cloud-native applications are designed to draw upon the performance, scalability, and reliability benefits of distributed systems. Unfortunately, distributed systems often come at the cost of added complexity. As individual components of your application are distributed across networks, and those networks have communication gaps or experience degraded performance, your distributed application components need to continue to function independently.

To avoid inconsistencies in application state, distributed systems should be designed with an understanding that components will fail. Nowhere is this more prominent than in the network. Consequently, at their core, distributed systems rely heavily on load balancing—the distribution of requests across two or more systems—in order to be resilient in the face of network disruption and horizontally scale as system load fluctuates. Continue reading »

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Oct 04

Presented at ContainerizeThis 2016 on Sept. 30th, 2016, this talk is an introduction to container runtimes (engines) and an understanding of when container orchestrators enter and what role they play. We’ll look at what makes them alike, yet unique.

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Sep 17

Microservices present challenges of coordination, SSL termination and socket connection among others. Looking to different cloud providers to assist with their load-balancers leaves you wanting as features socket connection support, SSL termination and geo-distributed load-balancing are often absent.

Presented at Nginx Conference 2016 on Sept. 8th, 2016.

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Sep 16

glen-canyon

Originally published on The New Stack on Sept. 4th, 2016.

There are two proposed standards for configuring network interfaces for Linux containers: the container network model (CNM) and the container network interface (CNI). Networking is complex, and there are many ways to deliver functionality. Arguments can be made as to which one is easier to adopt than the next, or which one is less tethered to their benefactor’s technology.

When evaluating any technology, some important considerations are community adoption and support. Some perspectives have been formed on which model has a lower barrier to entry. Finding the right metrics to determine the velocity of a project is tricky. Plugin vendors also need to consider the relative ease by which plugins may be written for either of these two models. Continue reading »

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Sep 14

container-rope

Originally published on The New Stack on Sept. 4th, 2016.

While many gravitate toward network overlays as a popular approach to addressing container networking across hosts, the functions and types of container networking vary greatly and are worth better understanding as you consider the right type for your environment. Some types are container engine-agnostic, and others are locked into a specific vendor or engine. Some focus on simplicity, while others on breadth of functionality or on being IPv6-friendly and multicast-capable. Which one is right for you depends on your application needs, performance requirements, workload placement (private or public cloud), etc. Let’s review the more commonly available types of container networking.

There are various ways in which container-to-container and container-to-host connectivity are provided. This article focuses primarily on a breakdown of current container networking types, including:

  • None
  • Bridge
  • Overlay
  • Underlay

Continue reading »

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Sep 01

Presented at LinuxCon+ContainerCon, August 2016. Includes Swarm 1.12, Kubernetes, Mesos+Marathon.

(slides)

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Apr 26

Running a few containers? No problem. Running hundreds or thousands? Enter the container orchestrator. Let’s take a look at the characteristics of the three most popular container orchestrators and what makes them alike, yet unique.

Relax and Recharge at the Rackspace Cantina During OpenStack Summit Austin

Look for more detail in my upcoming book Developer Defined Infrastructure using Tectonic and Kubernetes.

The slides from my talk have been posted.

OpenStack Summit Austin: Container Day

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Mar 24

DSC_0008

Originally posted on Network World on March 24th, 2016.

For the uninitiated, Kubernetes is an opinionated framework for building distributed systems or as its tagline states “an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and operations of applications.” While a hot topic at various conferences, Kubernetes is the sole technological focus at KubeCon. KubeCon is a conference dedicated to education and community engagement of Kubernauts (Kubernetes enthusiasts). Continue reading »

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