Vyatta 6.1: Bridging The Cloud

August 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm 3 comments

“It’s a small world but I wouldn’t want to have to paint it.”
Steven Wright
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One of the base assumptions of cloud computing is the use of the Internet to connect datacenters regardless of where they are on the globe.  Enterprise datacenter to cloud datacenter… cloud datacenters to each other… geographically dispersed, but seamlessly connected.

Building on that assumption is the inherent promise of being able to move virtual machines between datacenters without interrupting service.  VM migration is key to the value of virtualization, and central to cloud’s value proposition of flexibility and dynamicism.

However, moving VMs around the globe introduces the problem of networking continuity.  VMs in Datacenter 1 are moving packets around on that physical LAN and accessing core services on it.  When the VM is moved to Datacenter 2, those links are broken and the VM blackholes.

To address this, there needs to be network transparency between different LANs, regardless of how physically dispersed they are.  If geographic differences between the networks  becomes transparent, then VMs can migrate freely and applications will function with no re-architecting needed.

Introducing the “cloud bridge.” With this network transparency in place VMs are now free to move around the world.

Vyatta just released Version 6.1 which includes cloud bridging (among a swath of other feature advancements).  Leveraging Vyatta’s layer 2 capabilities and VPN functionality, Vyatta’s cloud bridging is a fairly unique capability right now.

Source: Citrix

Citrix has been at the forefront of articulating the need for cloud bridging; expect other industry bodies to be echoing this requirement in the very near future.  It is an absolute necessity in achieving a key tenet of cloud computing’s advantage.

But it’s worth stepping back a bit and taking a larger view of Vyatta’s evolution.  While this new feature highlights Vyatta’s direct applicability to cloud networking, it also shows off our extremely rapid pace of feature development.  No other network OS in the world innovates at the pace of Vyatta. Version 6 was launched 5 months ago, and now with Version 6.1 we’ve added cloud bridging, IPv6 certification, stateful firewall failover, and intrusion detection.  The leveraged power of our open-source development model is massive, and our pace isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Not having our software roadmap constrained by proprietary hardware packaging lets Vyatta continue to wreak constructive havoc on the rapidly changing world of networking.  It’s fabulous fun being in the right place at the right time 😉

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jason J. W. Williams  |  September 14, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    The Citrix example of cloud bridge using Vyatta connects SoftLayer to Amazon Cloud. Do you have an arrangement with SoftLayer for your images? Or was Vyatta somehow installed differently at SoftLayer?

    Reply
    • 2. Kelly Herrell  |  September 17, 2010 at 12:43 pm

      AFAIK, softlayer uses Xen as the hypervisor. I believe they just used our XVA.

      Reply
  • 3. Tom McCafferty  |  September 17, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Citrix uses Softlayer for their demo environments. Any Vyatta images hosted within SoftLayer today were installed by Citrix for the purpose of demonstrating bridging and their in-house networking technologies (Netscaler, Branch Repeater etc) in a live cloud environment.

    Reply

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