Thursday, January 23, 2014

OpenDaylight Summit Keynote Spotlight: Jun Park [feedly]

OpenDaylight Summit Keynote Spotlight: Jun Park
// OpenDaylight blogs

Jun Park

The promise of software-defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) to alleviate complexity and improve agility is achievable and has already been deployed in many cases, but there are still challenges to overcome for SDN and NFV to become ubiquitous. So how do we get there?

We asked Jun Park, senior systems architect at EIG/Bluehost. His keynote at next month's OpenDaylight Summit will discuss how EIG/Bluehost has been successfully utilizing SDN technology in one of the company's largest data centers and why they've realized the need to a more holistic approach in exploiting SDN.

Can you give us a preview of your talk? Where does SDN/NFV go from here?
For over a year, we at EIG/Bluehost have been successfully utilizing SDN technology in one of our largest data centers where we are managing more than 20,000 compute nodes using OpenStack. I would like to share our experiences of SDN in production with the OpenDaylight community, hoping that our findings can serve as meaningful input from a user's perspective. Even with an initial success with SDN in our cloud platform, we recognize the need for a more holistic approach in exploiting SDN. We consider OpenDaylight as one of the promising candidates for exploiting SDN/NFV.

What do you think the biggest stories will be for the networking industry in 2014?
Although non-trivial to predict, given that network virtualization is a critical component virtually in any cloud environment, we first see that SDN in 2014 will begin to be deployed in more production environments that require multi-tenant isolated networks. Second, the combinational use of overlay networks such as VxLAN, NVGRE, and STT in SDN will be the most common use cases mainly due to the agnostic behavior of overlay networks to underlying network infrastructure. Several merchant silicon including Broadcom/Trident II have already provided VxLAN support which in turn drives more practical approaches to SDN deployments.

With respect to OpenDaylight, one possible scenario in 2014 is that OpenDaylight is not only added to OpenStack as a Neutron plugin, but it could become the default SDN controller framework. I am one of those people who would like to see such a milestone. However, a question would be how effectively OpenDaylight would cooperate with other cloud platforms such as OpenStack.

From your perspective, where can SDN/NFV really shine this year?
For years the industry has significantly invested in SDN/NFV. Although we have been seeing promising progress, we also have observed frustrations and criticism of SDN. Recent high profile success stories of utilizing SDN, including Google's B4 WAN and our (EIG/Bluehost) SDN network application in OpenStack, may successfully encourage and convince those who remain concerned about production usage of SDN/NFV. A promising success story for SDN will be in data centers where you can prove all the benefits of SDN/NFV in terms of the reduction in CAPEX and OPEX. We have already found in our own data center that SDN has reduced both CAPEX and OPEX by an order of magnitude.

Which SDN or NFV myth are you constantly debunking?
Separating out control plane from data plane has turned out to be a mere starting point of the ultimate goal of "controlling networks by software." There are many concerns that need to be clearly and properly addressed. We should be able to see production-quality SDN solutions that are secure, dependable, and truly scalable. The simple transition of moving control from network hardware into SDN controllers does not mean our problem is resolved. It may end up with a simple transfer of the underlying problem from one to others with no true solution. The switch/router vendors' support for SDN/NFV is always a big question mark from an economic perspective. More specifically, would merchant silicon be evolving towards SDN/NFV? Are there obstacles in applying SDN/NFV approaches? Although not quite ready to answer them, those concerns interestingly derive the preference of using overlay networks because they could run on top of conventional network fabric without causing much hassle and long delay.

Why is open source so important to the networking industry?
Open source is not only a critical driving force for the industry to accept SDN/NFV, but also an important foundation to an open ecosystem where all components are well designed via standards and associated open source. As a good example, the OpenFlow protocol support by OpenvSwitch in Linux kernel is definitely a vital component in an SDN framework. Such virtual switch support on hosts changes the view of future network architectures because now edge switches come down from top-of-rack switches to those virtual switches on hosts.

How would you describe the networking infrastructure of the future?
Historically the network infrastructure has been one of the most notorious resources for not being virtualized in a meaningful or desirable way. Given an increase in demand for being able to virtualize networks in data centers, it seems obvious that we will continue to see the industry strive to achieve such a goal. An ideal (maybe too ideal though) network infrastructure would be flexible and controllable enough to adaptively react to the ever-changing demands of bandwidth, latency, policy and security in production environments.

What is the future of SDN/NFV and where does OpenDaylight fit in?
I expect to see more use cases for SDN/NFV in various fields including DDoS attack mitigation, traffic engineering and network virtualization. I anticipate that OpenDaylight might be a good fit for such applications.

Dr. Jun Park recently joined EIG/Bluehost as a Sr. Systems Architect. He worked at Samsung in the area of high performance computing in 90's and later obtained his Ph.D. from University of Utah. Before joining EIG/Bluehost, Dr. Park served as one of chief systems architects at NTT/Verio where he contributed to the 2012 launch of the Cloud-N product in both the Japan and US markets using CloudStack. His interests include clouds, distributed systems, and advanced networking technologies such as OpenvSwitch and Openflow.

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