Organizations are undergoing major digital transformation driven by a massive shift in the application paradigm along with modernization of processes and infrastructure.
Evolution of Microservices and Containers
The digital transformation is driven by rapid evolution in:
With this evolution, telcos and enterprise IT are moving towards a DevOps model by switching application architectures from existing monolithic/n-tier apps to microservices, which are highly distributed, componentized service-based apps. Containers are emerging as an alternative to existing virtualization technologies to enable DevOps and microservices. With a packaging mechanism that typically includes an application and all of its runtime dependencies, including lightweight Linux, containers are easy to deploy and are readily portable across different host systems. Compared to traditional VMs, containers are light-weight and highly elastic, with the ability to be rapidly spun-up or spun-down in sub-seconds and hence have much higher density per host.
Red Hat OpenShift
The Red Hat OpenShift platform includes a container-optimized, minimal footprint OS powered by Red Hat Enterprise Linux, standardized container runtime from Docker, Kubernetes-driven orchestration of multi-container environment, and services such as scheduling, logging and analytics for container management. The OpenShift platform helps accelerate application delivery and increase operational efficiency by providing to developers a platform for self-service, auto-scaling and collaboration, and an enterprise-grade, secure, standards-based and scalable platform to operations teams.
Networking Requirements for Containers
The distributed and dynamic nature of container deployments dramatically increases the volume of east-west traffic (intra-DC traffic between container endpoints), even more than VM-based traffic. While all the typical networking constructs apply (i.e. the physical network connecting servers running container apps, virtual network which resides inside the server hosts and services such as load balancers and security), there are three unique network requirements imposed by container environments:
Overlay/Underlay vs Unified Approach for Networking
Typical container networking solutions leverage an overlay/underlay approach in which two separate networks are managed by separate teams, and there exists an overlay/underlay visibility gap. With a unified physical + virtual approach, the entire network is managed as a single entity with the same (normal) networking constructs and isolation mechanisms, and you also get the unique advantage of single point of visibility into both environments. While Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) can be deployed as physical-only fabric with an overlay, complete operational benefits and end-to-end visibility can be realized with the BCF unified physical + virtual (P+V) fabric solution.
BCF / OpenShift - Ideal Unified Networking Solution for Containers
The Big Cloud Fabric / Red Hat Openshift solution offers an integrated and unified physical and virtual networking approach for container environments. The two key components which glue the BCF to Red Hat OpenShift are the BCF container orchestration agent and the BCF container networking plugin (CNI-based). The integration of Big Cloud Fabric with Red Hat OpenShift enables simplification and agility of container networking through network automation, deep visibility, and rapid container-to-container troubleshooting.
Figure 1: Red Hat OpenShift and Big Cloud Fabric Solution
The Big Cloud Fabric is comprised of a physical leaf-spine Clos fabric of open networking switches running Big Switch Switch Light OS and a virtual network with Big Switch Switch Light VX running on the hosts. A centralized SDN controller acts as a single pane of glass to control the entire physical and virtual network environment.
Figure 2: Single-Click End-to-End Path Visibility with Big Cloud Fabric/OpenShift
In summary, the workflows orchestrated by Red Hat OpenShift with Big Cloud Fabric P+V solution dramatically simplifies network operations by enabling provisioning, management, and troubleshooting of networks at the speed of containers. With a unified approach, it completely eliminates network as a bottleneck and helps application teams realize the true promise of agility of container environment.
To learn more about the solution including a live demo, you can view the recording of a joint webinar by Red Hat and Big Switch Networks: Here
Watch our recent on-demand webinar with Red Hat which addresses best-in-class OpenStack and container networking offerings from Big Switch and Red Hat. Go to: https://vts.inxpo.com/Launch/Event.htm?ShowKey=41381Bala RamachandranDirector of Product ManagementSolutions & Technology Partnerships