Deep network OS Engineering for simplicity and agility of app-driven SDN

Oracle’s recent public release on Software Defined Networking is attracting a lot of attention from end-users and industry analysts alike,  thought it would be a great opportunity to expand on the types of additional benefits for Oracle systems and Oracle Solaris customers today.

Being the first OpenStack-related announcement since Oracle’s initial corporate sponsorship of the OpenStack Foundation just a little over a month ago  it should not be surprising that the level of excitement about our participation in OpenStack is quite elevated.  One of our goals is to allow customers to integrate all of the technical benefits of Oracle Solaris, such as Oracle Solaris Zones, rich deployment portfolio and Oracle VM environments, with other OpenStack platforms, and to provide levels of interaction via OpenStack APIs to Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance (which, of course, is powered by Oracle Solaris).

The underlying activities surrounding the integration of OpenStack components in Oracle Solaris aim to enable customers to expand usage of Oracle Solaris in newer cloud deployments.  One of the technologies we’ve been working on is an integrated SDN solution called  Elastic Virtual Switch (EVS). EVS is a Solaris-native implementation of a distributed virtual switch which would make it super easy to scale beyond the limits of single, physically (or virtually) bound OS instances  in order to allow end-users to create virtual networks comprised of multiple physical (or virtual) nodes.  Being engineered into the OS from the ground up, this means it takes advantage of innovative features in flexibility, cross-platform capabilities, virtualization, service-awareness and self-healing reliability characteristics that Solaris is known in the industry for; making Solaris more then just a compute OS, or storage OS, and further establishing it as a fantastic and unique choice for a network OS.   A good majority of the core Solaris kernel network architects and engineers from Sun have been hard at work here at Oracle, coding, architecting, as well as helping  the team expand — and the fruits of the labor are becoming ever-more evident.  The Elastic Virtual Switch  becomes a central management point to provision and monitor Layer 2 and Layer 3 network resources for cloud-scale quantities of virtual machines across your data centre.  With the goal of taking into account VLAN, VxLAN and overlay networks, EVS aims to deliver end-users the agility to dramatically reduce operational expense involved in managing network resources — from initial provisioning, to verification of connectivity and detection/correction of failures, thus providing immense value-add not only for the data plane but for the control plane as well.  Oracle Solaris network service lifecycle and mobility, as well as Application-driven Software Defined Networking take on a whole new meaning.

What does this mean? It simply means having applications in mind – ultimately that’s your business logic  expressed through software; it needs to have better control and access of underlying physical and network infrastructure.  Oracle understands application software and the value of unlocking a unique application integration experience.  Developing and undertaking the Oracle Solaris SDN journey with interoperability and open standards mind,  and allowing for industry partnerships, is really important to end-users.    Some of these things will take time — it is a journey.  Suddenly, the end-user benefits of   integrating OpenStack into Oracle Solaris begin to crystalize (if they hadn’t yet).  Check out the proposed session at an upcoming OpenStack summit in May.   We have had a select number of early-access customers provide us with some very positive feedback about their experiences through our early-access program.

Stay tuned for more!

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