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Cloud 3.0 And 'Building Scale' At Interop

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

At Interop 2016, Thursday continued with another keynote presentation, then a panel discussion of open source, and then some follow up speakers. First up was Amin Vahdat, Google Fellow and Technical Networking Lead at Google. Vahdat gave continued voice to yesterday’s sentiment that the network and infrastructure landscape is changing rapidly. Vahdat said, “We must make it seem as if the network has disappeared.” To do this, the industry needs to get to what he called Cloud 3.0.

Not long ago, developers and companies took advantage of what Vahdat called, the “free lunch in performance improvements.” Basically, every 18 months or so, new severs with upgraded technology would make your applications and systems run faster, without you even having to recompile your code. The days of faster servers saving the day are over. Instead, networking will drive future performance by blurring the line between individual servers. 

Although the industry has moved from the original Cloud 1.0, which could be defined as hardware on demand, we are now at Cloud 2.0 where the the industry is provisioning servers on demand. Cloud 3.0 is about applications, not VMs; policy, not middleboxes; actionable intelligence, not data processing; and SLOs, not data placement and load balancing.

To do this, Vahdat advocated doing what Google has been working on, which is taking the network to what he calls "Building Scale." Building Scale is a building full of infrastructure delivered as a single unit, making the network disappear behind it. The idea is that one can utilize resources much more efficiently on a single 10,000-server cluster than on 10 x 1,000 server clusters. Instead of trying to keep within the limits of the smaller clusters, you can just run everything full out and use up all the resources necessary. The end goal is to deliver the illusion of one giant filesystem, or one giant database.

By leveraging centralized control over a software defined network (SDN), coupled with merchant silicon switches, companies can create building-scale networks.

Vahdat said that this concept of making the network disappear marks a generational shift in the future of computing.