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Tuesday
Dec162008

Virtual Routing - Route the node, not the packet.

Andreas Antonopoulous of Nemertes Research picked up on a comment by Doug Gourlay at the Cisco C-Scape Conference last week.  It's one of those forehead-slapping ideas that is obvious once you give yourself permission to think about next generation technology without the preconceptions of the last generation.

Server virtualization is ripe for a number of these kinds of ideas.  It probably comes as no surprise that the use of server virtualization to create small network appliances to be used as both active and passive probes in a datacenter is one of my favorites.  This is how we accomplish a number of functions in Replicate's RDA related to datacenter discovery.  I have a couple more about which I should start posting.

In any case, please enjoy Andreas' post and the conversation that's ensued which elicited comments from Doug and John Burke (also of Nemertes).  Thanks, guys.

Virtual Routing - The anti-matter of network routing | Nemertes Research

Routing: Controlling the flow of network traffic to an optimal path between two nodes

Virtual-Routing or Anti-Routing: VMotioning nodes (servers) to optimize the flow of traffic on the network.

Using netflow information, identify those nodes (virtual servers) that have the highest traffic "affinity" from a volume perspective (or some other desired metric, like desired latency etc) and move (VMotion, XenMotion) the nodes around to re-balance the network. For example, bring the virtual servers exchanging the most traffic to hosts on the same switch or even to the same host to minimize traffic crossing multiple switches. Create a whole-data-center mapping of traffic flows, solve for least switch hops per flow and re-map all the servers in the data center to optimize network traffic.

There's a startup there somewhere. Route the node, not the packet.

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