Light Reading

Microsoft, VMware Team on Virtualization Standard

Mitch Wagner
5/7/2014
50%
50%

Microsoft and VMware, along with other vendors, are working on a standard to allow greater interoperability between network applications on a virtualized network.

The two companies, together with Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) and Red Hat Inc. (Nasdaq: RHAT), have submitted the Geneve protocol as an informational draft to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) , to bridge VMware's VXLAN (Virtual Extensible LAN) and the Microsoft-backed NVGRE (Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation) protocols.

Geneve is designed to make life easier for software developers, chipmakers, and network operators, which now need to support multiple protocols that essentially do the same thing, Jesse Gross, senior staff engineer for VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), says. "If there's a common protocol, there's going to be one set of tools and technologies to understand."

Geneve supporters also look to the protocol to be more extensible than current implementations.

Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) didn't have a lot to say about Geneve. I asked for an interview and got a canned email statement in response:

    Our goal is to help customers realize the simplicity and economics that SDN promises, just as we have in our cloud datacenters. To make that happen, the industry needs to provide customers with choice and broad interoperability across software defined networking implementations. Consequently, Microsoft is in the early stages of collaborating with others -- the Geneve draft submission is simply one amongst multiple ongoing initiatives we are involved in. For another example, check out our work with the Cisco ACI OpFlex Protocol here and here.

(See Goin' South: Cisco Offers 'OpFlex' as Alternative to OpenFlow .)

Geneve was submitted to IETF in February. Gross says he expects to see the technology included as part of Open vSwitch and Linux within two months. That will lead to VMware support, because VMware includes Open vSwitch and Linux.

But Geneve may run into roadblocks to adoption, says IDC analyst Brad Casemore. "I'm not sure it's going to get through in the form it's in right now," Casemore says. While Microsoft and VMware have "buried the hatchet," Casemore pointed to discussion on an IETF mailing list, where engineers at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and other networking vendors are resisting, saying existing protocols such as VXLan can be enhanced and extended to accomplish similar goals. "The objection is [that] we don't need another protocol," Casemore says. At least one engineer from Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) is also pushing back.

"I think it's almost a perfect microcosm for the state of the industry now," Casemore says. Software-focused networking vendors, including VMWare and Microsoft, want to change the networking paradigm to focus on software overlays. Meanwhile, traditional vendors want hardware to continue to be integral to networking. And hyperscale data center companies such as Google are pushing back against vendors who aren't responding fast enough, a position that led to the formation of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) in 2011. (See The Three Faces of SDN and Open Networking Foundation Formed.)

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/8/2014 | 4:24:35 PM
Re: Yes, but
Interesting. Any idea how I can confirm it's dead? Or does that kind of thing just hang around without any official confirmation?

Is anybody taking the lead on extending VXLAN?
dwx
50%
50%
dwx,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/7/2014 | 2:06:12 PM
Re: Yes, but
I think Geneve is basically dead at this point based on the IETF mailing list feedback.  Extending VXLAN seems like a much more popular alternative.   Google is still pushing GUE.  
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/7/2014 | 11:39:11 AM
Yes, but
While Casemore's assessment seems very reasonable, I do take issue with his lumping Microsoft in with the software vendors. Microsoft is, obviously, a software vendor, but their citing Cisco OpFlex in their canned statement to me indicates Microsoft is trying to play both sides of the protocol division. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Then pick up your axe, put on your spandex trousers and get yourself down to Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE). Kerrang!!!
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ciena CEO: The Web-Scale Revolution

4|28|15   |   10:32   |   (3) comments


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
LRTV Documentaries
Cox Eyes Cloud-Based Home Networks

4|27|15   |   05:30   |   (0) comments


Cox's Jeff Finkelstein explains how moving services to the cloud will let cable deliver services faster and eliminate constant hardware replacements.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
Upcoming Live Events
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A study run by Insights in Marketing and commissioned by Meredith shows the devices, channels and ways in which women are consuming content.
Hot Topics
No Service, No Problem: 5 Places That Want to Be Unconnected
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/1/2015
Cisco's Robbins to Replace Chambers as CEO
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/4/2015
Sprint Maps Out Its Next-Generation Network
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/5/2015
Cyan Says It Wasn't Starving Before Ciena Bid
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 5/5/2015
Ciena's Cyan Buy: It's All About the Software
Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, 5/4/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders goes head-to-head with long-time Ciena CEO Gary Smith to discuss the impact of the web-scale players, the New IP and 'white box' networks.
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Cats with Phones
Cinco de Mayo Click Here
Cats With Phones says Happy Cinco de Mayo. Accessorize appropriately.