Light Reading
The proposed Geneve protocol would improve interoperability for virtualized networks.

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
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
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Mosaik Solutions presents its 2014 maps of the wireless world in the US, including cable WiFi deployments, LTE network expansion and 600MHz auction boundaries.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
Exclusive: Microwave Maven Exalt Is Cooked
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
EMC Mulls Merger With HP or Dell – Reports
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2014
North KC Says Free Gigabit for All
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed