& cplSiteName &

Google's Andromeda Relieves Cloud Strain

Mitch Wagner
8/26/2014
50%
50%

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Hot Interconnects -- Google relies on its Andromeda networking platform to deliver a global cloud infrastructure that gives customers the security and performance benefits of local private networks.

"We want bare-metal performance and low latency for the services we deliver," said Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) Distinguished Engineer Amin Vahdat, delivering a keynote at the conference here today.

SDN is key to delivering the needed performance and security, he said.

SDN at its most fundamental involves separating the control plane from the data plane, Vahdat noted. "A logically centralized hierarchical control plane beats peer-to-peer every time," he said. The data plane can run at network speed, while the control plane can run on commodity hardware, scaling as needed. The control plane requires 1% of the overhead of the entire network, Vahdat said.

But managing that infrastructure requires new tools and skills, he said.

"It turns out that running a hundred or a thousand servers is a very difficult operation. You can't hire people out of college who know how to operate a hundred or a thousand servers," Vahdat said. Tools are often designed for homogeneous environments and individual systems. Human reaction time is too slow to deliver "five nines" of uptime, maintenance outages are unacceptable, and the network becomes a bottleneck and source of outages.

Google looks to SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) to orchestrate provisioning, high availability, and meet application performance requirements, Vahdat said. The technology must be distributed throughout the network, which is only as strong as its weakest link.

Andromeda is Google's code-name for its network virtualization platform. It's designed to provide each external user with the illusion that they're on a dedicated network with dedicated performance and its own IP address space. Applications require real-time high performance and low-latency communications to virtual machines. Users also require service chaining to tools such as load-balancing, and the ability to grow and shrink the number of servers available to applications as demand requires. (See Google, Microsoft Challenge Service Providers and Google's Andromeda Strain Is Spreading.)

Security is a huge requirement. "Large companies are constantly under attack. It's not a question of whether you're under attack but how big is the attack," Vahdat said.

Power and cooling are the major costs of a global infrastructure like Google's. "That's true of even your laptop at home if you're running it 24/7. At Google scale, that's very apparent," Vahdat said.

Google has a global infrastructure, with data centers and points of presence worldwide to provide low-latency access to services locally, rather than requiring customers to access a single point.

The company runs two networks. Its private, server-to-server network is bigger than its public network, and one of the world's largest SDN deployments. Connectivity between data centers is comparable to within data centers.

Andromeda provides significant performance improvements over a state-of-the-art baseline, as seen in Vahdat's slides:

The promise of cloud computing is just beginning.


Find out more about key developments related to the systems and technologies deployed in data centers on Light Reading's data center infrastructure channel.


"Many people think about cloud computing as being able to get on-demand access to computing. I don't have to go buy servers; I can rent them for a minute, or an hour, or a day. I can get burst capacity of as many servers as I like, whatever memory, configuration or disk, etc., that I like. I think actually yes, this is powerful, but this is really just the beginning," Vahdat said. "The really exciting parts of cloud computing are on the verge of happening."

These include a fundamentally easier operational model; higher uptime; state-of-the-art infrastructure services such as denial-of-service protection, load balancing, and storage; and new programming models for low latency and massive input-output performance.

What cloud doesn't do is take away the challenges of running an IT infrastructure. "Most cloud customers, if you poll them, say the operational overhead of running on the cloud is as hard or harder today than running on your own infrastructure," Vahdat said.

Click the photo below for a selection of Vahdat's slides -- and more.

He's Hydrated
Google Distinguished Engineer Amin Vahdat
Google Distinguished Engineer Amin Vahdat

— 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.

(8)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/31/2014 | 10:40:01 PM
Re: What's the protocol?
@jabailo,

Wouldn't the packet alterations get messy though? In the TCP case , if somethings off just a little bit. Also, there'd have to be extra overhead for error checking right?
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 10:52:17 PM
Re: What's the protocol?
Like in a private network you can make assumptions that you can't make when shipping it out across the public Internet.

For example, I'm looking at this diagram:

http://www.freesoft.org/CIE/Course/Section4/8.htm

What about all that space for "source port" and "destination port".   Inside your own network, do you need to allocate that many bits?

Seems like for every bit you can reduce in a packet you get that much greater throughput.

 
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/27/2014 | 5:58:28 PM
Re: What's the protocol?
@jabailo,

Ahh ok I see. That's a good point.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 9:45:56 AM
Androworld
Google certainly is going to lead the way in NFV/SDN services and of course the free PR they get for all announcements is not a bad thing for them either. Security is still going to be an ongoing problem and probably others are going to see their way to NFV and the cloud just to help solve that issue.
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 12:56:38 AM
Re: What's the protocol?
Sure, I was just thinking they could reduce the packet sizes by removing some of the headers, since it all runs "in-house" on their cloud.
pcharles09
50%
50%
pcharles09,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/27/2014 | 12:29:06 AM
Re: What's the protocol?
@jabailo,

My guess is because that's what they've always used. No reason to change unless there's a problem/vulnerability.
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 10:51:07 PM
What's the protocol?
Just how raw is the data layer protocol?  Is there any reason for it to be tcp/ip? 
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 7:42:42 PM
Autopilot
Is Andromeda the same as Azure's Autopilot? And what is the baseline?
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 3

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting on the application of technologies and key business verticals such as transportation, smart city, manufacturing, media and finance.
LRTV Documentaries
No Regrets: Cox's Finkelstein on Fiber & More

3|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


At the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein examines the cable capex conundrum.
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Next-Gen: The 'Mile High' View From Denver

3|22|17   |   11:56   |   (0) comments


Alan Breznick kicks off the Cable Next-Gen Technologies & Strategies event in Denver, casting his thousand-yard stare over cable's current competitive landscape.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at CeBIT 2017: Day 2

3|21|17   |   2:27   |   (0) comments


Light Reading reports from CeBIT 2017 in Germany, where Huawei is exhibiting digital transformation solutions around IoT, smart data centers, OpenCloud ecosystem and its newly announced storage-as-a-service solution.
LRTV Custom TV
Driving Better Mobile Customer Experience While Transforming the Mobile Network

3|21|17   |   7:47   |   (0) comments


The Citrix NetScaler mobile gateway is an intelligent traffic management solution which can markedly improve the customer experience provided by mobile operators, even when traffic is encrypted. Critical network services can be consolidated and virtualized using NetScaler. Because of the unique architecture, NetScaler can be deployed on any hypervisor, on a ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: What's Next for Mobile Payments?

3|21|17   |   7:49   |   (0) comments


2017 marks the fifth consecutive year for Mastercard at Mobile World Congress and it was a great time to reflect on the amazing advances the payments industry has made as well as discuss "What's Next' in the digital commerce future. We spoke to James Anderson, executive vice president of digital payments at MasterCard, about digital wallets to tokenization to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: 2 Billion Adults 'Trapped' in Cash Economy

3|21|17   |   03:51   |   (1) comment


Despite advances made in the last several years, two billion adults around the world are trapped in a cash economy and lack what we take for granted -- a safe way to receive, save and use money. Shamina Singh, executive vice president of sustainability and president of the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, chats about how Mastercard is developing new ways to ...
LRTV Custom TV
Mastercard: Payment From Every Device

3|21|17   |   5:55   |   (0) comments


A world where everything and everyone is connected creates new points of interaction for commerce. These digital experiences cannot be developed in isolation and instead require an ecosystem to drive mass consumer and enterprise adoption and create better consumer engagement. Predicting when that growth will happen is difficult, but always keeping the end user in ...
LRTV Interviews
InterDigital's Role in the 5G, IoT Era

3|21|17   |   05:47   |   (0) comments


Alan Carlton, managing director and VP for Europe at InterDigital, talks about the company's role in 5G projects in Europe and the prospects for the company in the IoT market.
LRTV Interviews
Lessons Learned From Digital Transformation

3|21|17   |   05:51   |   (0) comments


Ravi Palepu, global head of Telco Solutions at Virtusa, talks about some key takeaways from telco digital transformation experiences during the past couple of years.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
NetNumber's CMO Shares Her Diversity Do's

3|21|17   |   3:19   |   (2) comments


The telecom industry is transforming the world, and diversity plays a critical role in driving the innovation behind it. NetNumber CMO Kim Gibbons shares why diversity and being authentic is a do amidst all the don'ts women in comms often hear.
LRTV Custom TV
Software-Driven Architecture for 5G & IOT

3|20|17   |   1:56   |   (0) comments


We present Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges's report from Mobile World Congress -- where operators and vendors are working to bring a variety of technologies together to make virtualization a reality in the era of 5G and IoT.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
High-Band 5G: Let's Address the Range Question, Shall We?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 3/21/2017
Eurobites: Italy First Pasta the Post for 5G
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/17/2017
Eurobites: A1, Nokia Turn It Up to 11
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 3/22/2017
5G Faces a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 3/17/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
At MWC 2017, Qualcomm's CTO Matt Grob talks to Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders about the progress being made in the development of the technologies and standards that will underpin 5G.
Animals with Phones
Neither Do We Click Here
Is that a prerequisite?
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.