Google's Andromeda Strain Is Spreading
Google is opening up its "Andromeda" SDN architecture for customers using its Connect Engine system to develop cloud services. Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) revealed in a blog post that developers using the "us-central1-b" and "europe-west1-a" areas of its Google Compute Engine service can now run apps directly on the Andromeda network virtualization stack. The search giant expects to migrate all the global sectors of the Compute Engine infrastructure-as-a-service to the architecture over time. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)
"Andromeda is a Software Defined Networking (SDN)-based substrate for our network virtualization efforts," explains Google distinguished engineer Amin Vahdat in the blog post. "It is the orchestration point for provisioning, configuring, and managing virtual networks and in-network packet processing."
Here's Vahdat's high-level diagram of the architecture:
Vahdat writes that Andromeda itself "is not a Cloud Platform networking product," but the basis for "delivering Cloud Platform networking services with high performance, availability, isolation, and security." The system was originally designed for Google's in-house use to provide isolated, high-performance networks with end-to-end QoS and availability. The company believes it has already deployed the largest software-defined WAN in the world with the Andromeda architecture. (See Google, Microsoft Challenge Service Providers.)
"Andromeda's goal is to expose the raw performance of the underlying network while simultaneously exposing network function virtualization (NFV)," he writes. "We expose the same in-network processing that enables our internal services to scale while remaining extensible and isolated to end users." Vahdat promises that a benefit of using the distributed architecture will be "major performance gains" as Andromeda spreads across the Compute Engine sectors in the coming months.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading