& cplSiteName &

Midokura Does Net Virtualization at Web Scale

Mitch Wagner
3/17/2014
50%
50%

When companies scale to the size of global Internet services -- think Amazon, Facebook, and Google -- they need to manage a smorgasbord of legacy network devices, and do it all at web speed.

Startup Midokura is looking to solve those problems. Rather than the rip-and-replace approach of hardcore SDN, Midokora's MidoNet, which shipped about a year ago, is a virtual network overlay. (See Defining SDN & NFV.)

"It's not like you can walk into a data center and wipe out your existing network," says Daniel Conde, Midokura's director of products. "You have a physical network that hasn't been virtualized."

(Source: Santhosh kumar)
(Source: Santhosh kumar)

Designed for global cloud service providers, MidoNet creates a virtual network that sits on top of the service provider's existing network. Each tenant on a MidoNet network has its own virtual network with its own virtual switches and routers that connect their virtual machines. MidoNet is designed to improve customers' application deployment time, network scalability, and reduce application downtime, capex, and opex.

MidoNet differs from hardcore SDN in a couple of key ways. One is that it's a software-only approach -- classic SDN uses whitebox switches, but MidoNet works with the networking gear you already have.

And MidoNet, unlike classic SDN, doesn't use OpenFlow. "We're not saying OpenFlow is bad. It has its place," Conde tells Light Reading. It's suitable for small networks, but it doesn't scale -- routing tables fill up too quickly. Also, it requires specialized hardware.

MidoNet supports OpenDaylight, the Linux Foundation's SDN platform. Midokura is particularly interested in OpenDaylight's southbound software to manage switches, which is based on NETCONF, an Internet Engineering Task Force protocol for managing network devices. (See OpenDaylight Unveils Open-Source SDN Controller.)

MidoNet has demonstrated using a VTEP gateway from OpenDaylight to link apps running on physical devices to the virtual network. Some applications, such as databases and legacy applications can't be run virtualized -- the VTEP gateway is designed to allow those apps to connect with the virtual network. Midokura expects the VTEP gateway will likely be available in the third quarter.

And Midokura is also working on developing tools to allow network application managers to develop group-based policies, in collaboration with Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), Plexxi , and others. Application managers will be able to develop preconfigured security templates, such as PCI-DSS conformance for credit card processing. The group policy configuration tool is part of OpenDaylight, and developers hope to include it in the next release of OpenDaylight, Helium, due at the end of the year, as well as making a subset available in the OpenStack open source cloud platform.

Midokura is four years old, and received $17.3 million Series A funding in April, led by Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ), a Japanese public-private partnership, with other investors, including NTT Group (NYSE: NTT)'s venture fund, NTT Investment Partners; and NEC Corp. (Tokyo: 6701)'s venture Fund, Innovative Ventures Fund Investment. Staffing includes veterans of Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN), Cisco, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG), and VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW).

Midokura is a company worth watching, but it's got some potential problems. It faces stiff competition. Plenty of companies are pursuing the overlay approach for virtual networks,including Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR), VMware, and PlumGrid Inc.

Big Switch Networks also pursued the network overlay approach, but last year did an about-face and now follows the more traditional "bare metal" SDN approach, developing both hardware and software. New CEO Doug Murray says Big Switch needs to control both the physical and virtual networks to achieve necessary performance. (See Murray Leads Big Switch Into Bare Metal Battle.)

Moreover, even though MidoNet has been on the market about a year, Midokura was unable to provide Light Reading with even a single customer reference.

Faced with big opportunities and major challenges, it'll be interesting to see which way Midokura goes.

— 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 mwagner@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.


(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/19/2014 | 2:10:20 PM
Re: I don't get it
Thanks, Dan. I guess I misunderstood and/or did not read Mitch's article closely enough, but your post certainly clarifies my confusion.
danconde
50%
50%
danconde,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/19/2014 | 1:58:38 AM
Re: Great offices
With overlay, you don't have to bring in new OpenFlow enabled switches, so it's a good way to make things work with what you have today.
danconde
50%
50%
danconde,
User Rank: Light Beer
3/18/2014 | 7:23:57 PM
Re: I don't get it
Sam,

 

MidoNet does centrally configure the virtual network --also called an overlay -- which can include virtualized devices. It's just that we don't require the use of OpenFlow switch hardware.  Instead, we work with an underlay network that just delivers packets from the source to the destination.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/18/2014 | 6:38:27 PM
Re: I don't get it
Good question. I have a query in to Midokura and hope to hear back from them soon. 
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/18/2014 | 3:20:05 PM
I don't get it
Mitch,

I could be wrong about this, but something that's not clear to me is that if this vendor is rejecting the SDN approach then how does it address the issue of centrally configuring the switches...just wondering....
danielcawrey
50%
50%
danielcawrey,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/17/2014 | 1:36:33 PM
Re: Great offices
Given the degree of skirmishness that some have with SDN, overlay may be the best way to break in customers. I know that's why Juniper is doing this, plus they have an established name.

Midokura may eventually find itself in a crowded market. But the global networking market is huge, so all the company needs to do is captivate a few key customers. 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/17/2014 | 1:10:37 PM
Great offices
Apropos of nothing having to do with Midokura's technology: Their San Francisco offices are in a fantastic downtown skyscraper -- even the upper floors have broad, polished corridors and what appear to be marble floors. I was conscious of all that rock and steel suspended dozens of feet in the air.

The building is historic by California standards, dating back to the 1920s. (Actually, not just by California standards: That's historic for any extant skyscraper, anywhere in the world.)

The office suite itself is nice enough -- an unremarkable Silicon Valley open office setup -- but man that building is gorgeous. 
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 Custom TV
ADVA Talks Innovation & the Future of Networking

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Le Maistre and Christoph Glingener, CTO of ADVA Optical Networking, discuss the current state of the industry, cooperation and collaboration, open innovation and the future of networking.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Infinite Video Platform

1|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Cisco's Infinite Video Platform allows service providers to deliver broadcast-quality video over IP networks. Infinite video supports many devices, from 4K TVs to tablets to game consoles. Join Cisco's Rajeev Raman for a brief tour and live demo.
LRTV Interviews
Masergy: Ability to Adapt Key for NFV

1|16|17   |   6:40   |   (0) comments


Speaking at Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Masergy's VP, Global Technology, Ray Watson, said agility is key to providing the mix and match NFV-based services that are driving business for the managed service provider today.
LRTV Interviews
Equinix: The Data Explosion

1|13|17   |   4:16   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Eric Schwartz, president of EMEA, Equinix, talked about how Equinix is helping its customers manage the influx of data today, and how it's preparing for a future filled with millions of connected IoT devices.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: The Changing Data Center Landscape

1|12|17   |   6:05   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision event in Rome, Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst Roz Roseboro talks about how virtualization is impacting data center evolution and how that evolution is affecting the relationship between service providers, data center operators and public cloud providers.
LRTV Interviews
Boingo: Prepping for Millions of Devices

1|12|17   |   5:07   |   (1) comment


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision in Rome, Boingo's CTO Derek Peterson discusses how wireless operators will address the needs of low-bandwidth and high-bandwidth apps at the same time, the need for more MHz, the impact of IoT and more.
LRTV Interviews
Comcast Shows Off Gig Gateway at CES

1|11|17   |     |   (1) comment


With its largest presence at CES in years, Comcast took the wraps off its long-awaited gigabit gateway and a new platform for managing the home WiFi network. Light Reading Senior Editor Mari Silbey sat down with EVP Chris Satchell to discuss the latest Comcast advance, and met with VP of Product Strategy and Development Andrea Peiro to walk through a demo of the ...
LRTV Interviews
Colt: End-to-End Key for 2017

1|10|17   |   6:21   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Nico Fischbach of Colt said having a multi-carrier, end-to-end service proposition is going to be key for 2017 -- and SD-WAN is instrumental in making it happen.
From the Founder
Cisco's Clemson on Mobile Cloud Video

1|9|17   |     |   (1) comment


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. "If you think about where we're going… whether it's a mobile application, or a video ...
LRTV Custom TV
VMware Telco NFV Solutions – Preparing for 5G & IOT

1|9|17   |     |   (0) comments


Shekar Ayyar, EVP & Corporate Strategy/General Manager of Telco for VMware, discusses VMware's Telco NFV solutions role and foundation for the Imminent Arrival of 5G & IOT.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: Big Video Set to Disrupt

1|6|17   |   4:39   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Rome, Heavy Reading's Adi Kishore talks about the challenges of managing and monetizing bandwidth-intensive video, and how service providers will need to transform their networks to cope with the big video explosion.
LRTV Interviews
Heavy Reading: IoT Set to Disrupt

1|5|17   |   7:07   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Senior Analyst of IoT, Steve Bell, tells Light Reading how the Internet of Things (IoT) will transform service provider markets, business models and mindsets, and how virtualizing the network core and Fog networking is key to meeting the agility and flexibility demands of IoT in the future.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Ericsson: 5G Heralds 'New' New Economy
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/12/2017
IBM, FDA Look to Blockchain to Secure Health Records
Scott Ferguson, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 1/12/2017
Who Needs a Gig? Verizon's Got 750 Mbit/s
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 1/12/2017
Next Plugfest Gets G.fast Closer to Market
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 1/13/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
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.