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PLUMgrid 2014 Predictions: The Cloud Lifts on Network Virtualization

VMblog 2014 Prediction Series

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2014.  Read them in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Pere Monclus, Co-founder and CTO, PLUMgrid

The Cloud Lifts on Network Virtualization

In the past year networking continued to be one of the key components in the design of scalable private clouds / automated data centers. With various software defined networking solutions aimed to satisfy the requirements for those environments, 2014 is the year when the path for enterprise adoption of virtual network infrastructure becomes a lot clearer. Here are some of my predictions for the year ahead.

1. As OpenStack deployments move from proof of concept into production environments, the focus will shift from functionality to operations: deployment, management, troubleshooting and monitoring. This will be the sign of a shift towards maturity. Within this new phase, a set of partnerships and ecosystems will be developed towards better serving enterprise OpenStack customers.

2. The network will still be in flux, but overlay models will be accepted as the right design for datacenter networks. As the focus shifts towards production environments and proper operational models and isolation, the overlay model -- Virtual Network Infrastructure atop the Physical Network Infrastructure - is becoming the accepted direction. Even existing networking hardware vendors are embedding overlay technologies in their offerings. VXLAN adoption will get a boost as VXLAN offload capable network cards become available. The shift of network features towards the compute node and away from the fabric will continue. The emergence of white-box switch vendors will continue to gain steam.

3. 2014 will be the year of security. As more and more automated public and private clouds go into production, and based on unnerving events and disclosures in 2013, a renewed focus on security will emerge. Isolation and policy will be strong themes, and will evolve from being network-centric to being application-centric. The battle over who will control the policy frameworks will rage in 2014, and continue through the coming years as security and policy will be complicated topics.


About the Author 

Before co-founding PLUMgrid, Pere Monclus was a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco Systems in the Research and Advanced Development team, where he led innovation in the areas of cloud, security and converged infrastructure. Prior to that, he was responsible for the architecture and technology of network services and their integration with switches and routers for datacenters. He also led Cisco's Service Enabled Network initiative, which contributed some of the early thoughts and ideas behind SDN. He sponsored some of the early work around SDN, including the SIGCOMM 2008 OF prototype on Cisco's flagship Catalyst 6500 platform.
Published Monday, December 23, 2013 4:10 PM by David Marshall
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