Virtualization Technology News and Information
Cumulus Networks Bolsters Cumulus NetQ with Kubernetes Integration to Provide Network Operators with Actionable Insight into Container Networking
Cumulus Networks announced Kubernetes support with Cumulus NetQ, a network operations tool that provides visibility and intelligence into the health of the entire network. The support for Kubernetes builds on existing integration with Docker Swarm to enhance visibility, streamline troubleshooting, and help network operators avoid costly downtime in container environments. The company also introduced a new global leader of engineering, Partho Mishra, and the appointment of Shrijeet Mukherjee as Chief Architect.

Designed to work hand in hand with Cumulus Linux, Cumulus NetQ provides actionable insight into every trace and hop in the Linux-based data center-from the container, virtual machine, or host, all the way to the switch and port. The metadata it collects across these elements ensures visibility and intelligence into the health of the network, making sure everything is behaving as intended. Cumulus NetQ 1.3, available now, adds direct integration with Kubernetes, the popular container orchestration engine in use by 71% of enterprises. This release also supports the Container Networking Interface (CNI) ecosystem, specifically across the two most popular CNIs of Calico and Flannel. Both CNIs are maintained by Tigera, which has partnered with Cumulus on the integration.

Enterprise adoption of Linux-based containers is increasing rapidly, due to containers' ability to dramatically improve flexibility when running cloud-native applications on a physical or virtual infrastructure. 451 Research predicts containers will grow to become a $2.7 billion market by 2020; 3.5 times greater than the $762 million container market in 2016. Yet with all their benefits for speed and efficiency, containers can cause major challenges for network operators. Because containers are ephemeral, the traffic patterns are constantly changing, so being able to view history and changes to the network becomes more important than ever. According to Gartner, multihost networking is important because "the portability and ephemeral life cycle of containers will overwhelm the traditional networking stack. The native container networking stack doesn't have robust access and policy management capabilities."

Not surprisingly, when paired with already burdened networks, the risk of increasing network blind spots and connectivity with containers strikes fear into operations teams tasked to ensure network uptime. The stats around network downtime are staggering:

  • Network outages occur 5 times each month - Network Computing
  • "Businesses lose an estimated $4 million a year to network downtime" - Infonetics
  • 97% agree that legacy networks can't keep pace with the changing demands of the business" - HelpNetSecurity
  • A typical, mid-sized company could be losing about $1 million per year because of network downtime, and larger enterprises could squander more than $60 million.

Cumulus NetQ is uniquely positioned to help networking teams embrace containers since it integrates directly with both Kubernetes and Docker container orchestrators and the Netlink interface to the Linux Kernel, to provide real-time access to Linux networking events across the data center.

"Now more than ever before, the network must deliver richer application experiences to customers and connect a rapidly increasing number of users," said Josh Leslie, CEO of Cumulus Networks. "Yet with the onset of microservices, containers, and virtual machines, changes to the network happen constantly. With Cumulus NetQ, network operators can upgrade from a manual, reactive, box-by-box approach to one that is automated, informed and agile."

With Cumulus NetQ, networks can operate intelligently and scale with ease. Now networking teams can:

  • Get actionable insight across the data center stack-from the host to the switch
  • Validate connectivity before rolling into production and reduce the risk of propagating inaccurate configurations
  • Run a single Show, Trace, or Check command to troubleshoot the entire network
  • Identify container blind spots that would otherwise go unseen
  • Get alerted about network issues right from Slack, PagerDuty, Splunk and more
  • Build a networking operations model that scales seamlessly
  • Drastically improve diagnostics methods and time to resolution
  • Utilize an extensible, open interface to directly query the metadata NetQ collects using SQL-like commands

"With NetQ, we can run small check commands and see what really is going on in our network," said Bernd Malmqvist , Tech Lead Systems Operations at SmartGames Technologies. "The benefits to us are early alerting and validating the entire state of the fabric. Monitoring is one thing, but with NetQ, the knowledge is instant. NetQ is really unique; it's a tool that tells us exactly what is wrong in our environment, and the insight to know where an issue is stemming from."

"The adoption of containers, which are much more dynamic than traditional host and VM-based infrastructure, creates unprecedented challenges for how to securely connect applications," said Andy Randall, VP Partners and Customer Success at Tigera. "Through our deployments of Tigera solutions with Cumulus NetQ at a number of joint customers, we have demonstrated a collaborative approach that delivers end-to-end visibility of highly dynamic application connectivity within a secure, cloud-native architecture."

Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018 3:59 PM by David Marshall
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