Category Archives: cisco

Hybrid cloud recent solutions from Microsoft and VMWare – 2 different ends of the hybrid cloud spectrum

Public clouds have grown tremendously over the last few years and there are very few companies who do not use public cloud at this point. Even traditional enterprises with in-house data centers have some presence in the public cloud. I was looking at Amazon’s re:Invent conference details and I was amazed by the number of new services and enhancements that were announced this year.  It is very difficult for private clouds to keep up in pace with the new features of public cloud. There is no doubt that public clouds will overtake private clouds in the long term. Private clouds still have a wide deployment and there will be enough use cases for quite some time to deploy private cloud. The use cases includes regulated industries, compute needed in remote locations not having access to public cloud and some specialized requirements that public clouds cannot meet. For some enterprises, private cloud would make more sense from a costing perspective. Having hybrid cloud option is a safe bet for most companies as it provides the best of both worlds. I saw 2 recent announcements in hybrid cloud that captured my attention. One is Azure stack that allows running Azure stack in private cloud. Another is VMWare cloud on AWS that allows running entire VMware stack in AWS public cloud. I see these two services as 2 ends of the hybrid cloud spectrum. In 1 case, public cloud infrastructure software is made to run on private cloud(Azure stack) and in another case, private cloud infrastructure software is made to run on public cloud(Vmware cloud on AWS). In this blog, I have tried to capture more details on these 2 services.

Hybrid cloud

There are predominantly 2 options currently to run Private cloud. 1 option is to use vendor based cloud management software along with hardware from same vendor.

Continue reading Hybrid cloud recent solutions from Microsoft and VMWare – 2 different ends of the hybrid cloud spectrum

Contiv Networking policy Hands-on

Contiv is an Open source project driven primarily by Cisco for policy based networking, storage and cluster management for containerized applications. In this blog, I will cover some of the hands-on stuff that I tried with Contiv Networking. I used the sample examples provided in Contiv documentation as starting point. For Contiv networking basics, you can refer to my previous blog here.

Contiv environment

I followed the “Contiv getting started” guide to setup a two node Contiv cluster with Vagrant. I started the cluster in Packet baremetal cloud. Contiv netmaster runs in one of the nodes, Contiv netplugin is installed in both the nodes.

git clone https://github.com/contiv/netplugin
cd netplugin; make demo

Following command shows the 2 node Vagrant cluster:

root@contiv:~/netplugin# vagrant status
Current machine states:

netplugin-node1           running (virtualbox)
netplugin-node2           running (virtualbox)

Following are the business details of the sample application that I have used in this blog:

Continue reading Contiv Networking policy Hands-on

Contiv – Policy based networking for Containers

Contiv is an Open source project driven primarily by Cisco for policy based networking, storage and cluster management for containerized applications. In this blog, I will focus on how Contiv does policy based Container networking. In the next blog, I will cover some hands-on stuff that I tried with Contiv.

Container Policy

Policies have become critical to control the business logic in a Cloud environment. There are 2 ways to describe policy. In imperative model, policy is defined in terms of how the end goal is achieved. For example, we specify the filters and actions with Openflow protocol that achieves end goal of packet handling and this is an example of imperative model. In declarative model, policy is defined in terms of the end goal and it gives flexibility to the end-system to implement the policy in different ways. Congress and Opflex are examples of declarative policy model. With declarative model, it is possible to specify the policy in terms of business logic without specifying implementation detail. For example, the business logic can say that web container should not talk to database container. The implementation of this business logic can be achieved by having an iptables rule or by having a hardware tcam rule to block specific ports. In a cloud computing world, policies can be defined for compute, storage and networking. Both Containers and VM needs policies to implement business logic. Following are examples of some policies that can be applied to applications deployed in Cloud using either VMs or Containers:

  • Authorization policy – Specifies tenants and their privileges.
  • Resource usage policy – Specifies resource constraints for tenants, containers and VMs.
  • Application access policy – Specifies containers that can communicate to each other and containers that are exposed to outside world.

Contiv Networking

Contiv Networking project provides policy based networking for Docker Containers. Following are some details on Contiv Networking:

Continue reading Contiv – Policy based networking for Containers

Microservices Infrastructure using Mantl

Mantl is an Open source project from Cisco and it provides an integrated solution to deploy distributed Microservices. Any company deploying Microservices has to integrate different components before the solution becomes production ready. Mantl makes it easier by integrating the different components and providing the glue software that integrates the components. In this blog, I will cover the following:

  • Distributed Microservice infrastructure components and the need for Mantl.
  • Mantl Architecture.
  • Mantl installation using Vagrant
  • Mantl installation using AWS public cloud

Microservices infrastructure

Following are typical components in Container based Microservices infrastructure:

Continue reading Microservices Infrastructure using Mantl

Netconf Python ncclient

In my earlier blogs, I had covered basics of Netconf and Yang and how to use Netconf to configure Cisco devices. Recently, I came across this Python ncclient library that simplifies the configuration/monitoring of Networking devices that supports Netconf. Using ncclient library, we can programmatically configure and monitor devices using Netconf. I also found out that Cisco Openstack Neutron plugin uses ncclient library to program the Nexus switches.

I have used Cisco Nexus 3k switch and Cisco VIRL NXOS switch for the examples in this blog.

In my earlier blog on configuring Cisco Nexus devices using Netconf, I covered the following netconf requests.

  1. “get” request using filter to display configuration.
  2. “edit-config” request to change configuration.
  3. “exec-command” to execute raw CLI requests.

In this blog, I will cover the above same tests using Python ncclient library. Even though the examples below are tried from Python interactive shell, the same can be executed as a Python program as well.

First step is to import the ncclient library and create a connection:

Continue reading Netconf Python ncclient

Connecting NXOS VIRL instance to Arista vEoS

In this blog, I will cover the steps that I did to connect Cisco NXOS VIRL switch instance to Arista vEoS switch instance. We can connect any Cisco switch simulated in VIRL, I just picked the NXOS switch type. CML/VIRL supports majority of Cisco switches as VM as well as few external switches from Juniper, Vyatta. External virtual or physical switches can be connected to Cisco switches running inside VIRL using VM Networking magic. I just think it is cool to connect Virtual devices, try out real-time network configurations and see how the device responds.

Prerequisites:

  • Install CML/VIRL using the procedure here.
  • Install vEoS using the procedure here.
  • I used VMPlayer to run VIRL and vEoS. Connecting across Virtualbox and VMWare player is little painful.

Following is the network I created:

Continue reading Connecting NXOS VIRL instance to Arista vEoS