Designing a Private Cloud Network Infrastructure
The data center networking team in a large enterprise (the Customer) has been tasked with building the network infrastructure for a new private cloud deployment.
They approached numerous vendors trying to figure out how the new network should look like, and got thoroughly confused by all the data center fabric offerings, from FabricPath (Cisco) and VCS Fabric (Brocade) to Virtual Chassis Fabric (Juniper), QFabric (Juniper) and more traditional leaf-and-spine architectures (Arista). Should they build a layer-2 fabric, a layer-3 fabric or a leaf-and-spine fabric?
The document describes a summary of design challenges sent by readers of ipSpace.net blog and discussed in numerous ExpertExpress engagements. It’s based on real-life queries and network designs but does not represent an actual customer network. Complete document is available as downloadable PDF to ipSpace.net subscribers. You can also buy a digital book with all ExpertExpress case studies
Collect the Requirements
Talking with vendors without knowing the actual network requirements is a waste of time – the networking team can start designing the network when they collect (at least) the following requirements:
- End-to-end connectivity requirements (L2 or L3 connectivity between edge ports);
- Required services (IP transport, lossless IP transport and/or FCoE transport);
- Total number of edge ports (GE/10GE/FC/FCoE)
- Total north-south (traffic leaving the data center) and east-west (inter-server traffic) bandwidth.
Private Cloud Planning and Design Process
Planning and design of a new (private or public) cloud infrastructure should follow these logical steps:
- Define the services offered by the cloud. Major decision points include IaaS versus PaaS and simple hosting versus support for complex application stacks.
- Select the orchestration system (OpenStack, CloudStack, vCloud Director…) that will allow the customers to deploy these services;
- Select the hypervisor supported by the selected orchestration system that has the desired features (example: high-availability);
- Select optimal server hardware based on workload requirements;
- Select the network services implementation (physical or virtual firewalls and load balancers);
- Select the virtual networking implementation (VLANs or overlay virtual networks);
- Design the network infrastructure based on the previous selections.
Quick Overview of Results
Most reasonably sized private cloud deployments require few tens of high-end physical servers and associated storage – either distributed or in form of storage arrays. You can implement the network infrastructure meeting these requirements with two ToR switches having between 64 10GE and 128 10GE ports.
- Does it make sense to build new clouds with overlay networks?
Get the complete document
Complete case study, including design and deployment guidelines and sample configuration snippets is available to ipSpace.net subscribers. Select the Case studies tab after logging into the webinar management system.
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About Ivan Pepelnjak
- BGP Convergence Optimization
- BGP Routing in DMVPN Access Network
- Combine Physical and Virtual Appliances in a Private Cloud
- External Routing with Layer-2 Data Center Interconnect (DCI)
- Integrating Internet VPN with MPLS VPN WAN
- Redundant Data Center Internet Connectivity
- Redundant Server-to-Network Connectivity
- Replacing the Central Firewall
- Scale-Out Private Cloud Infrastructure
- Building Next-Generation Data Center (Online course)
30 March 2017
- Sizing the Network
3 May 2017
- Open Networking for Large-Scale Networks
9 May 2017
- Network Visibility with Flow Data
7 June 2017
- Building Network Automation Solutions (Online course)
15 September 2017
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