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Containerization & Offloading: Streamlining Cloud/Data Center Environments

Suresh Krishnan (CTO, Kaloom)

Date: Thursday, May 23

Time: 2:30pm - 3:20pm

Pass type: All Access, Conference - Get your pass now!

Track/Topic: Infrastructure, Cloud

Audience: Advanced

Format: Conference Session

Vault Recording: TBD

Audience Level: Advanced

The adoption of SDN has brought many benefits to cloud and data center environments. However, it has only added to the already accelerating proliferation of virtual machines (VMs) - creating even more code, file and server bloat – and increasing overall system latency. Formerly hardware-based network equipment functions such as routing, switching, gateways, firewall/security, load balancing and many others have been converted from hardware-embedded into VMs. With VMs now handling a variety of network functions that used to be done by hardware, not only has server bloat increased, eating up the cloud's valuable compute and storage resources, but it can introduce extra network latency by creating circuitous pathways through virtual architectures. The data plane path is often now "tromboning" back and forth through numerous VMs. In addition to the serpentine network pathway, each VM has its own data plane coding – many redundant to one another – to propagate this meandering packet journey.

This presentation will explore different approaches to solve this problem including using containers, offloading data plane functions to different types of hardware, and alternative architectural approaches via software to eliminate or reduce redundant VM features such as data plane functionality to deliver dramatic improvements to system and, specifically to networking, throughput.

Containers, instead of VMs, can reduce compute/memory utilization by 40%:
-Container advantages (lighter footprint, portable, microservices, faster boot…)
-Different container flavors, benefits/drawbacks (kubernetes, Docker, OpenShift, CoreOS, open source vs commercial…)
-Container projects different approaches, benefits/drawbacks (OCI, Cloud Foundry…)

Hardware/CPU Offload Approaches Can Significantly Speed Throughput, Reduce Latency:
-NIC and SmartNIC

Software Offload
-P4, eBPF and Linux TC offload
-Collapsing the Data Plane, New Architectural Approaches