Google launches Andromeda ? a cloud platform?s latest network virtualization stack

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Google announced on Wednesday their latest networking technology named Andromeda ? a network virtualization stack.

In an official statement of Google, Amin Vahdat, Distinguished Engineer said ?we have recently made the latest networking technology that powers our internal services available to Cloud Platform users across the world. Andromeda – the codename for Google?s network virtualization stack – now powers two Google Compute Engine zones: us-central1-b and europe-west1-a. Customers in these zones will automatically see major performance gains in throughput over our already fast network connections. We will be fully migrating all zones to Andromeda in the coming months.?

What is Andromeda?

In the official blog of Google, they described Andromeda as a Software Defined Networking (SDN)-based substrate for network virtualization efforts. ?It is the orchestration point for provisioning, configuring, and managing virtual networks and in-network packet processing.

Andromeda’s goal is to expose the raw performance of the underlying network while simultaneously exposing network function virtualization (NFV). We expose the same in-network processing that enables our internal services to scale while remaining extensible and isolated to end users. This functionality includes a distributed denial of service (DDoS) protection, transparent service load balancing, access control lists, and firewalls. We do this all while improving performance, with more enhancements coming.

Hence, Andromeda itself is not a Cloud Platform networking product; rather, it is the basis for delivering Cloud Platform networking services with high performance, availability, isolation, and security. For example, Cloud Platform firewalls, routing, and forwarding rules all leverage the underlying internal Andromeda APIs and infrastructure. Our site presents the details of these and other advanced network capabilities.?

Google added that Andromeda will enable Cloud Platform to expose more and more of Google?s raw network infrastructure performance to all GCE virtual machines (VMs).

Andromeda is Google?s solution to some of the networking challenges introduced by virtualization namely: delivering the highest level of performance, availability, and security requires orchestrating across virtual machines, hypervisors, operating systems, network interface cards, top of rack switches, fabric switches, border routers, and even our network peering edge.

?At Google, we benefit from having programmable access to the entire network stack, from the lowest-level hardware to the highest-level software elements. Rather than being forced to create compromised solutions based on available insertion points, we can design end-to-end secure solutions by coordinating across the stack,? Vahdat said.

Looking at the future, Google said that they have started working on the next set of enhancements.

?In my talk [at the Open Network Summit earlier this month, where I presented Andromeda], I highlighted some of the opportunities moving forward: high-speed access to low-latency, durable storage, APIs for NFV, and VM migration to deliver transparent availability in the face of system maintenance. Andromeda is a re-working of our underlying network virtualization architecture, and its SDN core enables us to rapidly iterate and deliver new functionality. This ensures that Cloud Platform’s network will continue to be an agent of disruption to cloud computing moving forward,? Vahdat said.


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