Tuesday, November 13, 2018

VNFs and Containers: Heptagonal Pegs and Triangle Holes

One of my readers sent me this question:

It would be nice to have a blog post or a webinar describing how to implement container networking in case when: (A) application does not tolerate NAT (telco, e.g. due to SCTP), (B) no DNS / FQDN, is used to find the peer element and (C) bandwidth requirements may be tough.

The only thing I could point him to is the Advanced Docker Networking part of Docker Networking Fundamentals webinar (available with free subscription) where macvlan and ipvlan are described.

However, I couldn’t help adding…

I would be very skeptical about running something that cannot tolerate IP address changes or use DNS in a container. It’s like trying to fit a heptagonal peg with spikes into a triangle hole.

His response didn’t surprise me in the least:

In mobile networks, pushing a square peg through a round hole is a common and repetitive task. A while ago, special hardware was used to get performance. Now, we put everything into a cloud and use commodity HW. No wonder we lose performance, and as a result, we need special accelerators and other tricks… thus we end up with something that’s not scalable nor commodity any more.

That’s why I opened a bag of popcorn when the whole “NFV/VNF will allow service providers to use free software on commodity hardware” hype started, and I’m still enjoying the show.

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