Micro-Application Services Require Micro-Network Services


“TCP: Treason uncloaked!” Abhishek Chauhan, VP and CTO at Citrix, launched his LinuxCon North America keynote with a trip down memory lane, when this was an actual Linux kernel log message. What is the significance of this silly message? Chauhan says that when this message was changed to something more benign, back around 2008, he knew it was a sign that Linux was becoming a serious contender. In 2016 Linux turned 25, so he was right.

All the buzz these days is on microservices, those emphemeral flashes-in-the-pan that appear and disappear on demand, thousands or even millions of times per minute. Chauhan discusses the importance of changing the way we develop network services to support microservices. He says, “The first thing that you need…the obvious thing to me and you is that in order to be a networking component for microservices, the network has to be in software itself. Micro-application services require micro-network services to support them.”

“If the application went from monolithic to micro, the network will have to go follow the same route. Now you expect the network to also be small, independent, composable, and desegregated, just like the microservices themselves.”

Chauhan then introduces the concept of “lots of little.” So, instead of having a few large boxes, you’ll have lots of little boxes. Instead of working for stability and uptimes, the networking becomes as stateless and expendable as microservices, and the management system takes on the burden of managing state. “The separation of stateless and software-defined at the top, and centralized and intelligent at the bottom is fundamental to the change of adopting microservices for networking.”

The business imperative is “change or die.” Chauhan sees micro-networking as a bridge from the past to the future, building software-defined, data-driven network functions to manage and monitor operations.

Watch Chauhan’s keynote (below) to learn more about “lots of little” and how busting your network into a zillion little smithereens is the key to moving your business forward.

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