March 14, 2018

Test Drive of AppSwitch, the "Network Stack from the Future"

One of the best perks of my job at Docker has been the incredible connections that I was able to make in the industry. That’s how I met Dinesh Subhraveti, one of the original authors of Linux Containers. Dinesh gave me a sneak peek at his new project, AppSwitch.

AppSwitch abstracts the networking stack of an application, just like containers (and Docker in particular) abstract the compute dimension of the application. At first, I found this statement mysterious (what does it mean exactly?), bold (huge if true!), and exciting (because container networking is hard).

The state of container networking

There are (from my perspective) two major options today for container networking: CNM and CNI.

CNM, the Container Network Model, was introduced by Docker. It lets you create networks that are secure by default, in the sense that they are isolated from each other. A given container can belong to zero, one, or many networks. This is conceptually similar to VLANs, a technology that has been used for decades to partition and segregate Ethernet networks. CNM doesn’t require you to use overlay networks, but in practice, most CNM implementations will create multiple overlay networks.

Read more at Jérôme Petazzoni



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