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Date

Meeting Recording:

https://wiki.tungsten.io/download/attachments/10060441/20190618-MWG-positioning_call.mp4?api=v2

Attendees



Agenda

  • Start the Recording (started!)

Minutes

  • RLB with the background on TF
    • Call to action that the project needs to move forward
    • Still currently very much in Carrier Land
      • Mostly carriers or hosting-type companies are leaning in
    • Need to get out of the network-focused messaging around Contrail & TF
      • Marketing messaging
      • Make docs useful for non-network-engineers
      • Make project easier to deploy with k8s
    • Why Kubernetes matters
      • Has effectively won the app platform world for the future
      • Is standard, with a broad reach
      • Accordingly, align well with CNCF and that ecosystem
      • Get mentioned in the same breath as Calico
      • Get more folks to recognize that TF is a good CNI for k8s
    • swill: SDN space is in a bit of turmoil right now wrt the market
      • Some projects are having a challenging time (ODL)
      • Opportunity to establish leadership in the market
      • Separate from k8s, but still worth mentioning & keeping in mind
    • LC: So…appeal of SDN is dead? Or the concept? Or…?
      • RLB: SDN is VMware messaging to network IT folks
      • New market is now developers, so need to speak their language
      • Focus on networking (L4-L7) with Istio (and other service mesh), Envoy, etc.
        • Aren't thinking of networking/SDN terms
        • Are thinking of k8s terms
      • For instance: Tigera & Calico are messaging around security, not SDN
    • swill: Are in a consumer market now; were in a delivery market for a long time
      • Based on consumer demand, rather than what the provider wants to build
      • Developers just want the features. Don't care how it's implemented.
        • Want to consume functionality.
      • In the past, esp around SDNs, service providers were in the tech & pushed it up the stack whether consumers wanted it or not
      • Thinks TF has the capability to support both sides of this
        • Carriers/telcos aren't going anywhere → Edge computing
          • TF has bright future in this way
          • Handles multi-cloud & interconnect between different services quite well
          • One of only SDNs that handles service chaining in a coherent manner
        • On other side, is a big gap between service providers and customers
          • Offering infrastructure, but developers want to consume platform
          • Service providers have to start delivering PaaS to attract workloads of developers → Kubernetes
        • Don't need to market as much to service providers since they know about it a bit more
          • But still opportunity there w/the SDN shakeup
          • TF well-positioned to be the solution to their problems
  • Key audiences
    • Service providers (intentionally vague; many different sorts)
      • To expose the functionality to be consumed
      • Value prop to this audience revolves around their consumers
        • Provide platform that's intuitive and easy to use from a platform perspective
      • RLB: Carriers don't care quite as much about what the customers want
        • Use TF as an internal tool to get operational leverage and scale
        • Are quite comfortable with the direct sales model (Juniper stepping in and providing a networking solution)
        • Support for open source model, but prefer commercially supported implementations
      • swill: A lot of orgs are forced to adopt a service provider model even for their own IT
    • Enterprise application developers on public clouds
      • Using k8s as base substrate
      • Consuming the services
      • Not traditional on-prem enterprise IT (these are wrapped up in vmware)
      • Go for the enterprise devs early in their app lifecycle
        • Start using TF early on, easier to transition to IT
        • Trojan horse play (wink)
      • As soon as they adopt public clouds for enterprise apps, you step into mult-cloud land where TF plays very well
    • Public clouds?
      • No, they're not a target audience for us
      • But recently they're starting to figure out that multi-cloud is a thing
        • Have a sympathetic ear because of this, but not a target audience
  • Hybrid cloud
    • RLB: TF can drive security and policies even in public clouds
      • Can be a good story here for basic multi-cloud across public clouds
      • "Easy failover to GCP if there's an AWS outage…"
      • Hard to do 2 deployments on 2 different clouds; TF abstracts this away and makes it easier
    • swill: Example: geopolitically, hybrid cloud is becoming more critical in Canada
      • Data Sovereignty can become a requirement, simply because data needs to live at home while services are hosted in public cloud
      • TF has the ability and functionality to simplify this
  • Define "service provider" → swill
    • Traditional: telcos
    • New: a service being operated by a team other than that consuming it
      • Internal-only
      • Public
    • Consumers care about consuming tech as a service, not running it
      • Even if they run it, they'll consume it as a service
    • Anyone who builds and runs a platform that delivers services
  • Looking forward for vrouter
    • There's talk of a next-gen vrouter, separate from TF
    • RH, Juniper, Intel
    • Ubiquitous networking mesh
    • Would ship with the linux kernel, standard interface
    • Could then select the SDN controller you want
  • Comparing what TF is today against other things that the audiences are looking at. What does TF offer that the others don't?
    • VMB: What even are the competitors here?
      • In k8s ecosystem, it's all Calico (and commercial Tigera)
      • Cilium
      • ODL → not really a player as much in our audiences
      • Canal (Flannel + Calico)
      • DPDK/SmartNics (but in layman's terms; terms that the developers think they understand are totally cool) - marketing the outcome: packet performance acceleration
    • What does TF do to solve the problems?
      • Enable use of DPDK
        • Move network work out of the kernel and into userspace
        • Allows for much better perf
        • A feature of DPDK but TF allows you to leverage it without changing your entire architecture
      • swill believes that with the rise of edge computing then having some sort of network performance optionality will become table stakes
      • Service Chaining
        • TF handles better than most other options
        • Will dig into this a lot more next time
      • Multi-site connectivity is well handled
        • Separate from multi-cloud hybrid
      • Security
        • Dig into more next time
      • BGP
        • Not everyone supports it and it's surprisingly useful

Action items

  • Lisa CaywoodFor next time: dig into Service Chaining, Security, BGP