Tuesday May 26, 2009

Crossbow for Cloud Computing Architectures

The first phase of Crossbow was integrated in OpenSolaris last December. I recently posted a paper which shows how Crossbow technology such as virtual NICs (VNICs), virtual switches, Virtual Wires (vWires), and Virtual Network Machines (VNMs) can be used as a foundation to build isolated virtual networks for cloud computing architectures. The document is available on opensolaris.org. Please share your comments on the Crossbow mailing list at crossbow-discuss@opensolaris.org.

Monday Apr 02, 2007

Virtual Switching in Solaris with Crossbow VNICs

Virtual NICs, also known as VNICs, are a core components of project Crossbow. They allow physical NICs to be shared by multiple Zones or virtual machines such as Xen domains. VNICs appear to the rest of the system as regular NICs. VNICs can be assigned a subset of the hardware resources (interrupts, rings, etc) made available by the underlying hardware.

In order to provide connectivity between the multiple Zones or virtual machines sharing a single physical NIC, the VNIC layer also provides a data-path between the VNICs defined on top of the same underlying NIC. The VNICs sharing the same underlying NIC appear to be part of the same segment, i.e. connected to a same virtual switch. The virtual switch concept also allow fully virtual networks to be be built within a machine.

A couple of days ago I posted a first draft design document describing the concept of virtual switches, how they are implemented by VNICs in Solaris, and how they can be used in practice.

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ndroux

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