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DataCenter Networking: Automating Virtual Machine Network Profiles

Vivek Kashyap (

With the explosion of use of virtual machines in the DataCenter/cloud environments there is correspondingly a requirement for automating the associated network management and administration. The virtual machines share the limited number of network adapters on the system among them but may run workloads with contending network requirements. Furthermore, these workloads may be run on behalf of customers desiring complete isolation of their network traffic. The enforcement of network traffic isolation through access controls (filters) and VLANs on the host adds additional run-time and administrative overhead. This is further exacerbated when Virutal Machines are migrated and the corresponding network profiles must be re-enforced on the target system and the physicallswitch ports reconfigured.

This paper describes the Linux enhancements enabling the offloading of the switching function to the external physical switches from the Linux host enabling simplification of the management and enforcement of port profiles. We also discuss the proposed standard (IEEE 802.1Qbg) and its implementation on Linux for automated migration of port profiles when a VM is migrated from one system to another.

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