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Lyatiss Brings Application Defined Networking to the Cloud

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Lyatiss believes the cloud needs to evolve to Application Defined Networking. The company took its first step toward that vision with the beta release of CloudWeaver, a tool that brings compute and network together, and allows a customer to orchestrate it all from one tool. CloudWeaver works atop of Amazon Web Services with support for additional services to come down the line.

So what is CloudWeaver, and what is Application Defined Networking, for that matter? Lyatiss feels it has found something lacking in the market: cloud orchestration and visibility that reaches deep into the network. The network is often hidden to cloud infrastructure, particularly with public cloud, and latency issues are becoming critical for cloud customers. As developers build increasingly sophisticated and constantly changing applications, monitoring and troubleshooting an infrastructure based on a “black box network” becomes a challenge. Application Defined Networking looks to connect the network to the cloud, through an intuitive orchestration of cloud networking.

Addressing the Limitations of SDN

Software Defined Networking (SDN) defines a new architecture for the “network machine” and is the first step in trying to address these issues. But Lyatiss feels that SDN solutions only partially fulfill the need for agile networking and don’t solve the problems that application administrators experience in the cloud. SDN is not sufficient to address the predictability and performance issues encountered in current cloud applications, nor can it meet the need for infrastructure differentiation and software control in this scenario.

Instead, Lyatiss asserts, the cloud industry will have to evolve to Application Defined Networking (ADN) that orchestrates application flows. ADN accelerates and streamlines the movement of data throughout the entire virtual infrastructure of each application. ADN gives the application the ability to adapt its networking environment using APIs, so that application delivery and performance across public and private cloud networks are optimized, without compromising on application portability or security.

“It’s a top down approach, and the goal is to serve the application,” said Pascale Vicat-Blanc, CEO of Lyatiss. “In the cloud, there are immediate needs that have to be covered. ADN answers these needs – this gives customers greater visibility of the network. This is related to SLAs in the cloud.”

Focus on Infrastructure, Not the Application

An application developer can’t see the latency constraints in the cloud, said Vicat-Blanc. With Lyatiss, “you can build the communication graph of the application. You also get the knowledge of how, the application performance management.” The difference between Application Performance Management and Application Defined Networking is that you’re not instrumenting the application, you’re instrumenting the infrastructure. CloudWeaver shares the communication patterns and correlates them.

The company started in France, and has a history of helping high demanding applications get the best of networks. Headquarted in Silicon Valley, the team consists of more than 20 people and is expected to double this year.

How Cloudweaver Works

First the Cloudweaver application runs a discovery. A customer provides his or her Amazon credentials, and in a few minutes, a network topology map is created.  “This is the first time a customer has seen a visual representation of what their AWS infrastructure looks like,” said Ankit Agarwal, VP of product at Lyatiss.

A flow map is created, which is a heat map showing the network path and points of latency. For public cloud, this is deep insight into the network. CloudWeaver analyzes the data, the latency and throughput information, usage analysis, and has bottleneck detection. It shows usage statistics, allows the setting of user defined thresholds, and orchestrates it all – moving, changing and cloning nodes as needed. It has built in network services for integration, reconfiguring network resources. “It’s a very tight coupling of the network and the instances,” said Agarwal. “I need to be able to perform solo actions and network actions. I need to perform  network actions like creating a load balancer. :ater, you’ll be able to secure other network services for security, VPN.”

A CloudWeaver customer can see the region and availability zones. If the customer clicks on a node, information comes up, for more information, a customer can SSH into the node. CloudWeaver can helps fix the following:

  • Unpredictable latencies and uneven user experiences. 
  • Potentially disastrous cascading effects from bottlenecks, failures and cloud outages.
  • Poor performance and lack of isolation from a large number of users.
  • Wasted capacity resulting from over-provisioned infrastructure.
  • Increased networking complexity, making it almost unmanageable.
  • Spiraling costs from lack of visibility in resource interactions.

Several use cases were provided. The first is in staging, allowing customers to anticipate high loads. Customers are using CloudWeaver to test with specific configurations and  topologies to identify weakest point of infrastructure and remediate. “It’s difficult to plan in advance without seeing and imitating these situations,” said Agarwal.

The other use is for planning and programming. The company gave a customer example of a social gaming company using CloudWeaver. The company provides a platform for games, and can need to scale from 500,000 to 2 million users for a few hours. It’s critical for the company to anticipate activity and get the right metrics of trends in real time. They use them for accessing the capacity they need, and like the graphical user interface.

CloudWeaver can also be used as a staging environment to demonstrate potential scenarios to management. This helps save time and money, because the user doesn’t have to oversize the infrastructure. CloudWeaver is delivered in a SaaS model, and has an intuitive GUI. It has a RESTful API and SDN-SDK for easy integration.

“This is a very cohesive orchestration that brings compute and network together, and you do it all from one tool,” said Agarwal. “Customers need awareness and intelligence of application flow,” said Vicat-Blanc

About the Author

Jason Verge is an Editor/Industry Analyst on the Data Center Knowledge team with a strong background in the data center and Web hosting industries. In the past he’s covered all things Internet Infrastructure, including cloud (IaaS, PaaS and SaaS), mass market hosting, managed hosting, enterprise IT spending trends and M&A. He writes about a range of topics at DCK, with an emphasis on cloud hosting.

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