At camphor networks, we intend to provide a unified platform to address several challenges faced by many data network vendors and also their customers. By doing so, we help our customers in several aspects.
Direct and indirect operational savings
Whether you are in sales/accounts trying to validate and demonstrate your products or in engineering trying to develop and qualify the same, readily available infrastructure is a must have. Using our platform, we provide a seamless ability to create arbitrary network topologies, at ease and at scale, on-premise and in the public cloud, based on your particular needs.
- You can avail direct savings by not dedicating associated underlying infrastructure to achieve this. Instead you do so by leveraging the highly elastic public cloud.
- Indirect savings come by having the ability to strengthen your turnaround time, especially in the areas of complex testing and release cycles. By enabling your teams to easily create their own platforms at will and at ease, we aim to provide you with necessary infrastructure to conduct your testing (especially automated test suites) at lightning speed. This not only saves release management cost but also improves your product quality across the board.
New Revenue opportunities
Today many networking products, especially routers and switches are also sold in a virtualized form, known as Virtual Network Forwarders (VNFs). These are typically licensed yearly or perpetually and have significant deployment overhead and barriers to quickly adapt due to associated complexity. We provide through our platform, a seamless ability to break this barrier. One can bring up and bring down various VNFs from different vendors easily, at will and most importantly, at scale. From a vendors’ perspective, we see new revenue opportunities if transitioned over to our platform, specifically with a shorter duration license based pricing model. From a vendors’ customer perspective, we see direct savings on the associated licensing cost. One example to co-relate this is the public cloud based hourly licensing model of Windows Operating System provided by Microsoft Corporation.
One of the main goals of our platform is to enable users to create, innovate and most important of all, share their creations with other users. This is easier to understand if you co-relate it to standard software development infrastructure pioneered by organizations like gitlab and GitHub. Similar to how one can create a code-base and share with other people, thereby expanding and increasing the overall created value significantly, we aim to achieve the same for network designs and solutions. By enabling our users to easily share their creations built on camphor networks platform, we help your teams to innovate collectively across the board.
Now, that’s a lot of marketing claims, unfounded you may wonder. Let us back this up in some concrete engineering terms. Otherwise all claims made above are nothing but trash!
Let us start from the cloud computing industry leader technology today, the “Kubernetes”. As quoted directly from kubernetes.io website, “It is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications”. In Camphor Networks, we intended to deliver to our customers a Kubernetes based elastic platform, wherein you can seamlessly manage Virtual Machines themselves as containerized applications. This is especially tricky when the VirtualMachines are as complex as so-called Virtual Network Forwards (VNFs).
Virtual Network Forwarder (VNF)
What really is a VNF? Basically it is a traditional routing/switching data control and forwarding components all packaged inside a virtual machine. Hence the name “Virtual Network Forwarder”. The beauty of VNF is that it can be run typically on any general purpose CPU based architecture without the requirement of any other expensive hardware components such as ASICs, switch fabrics, etc. The VNFs, if given enough CPUs, can perform very well, both in the control plane and in the data plane.
Typically VNFs require a custom environment and tuning. Most VNFs support 12 network interfaces. Some support many more. While some VNFs operate in a single Virtual Machine, many operate in multiple. Imagine a scenario where you are trying to simulate a network involving 10 VNFs each with 10 interraces. That is a total of 100 interfaces. Let us say they are connected in a topology form with 100s of inter connections. Managing those complex sets of network connections can be very difficult to almost impossible if done so manually.
Now, distribute the VNFs across a kubernetes cluster. While Kubernetes brings in a lot of benefits with regards to the elastic scalability and the management of the underlying compute infrastructure, interconnecting various network interfaces of various VNFs can become quite challenging. In Kubernetes, pods (or containers) can get launched anywhere in the cluster, based on resource availability which is extremely dynamic.
Camphor Networks Platform
Camphor Networks platform hides all this complexity from the user and provides seamless ability to instantiate VNFs directly as native Kubernetes resources (such as pods and containers). The network interconnections among the VNFs’ interfaces are also seamlessly managed, thanks to the SDN provided by the platform. Please note that this SDN is a native SDN provided by Camphor Networks. It runs on top of the Kubernetes infrastructure SDN as provided by most Common Network Interface (CNI) implementers such as Calico and WeaveNet.
Another key aspect of Camphor Networks is commoditizing the creation and management of the Kubernetes based clusters themselves. Not only do we provide an easy way to orchestrate and manage VNFs within a cluster, we also provide a similar way to manage Kubernetes based clusters themselves. Using just a few clicks, users can create Kubernetes based Camphor Network Platforms (Clusters) readily available in minutes. This they can do over many of the popular public clouds available today such as AWS, GCP, Azure, Equinix, etc. The same can be readily destroyed as well, thus breaking the notion of getting tied up with any one particular cloud provider.
By providing Camphor Networks Platform features and the platform itself as a service, we intend to enable our customers to achieve better efficiency in their network operations, specifically in the areas of testing, trouble-shooting, training, telemetry and integration with third party applications, never achieved before.
For additional information, please do contact us at email@example.com. We will be more than happy to get your feedback, provide necessary clarifications and work with you in solving your networking needs.