In the cloud networking course, we will see what the network needs to do to enable cloud computing. We will explore current practice by talking to leading industry experts, as well as looking into interesting new research that might shape the cloud network’s future.
This course will allow us to explore in-depth the challenges for cloud networking—how do we build a network infrastructure that provides the agility to deploy virtual networks on a shared infrastructure, that enables both efficient transfer of big data and low latency communication, and that enables applications to be federated across countries and continents? Examining how these objectives are met will set the stage for the rest of the course.
This course places an emphasis on both operations and design rationale—i.e., how things work and why they were designed this way. We’re excited to start the course with you and take a look inside what has become the critical communications infrastructure for many applications today.
What you will learn
You will become familiar with the course, your classmates, and our learning environment. The orientation will also help you obtain the technical skills required for the course.
We will start by looking at the applications running in data centers and the traffic patterns resulting from them. This will help us differentiate the networking needs within data centers from computer networking in general and set the stage for other material in the course. We’ll then dive into the first of these topics, physical network structure, where we will look at how the increasing demand for bandwidth within data centers is influencing the network’s design.
This week, we will dive further into the data center network stack, looking at routing and switching for physical and virtual machines and congestion control. We’ll examine what concerns routing needs to address in these environments and how it’s done in practice. We’ll also see how the network is moving deeper into the physical hosts in order to address the networking needs of virtual machines. With regards to congestion control, we’ll learn what problems TCP’s congestion control faces in data centers and how these are being addressed.
This week focuses on management and sharing of network infrastructure in cloud data centers. Traditional networking technologies require complex, error-prone network configuration, and make sharing of the network across multiple tenants in a secure manner difficult. We’ll learn how software-defined networking and network virtualization are addressing these problems.
Zooming out from within data centers, this week will examine other pieces of the cloud networking ecosystem: inter-data center WAN connectivity, content distribution networks, end-user Internet connectivity, and application interactions with the network. We’ll learn what novel techniques in each of these areas are pushing the cloud’s capabilities farther.