April 12, 2021—

The Cloud-Native Data Center (Part One)

By: Silvano Gai, Christopher Ratcliffe


This article was originally posted on Silvano Gai’s blog here.

This is the first of a series of three blog posts about the cloud-native data center. In this video, I interview Chris Ratcliffe of Pensando Systems. Chris has one of the best definitions of what a cloud-native data center is. He explains the prime principles and the significant differences with conventional enterprise data centers.

The second video will also be with Chris, and we will discuss the hardware that makes these cloud-native data centers performant.

In the third video, we will discuss performance from a quantitative perspective focusing on bandwidth, packets per second, and connections per second.

I also want to include here the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) definition of cloud:

Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

In my book, I define also what a distributed services platform is and its characteristics:

  • A distributed services platform is a set of components unified by a management control plane that implements standard network services, such as stateful firewall, load balancing, encryption, and overlay networks, in a distributed, highly scalable way with high performance, low latency, and low jitter. It has no inherent bottleneck and offers high availability.
  • Each component should be able to implement and chain together as many services as possible, avoiding unnecessary forwarding of packets between different boxes that perform different functions. The management control plane provides role-based access to various functions and is itself implemented as a distributed software application.

Book Cover

You can read an independent review of the book here.

The book was also listed in The Top 10 Best Cloud Storage Books You Need to Read in 2020.

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