Virtual Edge, Netsocket’s industry leading virtualized network and automated application delivery solution for SMB and Enterprise remote offices, is powered by the product components of the Netsocket Virtual Network (NVN). The Netsocket Virtual Network technology is a fusion of the best principals of cloud hosting, Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) and Software-defined Networking (SDN), applied to real-world solutions at the edge. All network functions are virtualized, management and orchestration is cloud-hosted, and the networking components are layered in a three-tier SDN architecture.
Netsocket has deployed four NVN product components in three layers of the SDN architecture spanning the application, controller, and infrastructure layers. Netsocket’s virtualized system components include the vFlowController™, vFlowSwitch™, vNetCommander™ and vRemoteAgent. These components run in virtual machines on MicroCloud Server platforms and provide a layered connection to the underlying network. vApps are Netsocket-qualified virtual applications that are hosted in their own virtual machines on the same MicroCloud Server. vApps are automatically “plumbed” to Netsocket’s virtualized network components. More information on the realized value of implementing NVN product components in a real-world solution can be found here.
vNetCommander - Powerful, Unified Network Management
Netsocket’s orchestration, management, and application delivery product is the vNetCommander™. vNetCommander, which is hosted in the cloud and operated by Netsocket as a service, enables system administrators to install, configure and operate a complete virtualized network as well as automatically deliver applications to the MicroCloud Server in a matter of minutes. Within the application layer, it provides robust, unified network management and enables centralized administration of virtual networking components and applications (vApps). Its elements include a web-based GUI and template-based installation, bulk-provisioning, and software upgrade orchestration functions. Day-to-day configuration operations are simplified through the use of a GUI. No knowledge of CLI is required. vNetCommander provides automated modification of router, switch and tunnel attributes, including quality-of-service (QoS) queue management, traffic filtering rate limiting, and routing protocol configuration. vNetCommander’s workflow automation for installation, bulk provisioning and software upgrade orchestration represents a dramatic reduction in the time required to design, install and initially configure a highly-scalable routed network.
vRemoteAgent – MicroCloud Server Orchestration
The vRemoteAgent runs on a virtual machine on the MicroCloud Server and automates the local installation, initial provisioning and subsequent monitoring, fault isolation and configuration of software components on each MicroCloud Server. It is the workhorse that creates virtual machines, plumbs vApps to the local Netsocket networking software and manages the upgrades of that software. Acting as the local agent of the cloud-based vNetCommander, vRemoteAgent maintains continuous communications between the central vNetCommander and each MicroCloud Server. vRemoteAgent also communicates bi-directionally with its parent vFlowController, its local vFlowSwitch and the local hypervisor/operating system. vRemoteAgent allows the creation of a secure remote diagnostics tunnel by which MSP service desk agents, using the vNetCommander GUI, can remotely manipulate a restricted set of hypervisor and operating system workflows.
vFlowController – Virtualized Routing, Firewall and Tunnel Functions
Residing at the controller layer, the vFlowController application runs in a virtual machine on the MicroCloud server, providing control for distributed routing. The vFlowController supports IPv4 and critical routing protocols (BGP, OSPF), stateless packet filtering, and includes intrinsic virtualized routing, firewall, and encrypted, inter-site tunnel functions to support critical enterprise needs. A primary advantage of the intrinsic nature of these features is their close coupling with flow control functions. This pairing delivers performance benefits above and beyond what can be delivered through a common application-layer API, such as a traditional SDN northbound API.
vFlowSwitch – Virtualized Packet Forwarding
Within the infrastructure layer is the vFlowSwitch, a virtualized application that is responsible for layer 3 packet forwarding. The vFlowSwitch runs in a virtual machine on the MicroCloud Server and is coupled to layer 2 virtual switches, a native component of the hypervisor environment. One or more vFlowSwitch modules can be associated with a parent vFlowController, based on individual network requirements.
vApps – Open Ecosystem of Business Applications
vApps include Netsocket native, open source or 3rd party applications that run in a virtual machine on the MicroCloud Server. vApps can be automatically downloaded, installed, configured and virtually wired for a completely automated end-user experience. More information on Automated Application Delivery and vApps is located here.
The MicroCloud Server is a small form factor, multi-core x86 server appliance used to host vFlowController, vFlowSwitch and vRemoteAgent on a hypervisor/OS at a particular site. Three MicroCloud Server platform types are offered to allow scalable performance and site service extensibility through hosting of additional virtualized applications. RAM, SSD and CPU capacity dictate the capacity of the three MicroCloud Server variants. At the site, the MicroCloud Server is connected to an optional hardware component – a low-cost, layer 2 break-out switch with VLAN/QoS support. The MicroCloud Server learns its configuration from the cloud, allowing for a zero-touch end-user experience.
The MicroCloud Switch is a Layer 2 switch which provides the ability to “break-out” the VLANS on a gigabit Ethernet (GE) physical network port on the MicroCloud Server to multiple physical GE ports. The MicroCloud Switch provides eight to forty-eight low cost, layer 2 gigabit Ethernet ports with VLAN and QoS features. The MicroCloud switch is automatically configured at installation time by the vNetCommander and vRemoteAgent.