Incomplete Thought: Will the Public Cloud Create a Generation Of Network Stupid?
With the continued network abstraction and “simplicity” presented by public cloud platforms like AWS EC2* wherein instances are singly-homed and the level of networking is so dumbed down so as to make deep networking knowledge “unnecessary,” will the skill sets of next generation operators become “network stupid?”
The platform operators will continue to hire skilled network architects, engineers and operators, but the ultimate consumers of these services are being sold on the fact that they won’t have to and in many cases this means that “networking” as a discipline may face a skills shortage.
The interesting implications here is that with all this abstraction and opaque stacks, resilient design is still dependent upon so much “networking” — although much of it is layer 4 and above. Yep, it’s still TCP/IP, but the implications that the dumbing down of the stack will be profound, especially if one recognizes that ultimately these Public clouds will interconnect to Private clouds, and the two networking models are profoundly differentiated.
…think VMware versus AWS EC2…or check out the meet-in-the-middle approach with OpenStack and Quantum…
I’m concerned that we’re still so bifurcated in our discussions of networking and the Cloud.
One the one hand we’re yapping at one another about stretched L2 domains, fabrics and control/data plane separation or staring into the abyss of L7 proxies and DPI…all the while the implications of SDN and emergence of new protocols, the majority of which are irrelevant to the consumers deploying VMs and apps atop IaaS and PaaS (not to mention SaaS,) makes these discussions seem silly.
On the other hand, DevOps/NoOps folks push their code to platforms that rely less and less on needing to understand or care how the underlying “network” works.
Its’ hard to tell whether “networking” in the pure sense will be important in the long term.
Or as Kaminsky so (per usual) elegantly summarized:
What are your thoughts?
*…and yet we see more “complex” capabilities emerging in scenarios such as AWS VPC…