It would be an altogether different Internet than the one we appliance repair center rely upon today, one which may be less dependent upon DNS for resolving fixed addresses — some have speculated it could be independent of DNS. The definition of domains could change, and thus domain names as we have come to know them. It could make applications and services available to users on a per-use basis, perhaps independently of the cloud or telco that hosts them.
But this is not a prediction. We’ve been at this crossroads before, only to make U-turns, or to get stuck spinning in traffic circles. Reimagining the way things should be in our data centers, has already become an industry unto itself. Yet this time, there is one underlying certainty: There are many organizations that, like Segment, have no more time to waste. Reality demands one permanent solution.
At the time of our interview, he said, NSM was within two production deployments of meeting the minimum criteria (there should be three) that Kubernetes maintainer CNCF mandates to qualify for “incubation” — to be fully maintained by CNCF, like Kubernetes itself was in its first years. By next year, Cisco hopes to have five independent users for NSM. At that point, he hopes, NSM can become a part of every CNCF-certified Kubernetes deployment. In other words, in this hopeful and bright future, if you’re deploying Kubernetes, you’re deploying NSM.
What this would mean, if everything turns out as Cisco has planned, is that the class of Layer 2 and Layer 3 infrastructure that telecommunications providers say they require to make virtualized network functions (VNF) run in secure isolation, will be achievable using containerized network functions (CNF) instead. NSM would weave a dedicated network of addresses supporting the orchestrator and other systems that maintain workloads. Then a Layer 7 service mesh, such as Istio or Linkerd, would still weave a network overlay for connecting those workloads, but this time with the assurance of underlying connectivity — even if the nodes in which those workloads are maintained reside on different cloud platforms.