Categories
Cloud Computing

Learn and Try Satellite Tree Protocol Hands-On with Mininet Yourself!

As SynchroKnot technology has gained the attention of technical peers and businesses across the globe, the team at Spatial Systems Engineering at SynchroKnot has decided to make the Satellite Tree Protocol software [similar to what is seen in the demonstration videos, but not the bleeding edge] free and available to everyone providing you understand & keep in mind that the enhancements to the IEEE standards 802.1D (1998|2004) and 802.1W as seen in the Linux version and other operating systems versions of the Satellite Tree Protocol Software are the Intellectual Property of its creator and owner Mehul Sharma.

Feel free to use, distribute, hack, re-engineer and have fun!

Keep in mind this software is provided to you “as is” for the purposes of fun without any support or warranty of any kind. One of the considerate ideas behind this decision is to help warm up the end users to get acquainted with the actual SynchroKnot Cloud Computing Decentralization Software.

The Satellite Tree Protocol software provided here is the Linux version, which will work on Linux kernel version 4.9, as seen in Debian and Debian derivatives.

If you have recompiled the kernel or are using a derivative with CONFIG_MODULE_SIG [Module signature verification], then the kernel module will fail to load.

It is recommended that you download and install Debian 9 [Stretch] or Devuan [ASCII] from their official website. Below is a short list of known-to-be-working kernels:

GRML:
SMP Debian 4.9.29-1+grml-1

Kali:
SMP Debian 4.9.30-2kali1

Debian:
SMP Debian 4.9.65-3

Devuan:
SMP Debian 4.9.88-1+deb9u1

Though we understand the actual, real-world use requires understanding of various interconnect topologies, troubleshooting of various aspects depending on your setup, understanding the core work-ability before you can even attempt to troubleshoot, gaining of professional support to help you engineer and help you solve problems, and so on, we believe this will help you get started and see the potential and power of this small part of the complete SynchroKnot software and solution.

For those who are unaware of what Satellite Tree Protocol is, a full description can be found in one of our other articles or on our official website.

What is Mininet?

Mininet creates a realistic virtual network, running real kernel, switch and application code, on a single machine in seconds, with a single command.

Please visit Mininet website to learn more:

Mininet

Install Mininet:

Please visit the Download/Get Started With Mininet page for necessary steps to get Mininet installed:

Important: Please consider installing Mininet on a physical machine with ample resources and not a virtual machine to get good performance when using it with Satellite Tree Protocol.

Steps to Get Started:

1] Important: Make sure you remove the standard Linux Bridge.

rmmod bridge

Please make sure it has been successfully removed.

2] Insert the 8021q module

modprobe 8021q

Please make sure it has successfully loaded.

3] Insert the Satellite Tree Protocol-enabled Bridge:

Please make sure you are loading only the Satellite Tree Protocol-enabled Bridge. To confirm do the following:
modinfo sstp-bridge.ko

The value of alias: should look similar to below:
alias: rtnl-link-SynchroKnot-Satellite-Tree-Protocol-bridge

Now insert the module:
insmod -f [path]/sstp-bridge.ko

example:
insmod -f sstp-bridge.ko

Please make sure it has successfully loaded. The command lsmod should show “bridge”.

4] Create a pair of veth devices to complete the loop of the ring topology:

ip link add loop0 type veth peer name loop1

ifconfig loop0 up
ifconfig loop1 up

5] Start Mininet without a controller [--controller none] and with Linux bridge which is now Satellite Tree Protocol enabled.

mn --controller none --switch lxbr,stp=1 --topo linear,8,1

The topology above [--topo linear,8,1] refers to 8 switches [nodes] in a linear topology. Start with 8 or less switches [nodes] and then increase it when you get acquainted with the workabilities and observations.

You can also add the option below to mn to experiment:

--link=tc,bw=1000

6] Connect the ends of the topology to form one large loop or ring:

brctl addif s1 loop0
brctl addif s8 loop1

[The veth loop devices must be up for the ring to form. We have already brought up the loop0 and loop1 devices in step 3]

Note: As soon as the loop devices are connected you can see topology change and related activity.

One simple way to capture topology change-related activity is to use the Tcpdump utility:

tcpdump -vvv -p -n -i any stp | grep -ie topology

Refer to the tcpdump manual page for more information related to the options:
man tcpdump

For an in-depth investigation you can look at syslog or dmesg. Below is an example to get information in real-time from syslog:

tail -f /var/log/syslog | grep --color -ie sstp

Now, you can start to experiment with bringing down a switch and observing what happens and then bringing it up again and then observing the change.

Example:
echo "Bringing Down s8" && ifconfig s8 down
echo "-- waiting for 10 seconds --" && sleep 10
echo "Bringing Up s8" && ifconfig s8 up

Similarly, you can start pings from one switch [node] to another and make observations. Of course you won’t get a ping response from the switch[es] that you might be bringing down, so make sure you are only pinging the switches that are not being brought down and up.

Also, experiment with moving or bouncing the root bridge over to another switch and then moving it back with and without the pings, and make observations in tcpdump. Obviously, you are not going to move/bounce the root bridge to the switch that you might be bringing up and down.

Example:

Check which switch is the root bridge and then set a lower bridge priority to another switch and you will notice that the bridge with the lower priority becomes the root bridge.

Here we are giving s4 as a priority of 50:

brctl setbridgeprio s4 50

How to check which switch is the root bridge:

In the tcpdump results, see what is next to “root-id” and then find that id after executing brctl show

To move the root bridge back to the previous switch that was the root bridge or to another switch, set a lower priority than 50:

brctl setbridgeprio [name of the switch] 25

To make things easier we have depicted the steps and different experiments in our video demonstrations. Please refer to our website for the details of the demonstrations under the demo section. The links below are directly of the demonstration videos:

Spatial Satellite Tree Protocol

Satellite Tree Protocol showing Root Bridge failure, failover, failback

Satellite Tree Protocol showing Root Bridge failure, failover, failback with Flood Ping from multiple directions

After you have had an opportunity to experiment with the ring topology, you can start Mininet with the Torus topology!

Please keep in mind that at the moment only the binary version of this software is available (similar to many binaries made available by companies such as Nvidia and others). If this conflicts with your belief, please decide against trying or using it.

Considering their active, busy schedule, the team at Spatial Systems Engineering is in the very early stages of gathering requirements and necessary details for the possible open-sourcing of the code of this software.

Also keep in mind that it is not a requirement to use the Satellite Tree Protocol with the SynchroKnot software and solutions. You can use regular switches with STP and RSTP, etc. as well. Many have shown preference for the Satellite Tree Protocol, due to the logical, underlying benefits.

Below are the links to download sstp-bridge.ko and checksum [sha512sum] of sstp-bridge.ko

█ DOWNLOAD SATELLITE TREE PROTOCOL – sstp-bridge.ko 

█ SHA512SUM [in a file] 

SHA512SUM:
13335bcb0c5ce6ba2a497a01ab5e2944f032a7f08a694887d8b17b2bc6160d4532cc231afd5c1b625f23b4e81856d011bacdbee29aaf4b316b77d3633f1d6f7c

Categories
Cloud Computing

Distributed Fault-Tolerant Authentication Management & Identification Control System

At the rate at which technology today is moving forward with the Internet speeds increasing manifold, with IoT gaining prominence and organizations more distributed across the globe than before, the authentication software, systems and architectures remain fairly primitive.

Among the many reasons attributing to this is corporates that build these authenticating systems and software hold on to these products as their main source of income. The insight and research in these areas has also been fairly mundane. Though there’s been enough research funding, what’s missing has been the intellect and knowledge required to build large-scale distributed and decentralized authentication systems and architectures.

Large-scale authentication systems and architectures used in building them must allow both manned [computers, tablets, phones, virtual machines etc] and unmanned [IoT devices etc] to authenticate and authorize themselves without a centralized bottleneck, as seen in authentication systems like LDAP, Active Directory and others.

As experienced on a daily basis, these centralized authentication systems are not scalable or fault-tolerant without a sane fail-over MTBF [Mean Time Between Failure] causing business disruptions on a regular and long-lasting basis.

■ What can be done about this?

Let us acquaint ourselves with AuthControl. SynchroKnot designed and developed AuthControl as a result of realizing inadequacies in the centralized authentication systems [LDAP & Active Directory].

AuthControl was designed with the following flexibility in mind:

  • Ability for authentication to be either centralized, distributed, decentralized or a combination of these.
  • Ability to be seamlessly and transparently scaled on-demand across the globe with no downtime.
  • Ability to be used by standard operating systems within their security framework without custom or proprietary software, enhancements, modifications or hacks.
  • Ability to be used across all devices that can make a simple https call. and much more.

■ What is AuthControl?

AuthControl is SynchroKnot’s unique Distributed Fault-Tolerant Authentication Management & Identification Control System that serves as a scalable, secure and simple alternative to LDAP, Active Directory and other authentication systems.

In AuthControl, the user[s] can be delegated and made responsible for managing their password. Furthermore, the user’s password SHA512/GOST checksum is kept encrypted.

■ Password + Pin

The user[s] can log in to their virtual machines or physical hardware [eg. computers, tablets, mobile phones etc] with their standard username and password + 5 digit unique pin.

This 5 digit pin is not set by the user, but is rather auto or manually generated per the preference of the organization. Without having to manage separate pins for each user, and the ability to change them on a regular basis, makes logging into systems and authentication for various purposes more secure without adding the burden of lengthy procedures/steps.

Depending on the nature of the circumstance, user access can be restricted/limited by simply changing the PIN.

■ Algorithmically-ascertained decentralized numeric User and Group ID

Authcontrol also has the unique capability of creating operating system specific user and group identities that are unique. For example, AuthControl can create a Linux User ID and Group ID that are unique and always return the same numeric value for the ID.

This unique numeric user and group ID is algorithmically created in a decentralized manner without having to generate, store and poll centralized or distributed databases.

Due to the uniqueness of the user and group IDs, they can be instantly checked for changes/manipulations and reinstated automatically if changed without having to poll, check and compare with central or distributed databases. It can also report/alert in the similar manner.

AuthControl’s strong security is strengthened with the use of inter-leaved mapping of Usernames to their Blockchain IDs and further using blockchain cryptography [not the blockchain network] to ascertain authenticity. This is another unique feature you will not find anywhere else but with SynchroKnot.

■ Fault Tolerant

AuthControl algorithmically checks for failures across multiple geographically-dispersed locations [configurable up to 10] before returning unreachable.

■ Load Balanced

Each user or groups of users can be assigned different geographically-dispersed locations for load balancing [with additional option of fault-tolerance].

■ Scalable

Enable AuthControl in virtual or physical machines, point more users to them, and scale seamlessly and transparently across the globe.

■ Simple

Very easy to set up and manage. Works transparently with Linux PAM without modifying standard PAM modules, and is end-to-end encrypted [uses standard HTTPS for communication].

Since this is just an article for getting acquainted with AuthControl, we refrain from getting into technicalities which might be better reflected in a whitepaper.

■ Below are examples of different methods that users can log in or access resources transparently with their standard Username and Password + 5 Digit PIN:

├─> Graphical Login
├─> Graphical Screen Saver Login [eg. screen lock]
├─> Non-Graphical Login
├─> SUDO – Execute a command as another user
├─> SU – Super User
├─> SSH – Secure Shell
├─> SCP – Secure Copy
├─> SFTP – Secure File Transfer Protocol
├─> SSHFS – Secure Shell File System
├─> FTP – File Transfer Protocol
├─> VNC – Virtual Network Computing
├─> RDP – Remote Desktop Protocol
├─> CUPs – standards based open source printing system
├─> CRON – Execution of scheduled commands
├─> SAMBA – Windows AD and SMB/CIFS fileserver for UNIX
├─> File Manager – Create Network Place with SFTP, SAMBA and FTP
├─> All password requirements via Control Center
├─> Practically anything that uses Standard PAM for authentication!

Below is a direct link to the demonstration video:

AuthControl Demo

Description of the demonstration:

This is a very basic impromptu demonstration of AuthControl. Here both of the virtual machines are enabled with AuthControl and show the following:

■ Login via Graphical Interface

■ Login via Non-Graphical Interface

■ Run a command with SU as another user

■ Run a command with SUDO as another user

■ Login to a remote system via SSH

■ Mount a remote filesystem via SSHFS

■ Use File Manager to create a Network Place using SFTP

All these different types of logins use AuthControl with standard Linux users and password + 5 digit pin. The basic HTTPS traffic is captured using TCPDUMP to show realtime interaction with the SynchroKnot AuthControl when the password is entered in the virtual machines for the purposes of authentication.

Note: This demo was recorded on a severely resource-constrained system. It is up to you to determine the performance.

More information and technical insights can be found @ synchroknot.com

Categories
Cloud Computing

Software Defined to Spatial Defined Networking

While software defined networking has proven its value, SynchroKnot has taken software defined networking to a whole new dimension with Spatial Defined Networking.

Spatial Defined Networking is made up of SynchroKnot’s core networking component called Satellite Tree Protocol, which is an enhancement to the IEEE standard [ 802.1D (1998|2004), 802.1W ] while keeping the core semantics in place.

This simplistically means, you can use any commodity X86_64 Desktop/Workstation/Server/Embedded device and connect them to eachother.

There is no need to purchase physical or virtual switches and routers or any of their licenses [Eg. Cisco, Juniper etc].

Satellite Tree Protocol is the core networking component of the SynchroKnot Cloud Computing and Data Center Decentralization software.

In brief, the SynchroKnot software transforms any server, workstation, desktop or embedded device into a decentralized cloud or data center [data decenter].

There are various demonstration videos depicting its workability, performance, security and scalability on synchroknot.tokyo

Here are some of the highlights of the SynchroKnot Satellite Tree Protocol:

■ Automatic – Mission-Critical – Resilient – Self-Sustaining – Self-Healing – Seamless Scaling Without Down-Time – High-Performance.

■ Nothing to configure or manage.

■ Enhancement to the IEEE standard [ 802.1D (1998|2004), 802.1W ] while keeping the core semantics in place.

Standard Layer 2 Ethernet remains pure, untouched and unmodified without frame encapsulation, additional headers or other forms of tinkering.

■ Improving upon and applying the globally accepted IEEE standard found in network switches onto Spatial Fabric Satellites. Network is no longer a separate complex component with separate hardware and licenses, but is now built right in with nothing extra that needs to be done.

■ Depending on your need and/or requirement, you now have a logical straight-forward option and ability to eliminate Top-of-the-Rack, Spine, Leaf, Edge, Aggregation and Core Switches & Routers, along with their respective licenses.

■ Large-Scale, High-Performance Layer 2 Environment with a single instance of Satellite Tree Protocol with support for single, double and triple stacked VLANS.

■ Does not cause a network-wide outage on failure of link(s) as experienced with regular Spanning Tree Protocol [ STP ] and Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol [ RSTP ].

■ Recovery from failure is, in most cases, in sub-milliseconds to about 1.5 seconds depending on the nature of failure [ single / multiple links ] and the distance from the point(s) of failure. Traffic that does not traverse the path where failure occured is generally not affected by the failure at all.

■ Intelligent Layer 2 Optimized Cost Multipath forwarding logic based on local intelligence chooses the best link with the shortest optimal path in normal operation, congestion and on link failure.

■ Multiple ANY-to-ANY Layer 2 routes allow you to add and remove hardware transparently without turning off whole or sections of the network, as experienced with switches and routers in networks today.

■ Zero Configuration.

How about never having to endure countless hours of pain configuring, managing and maintaining physical Ethernet ports, trunking and ACLs and other aspects? How about plugging one end of Ethernet cable into ANY physical port of a commodity hardware and connecting the other end to ANY physical port of another commodity hardware and that’s it – nothing to do.

■ Get the best of cost, low latency, bandwidth and performance in multiple directions, not just East-West / North-South with the help of SynchroKnot Multi-Dimensional topology.

■ SynchroKnot Multi-Dimensional topology is a dynamic mix and integration of proven network topologies which are used as a primary backbone in High Performance Computing and Supercomputing. These include Ring, 2-D, 3-D and many other custom topologies optimized for cost, performance and simplified cabling.

■ Single-length cable for the entire cluster. No long haul cables. No expensive power-consuming optical cables.

■ Very low CPU usage.

Apart from all these features, there are multitude of extra security features to choose from on top of the Satellite Tree Protocol.


More information is available at:
■ synchroknot.com

Categories
Cloud Computing

Strong Network Security with ARPless – Hapless without ARPless?

In the realm of network security we tend to hear a lot of terms like “denial of service”, “man-in-the-middle”, or “session hijacking” and so on. For those deep into the networking and network security field, dealing with these terms is a real-life situation everyday.

Also, keeping up to date with the latest trends, software and solutions is a major part of the knowledge gathering practices.

Although it is near-impossible to have a 100% final solution to the serious issues of denial of service, man-in-the-middle, or session hijacking and similar others, SynchroKnot has approached the underlying cause to help substantially reduce and, in some cases, fully alleviate these issues.

For those unfamiliar, SynchroKnot software transforms any server, workstation, desktop or embedded device into a decentralized cloud or data center [data decenter] in minutes. You can use any commodity X86_64 Desktop/Workstation/Server/Embedded device and connect them to eachother. There is no need to purchase virtualization software [VMware, OpenStack, Hyper-V etc], switches & routers or storage [SAN/NAS].

ARPless is a part of SynchroKnot Spatial Defined Networking and works with the virtual machines of the tenants. It builds a secure vacuum of multi-dimensional layers of security starting with not allowing the virtual machine’s MAC address to be spoofed. Then, it only allows the communication between groups of virtual machines with their matching 28-bit Interstellar Identification assigned to their MAC addresses, and as a last step, securely and intelligently auto-responds to the virtual machines when they make an ARP request so that they always know who is who and where to go. This practically makes ARP spoofing, ARP cache poisoning, or ARP poison routing very difficult-to-impossible.

[It is advised to read the post earlier about Interstellars]

As an additional option, ARPless can be invoked with blockchain cryptography, which ensures that security policies, accountability and awareness are at the same level across the team(s), department(s) and organization(s).

Above is just a brief description. Below are some of the highlights:

■ ARPless creates a secure vacuum for trusted communication between virtual machines, and also with the existing physical infrastructure.

■ ARPless does not allow forced traffic diversion from poisoned ARP caches of virtual machines to reach undesired destination(s).

■ ARPless ignores requests from virtual machines that impersonate the original to force divert traffic or gain access.

■ ARPless securely and intelligently auto-responds to the virtual machines when they make an ARP request [ no agent / software needs to be installed inside the virtual machine(s) ]. It does not allow ARP requests from the virtual machines to get onto the network.

■ ARPless can further limit ARP traffic within the secure vacuum.

■ ARPless practically makes ARP spoofing, ARP cache poisoning, or ARP poison routing very difficult-to-impossible, which in turn substantially reduces the possibilities of other attacks stemming from it, such as denial of service, man-in-the-middle, or session hijacking.

■ ARPless intelligently handles and manages the following opcodes : 1 Request, 2 Reply, 3 Request_Reverse, 4 Reply_Reverse, 5 DRARP_Request, 6 DRARP_Reply, 7 DRARP_Error, 8 InARP_Request and 9 ARP_NAK

We have an excellent video to sharpen your skills at the link below.

■ Network Security with Arpless Interstellar

More information is available at:
■ synchroknot.com

Categories
Cloud Computing

Flood Ping Fun with 24 Switches in a Ring Topology!

This demonstration video shows a total of 24 Ethernet switches in one large loop [ Ring Topology ] with Satellite Tree Protocol enabled and multiple switches being brought down and up every 10 seconds while Flood Pings are underway from multiple directions!

The SynchroKnot Satellite Tree Protocol an enhancement to the IEEE standard [ 802.1D (1998|2004), 802.1W ] while keeping the core semantics in place, and is a part of SynchroKnot Spatial Defined Networking.

Satellite Tree Protocol is the core networking component of the SynchroKnot Cloud Computing and Data Center Decentralization software which transforms any server, workstation, desktop or embedded device into a decentralized cloud or data center [data decenter].

The object is to ascertain the automatic and fast network resilience [root bridge failure, failover and failback], fault tolerance and intelligent path selection capabilities amidst very low hardware resources.

This demonstration setup has been purposefully done with an illogical setting so as to test how it can perform in extreme circumstances.

Mininet is used for actual network emulation.

You may also notice results of prior flood ping tests in the demonstration video before the current one gets underway.

We would like to assume that the outcome result with 0% [zero percent] packet loss with 24 switches is a bit much for our logical mind to digest and would love to blame the ping utility with a faulty flood ping option 🙂 ….. of course upon deeper contemplation you may develop an insight that differs.

■ In actual use case scenarios, with our unique cabling technique in a 5 X 5 2-D Torus topology, one may generally not have more than one or two hops! 24 nodes are used for purposes of extreme testing in difficult case scenarios.

■ Simple machine with 2 cores [4 threads] Intel Core i7-6500U Processor with 8 GB RAM. Alongside, a few running virtual machines not a part of this demo were used in the background to consume CPU and memory resources, leaving fewer CPU cycles and memory for Satellite Tree Protocol and the 24 nodes with Mininet. [This demonstration video was also recorded on the same machine and thus used additional CPU cycles and memory.]

■ Side Note : Spanning Tree Protocol and Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol generally respond to failures by recovering in about 40 to 300 seconds or more depending upon the timers and topology [ RSTP may recover faster in some scenarios ]. This is with the regular vendor / standards suggested timers found in most switches in standard setups today. One can increase the network diameter [ i.e number of switches between two endpoints ] to a maximum of about 18. This however will substantially increase the recovery time, alongside most likely put the timers of switches out of sync. Your mileage may vary. Please do your own research.

■ Caution : If you try a similar setup with standard physical Ethernet switches [Cisco, Juniper etc] then you are solely responsible if you brick your appliance(es). We cannot help you recover them.

In brief, the SynchroKnot software transforms any server, workstation, desktop or embedded device into a decentralized cloud or data center [data decenter]. You can use any commodity X86_64 Desktop/Workstation/Server/Embedded device and connect them to eachother. There is no need to purchase physical or virtual switches and routers or any of their licenses [Eg. Cisco, Juniper etc].

This demonstration video is available at the link below and also on synchroknot.com under the the demo section:

■ Spatial Satellite Tree Protocol showing Root Bridge failure, failover, failback with Flood Ping from multiple directions

More information is available at:
■ synchroknot.com

Categories
Cloud Computing

Decentralized Blockchain Identity Management

Blockchain is one of the fastest growing sectors world-wide. SynchroKnot focuses on different aspects of the blockchain technologies and utilizes them in its own, unique perspective.

One of the many unique blockchain innovations SynchroKnot has engineered is the Decentralized Identity Management System, which uses fast blockchain cryptography in real time to confirm user identity and all the users’ rest-based and other requests.

Here the main advantage is that there are no passwords, checksums or salts kept on the server or anywhere else, for that matter.

The inherent uniqueness is further magnified with the integration of multi-fault-tolerant standard LDAP and Active Directory, if required, for an additional layer of security.

Highlights and Steps:

■ 1] Identify the people to whom you want to give access rights and the type of access.

■ 2] Add their Blockchain ID [ public blockchain address – Eg. Bitcoin Address ]. That’s it. Nothing to do.

■ The user can log in successfully with his / her Blockchain ID and the Blockchain ID of the Spatial Cluster. The user only uses his / her Blockchain Private Key to sign a Spatial Nonce Fingerprint [ invisible to the user ]. The Private Key is only used in the browser to sign and not sent to the server.

■ Once successfully authenticated, a Signed Nonce Fingerprint, among other things, is injected into the browser cookie. No need to login again!

■ ONLY the Blockchain ID [ Bitcoin Address ] of the user(s) is present on the Spatial Fabric Array(s). No checksums, salts, signatures, hashes, keys, passwords etc. Nothing else.

The demonstration video at the link below depicts the following:

■ Authorized user logging in his/her Blockchain Identity and Active Directory / LDAP password.

■ For the purpose of demonstration, the user first logs in without the password and is prompted to enter the password as Level 2 Security [ie LDAP and Active Directory] is enabled. Then the user enters a wrong password which is rejected by the designated Active Directory / LDAP server(s). On the third attempt the user succesfully logs into the SynchroKnot Infrastructure Engine.

■ In this demonstration, for the purposes of testing, the password is authenticated against the first 3 LDAP servers designated to the user and fails, and then successfully authenticates against the 4th LDAP server.

■ Speed is clearly visible, in spite of multiple, complex security and cryptographic operations being performed by SynchroKnot.

Note: The demonstration video does not depict the latest version, but does gives a clear visual understanding.

This demonstration video is available at the link below:

■ Decentralized Heterogeneous Blockchain Identity Management

More information is available at:
synchroknot.com

Categories
Cloud Computing

Decentralized Virtual Machines : What Are They?

Decentralized virtual machines are those in the sense that do not have a centralized orchestrator as seen with software such as VMware, OpenStack, Kubernetes, Docker, Hyper-V and others.

In other words, they are not managed via a centralized control point(s) but instead are managed by their de-orchestrator [decentralized orchestrator] on the hardware where they operate. The de-orchestrator additionally allows the management of all other virtual machines running on separate hardware at decentralized locations anywhere in the world and in parallel!

The only known de-orchestrator that can do this today, along with a myriad of extra add-on features, is a small yet important part of the SynchroKnot Cloud Computing Software.

In this article we will talk about the creation, storing, snapshots and relocation [live migration] of these decentralized virtual machines.

The SynchroKnot software imbibes and enables regular standard QEMU KVM virtual machines [the same ones used in OpenStack] with decentralized features and capabilities.

Let’s count a few unique features before moving forward:

■ They can be used as High-Performance Desktop and Server Virtual Machines, as they sit directly on storage. There is no Network Latency and Dependency, since the hard drives are NOT accessed over wire. Furthermore, there is no complexity as there is NO SAN / NAS / Distributed File or Block Storage used.

■ Copy-on-Write based independent replica(s) [ writable snapshots ] can be created in under a second even if the virtual machine is running under high-load situations.

■ Replication, Recovery and Disaster Recovery is possible with FASTR [Fast Asynchronous Triggered Replication] which is very simple to set up, replicate and recover.

■ Automatic or Static Virtual Machine creation on any or a specific refined group anywhere on any commodity hardware [x86_64] in the world.

■ Efficient direct access to the virtual machine console using VNC and/or SPICE without proxies / brokers.

The direct access offers web browser view via HTML5 and/or Java [applet]. It also displays the IP address and port(s) for access via regular [non-web-browser-based] clients. Dynamic-static automatic port allotment without the use of any database allows the same port to be accessed every time, which is very useful for non-web-browser-based clients.

■ Dynamic Static Public and Private IP addresses and related other features with decentralized DHCP. You don’t have to depend on a centralized DHCP server unless you want to, and you do not have to manually configure the virtual machines to give them IP addresses, among other things.

Eg. you can assign ANY Name, IP Address [Public/Private IPv4 IP Address], Netmask, Broadcast, Default Gateway, MTU [Maximum Transfer Unit], NTP, DNS, Domain Name, Domain Search, Log Server, NETBIOS [Name Servers, Datagram Distribution and Node-Type], SMTP server, POP3 server, plus also, Enable IP Forwarding, Set TCP Keepalive, Set Multiple Classless Static Routes and more.

Further, if you need to point your virtual machine[s] to a centralized DHCP server[s] then you can use secure DHCPCAST feature which is built-in. This feature allows the virtual machine[s] to get their IP address[es] from a specific DHCP server.

■ Automatic or Static Decentralized Creation and Relocation [we will learn about that below].

■ Extreme ease and flexibility in management and de-orchestration with the built-in infrastructure engine which has the simplicity and look of a search engine, but instead, has actual intelligence built-in to control and manage end-to-end decentralized infrastructure in real-time.

■ Extreme ease in control, as the user interface is designed and built at the intersection and fusion of commandline interface and graphical web user interface for scalable precision control.

■ Password-less login using proven blockchain cryptography. Simply login with just your Blockchain/Bitcoin ID to manage the virtual machines. No passwords, checksums, salts etc. used or kept anywhere. Further, if your organization requires, you can additionally and easily integrate it with your existing LDAP and/or Active Directory servers.

■ Strong network security is provided at layer 2 with a special feature of Interstellars and ARPless Interstellars.

…… and much more.

[Demonstration videos and an in-depth explanation of features is available at the official website for those who are interested.]

Before we get started here is a brief warm up of the used terminology:

Spacesuit: virtual machine template. New virtual machines are created from this.
Spatial Fabric Satellite: any physical machine [commodity [x86_64] server/workstation/desktop/embedded device] where the tenant has the hardware resource to run their virtual machines.
Spatial Fabric Array: bifurcated hardware resources [CPU, Memory, Network, Storage] assigned to the tenant on the Spatial Fabric Satellite.
Microcosm: tag(s) related to where the Spatial Fabric Array is located [eg. row, rack/shelf, CPU type, network type, topology etc]. 
Macrocosm: tag(s) related to region where the Spatial Fabric Array is located [town, city, state, country, zip code, north, south, east, west, ne, nw, se, sw etc]. 
Intercosm: tag(s) related to group/team/provider identification [names/Blockchain id] for correspondence, management and support, and a combination of Microcosm and Macrocosm.

Note: Microcosm, Macrocosm and Intercosm can be set and updated by the tenant.

█║ Virtual Machine Creation

Virtual machines can be created with great ease and speed with minimal storage utilization due to the copy-on-write feature of the ZFS file system. The complexity of management and maintenance of virtual machine volumes, snapshots, clones and their deeply intertwined inter-dependencies is greatly minimized-to-eliminated with the built-in automatic Transparent Interdependent Volume Removal feature, so there is no need for user intervention.

Here are some of the multifarious ways you can create virtual machines:

■ Auto Create a Virtual Machine from a Spacesuit [ ie. from a virtual machine template ].
■ Auto Create a Virtual Machine from a Spacesuit on a Spatial Fabric Array with high or low performance.
■ Auto Create a Virtual Machine from a Spacesuit on a Spatial Fabric Array from a refined group using Microcosm / Macrocosm / Intercosm or their combination. Further automatically choose a Spatial Fabric Array with high or low performance.
■ Manually Create Virtual Machine from Spacesuit on a specific Spatial Fabric Array.
■ Auto Create Virtual Machine from an existing Virtual Machine [not Spacesuit].
■ Manually Create Virtual Machine from an existing Virtual Machine on a specific Spatial Fabric Array.
■ Auto Create a Spacesuit from an existing Virtual Machine.
■ Manually Create a Spacesuit from an existing Virtual Machine on a specific Spatial Fabric Array.
■ Create from Spacesuits or Virtual Machines while they are running [ switched on ] without disruption.

All these complex operations use the Decentralized Resource Radar to ascertain and intelligently trigger after retrieving metadata in real-time.

Below is a link of a video demonstration from an older version, but enough to give an idea:

Create decentralized virtual machines


█║ Decentralized Automatic and Manual Virtual Machine Relocation

Similar to the creation, the relocation [live migration] is also quite unique:

■ Auto Relocate virtual machines with their storage without knowing where the virtual machine you intend to relocate resides and without knowing who the receiver will be. Further, the receiver does not know who the sender will be. Just the name with the relocate trigger or the click of the Auto Relocate button. Everything is auto-ascertained and executed by the decentralized resource radar, without reading a central or distributed database or resource.
■ Manually relocate to a specific Spatial Fabric Array by simply giving its IP address.
■ Auto relocate to a refined group of Spatial Fabric Arrays with the help of Microcosm, Macrocosm and Intercosm [ individually or their combination ].
■ Auto relocate to high or low performance Spatial Fabric Arrays by simply adding performance:[high / low]. Further, use it with Microcosm, Macrocosm and Intercosm [ individually or their combination ].

Here is a demonstration video:

Decentralized Automatic and Manual Virtual Machine Relocation

█║ Virtual Machine Replicas [Snapshots]

Replicas are writable snapshots of virtual machines which can be created in under a second even if the virtual machine is active and running under high-load situations.

Replicas don’t relocate with the virtual machines, reducing the burden of tugging along snapshots, yet still available to be reverted to the original or created into new virtual machines.

Replicas allow you to move back and forth in time with specific granularity and ease.

Here is a demonstration video:
Virtual Machine Replica

Moving virtual machines from VMware, Openstack and related virtualization technologies onto SynchroKnot can be as simple as converting/changing their virtual disk format and sometimes not even that!

In this article, we have made an attempt to present some of the qualities of decentralized virtual machines. Now you can be in a better position to ascertain the real-world benefits [if any] to your organization.

For full description and technical overview of all the features please visit synchroknot.com