by October 29, 2013 0 comments

Networking is critical to every IT organization that is building a cloud, whether the cloud is large or small. As a result, compromising resiliency over traffic flow optimization is unlikely. To make you understand this better, let’s consider a scenario of a data center or cloud administrator. Most of the times, the physical attributes of servers, switches, and interconnects are well known to him. In many cases, the MAC address of each server, its physical location, assigned IP address, physical and logical connections to the switch, and configuration files, are imported into tracking and configuring database applications. This database information is important for tracking problems and fixing it in an efficient manner. In non-virtualized and non-cloud environments, this data is static and easy to maintain by the administrators. But in clouds, where servers are VMs
(virtual machines) and the physical placement of these VMs is often changing, there is a need for centralized controllers that can map and update the service policies as a set of explicit instructions to the underlying infrastructure platforms (such as servers, switches, firewalls, and load
balancers) based on location changes of the VMs. Here SDN can provide a network architecture that changes how we design, manage, and operate the entire network so that changes to the network become practical and reliable.

What one should look in SDN services of a particular vendor before opting for it?

You can start the discussion with a vendor using these points:
1) Network virtualization: First of all, don’t take it like network virtualization is an integral attribute of SDN. In fact, SDN is a tool or a technique that can be used in the creation of virtualized networks. Virtualization forms the basis of a cloud environment (public or private),
so in order to have a better and managed virtualized service, it’s necessary to look at this aspect.

2) Open & programmable: This is very important, as SDN lets network managers configure, manage, secure, and optimize network resources very quickly via dynamic, automated SDN programs, which they can write themselves because the programs do not depend on proprietary software. Also, when implemented throughopen standards, SDN simplifies network design andoperation because instructions are provided by SDN controllers instead of multiple, vendor-specific devices and protocols.

3) Big data analysis: Till now, major big data players used dedicated racks (not integrated within virtualized cloud infrastructure) for the big data deployment. And, our top requirement is faster job completion time to
uncover actionable business data based on structured and unstructured data searches and analytics. Knowing the bandwidth issue, SDN will have a great effect on this problem.


4) Centrally managed: Network intelligence is (logically) centralized in software-based SDN controllers that maintain a global view of the network, which appears to applications and policy engines as a single, logical switch.

5) Self-Healing and Resilient: Ability to find a way-out in crisis situation is something which is desirable in present day networking world. Whether you are using cloud services in a carrier environment or enterprise data center and campus, SDN adoption can improve network manageability, scalability,
and agility. So, start looking for the SDN service relevant to your work environment because you might ignore it today but tomorrow, there is higher probability of SDN becoming a reality in your setup.

– Based on a presentation delivered by Chelian
Pandian, Director of Solutions/Architecture Arista
Networks at the 2nd Annual Cloud Computing Summit,
organized by Fleming Gulf.

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