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Do You Have a Backbone?

Jul 3, 2013

Implementing SDN for cloud backbone networks? Cloud service and network service providers have nothing to fear.

When I speak with companies considering Software-Defined Networking (SDN) deployment, I often provide recommendations to help with the process. One suggestion that I frequently offer is simple: test it out. Companies will never know what works, what doesn’t, and how SDN can be optimized to meet their needs without taking this step.

To help spark ideas for creative SDN uses, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has created a series of solution briefs that explore specific use cases. In our solution brief on cloud backbone networks, we discuss OpenFlow®-based SDN as a solution for the challenges cloud and network service providers face in regards to the data center.

Traditional communication service provider networks simply cannot keep up with rapidly evolving cloud services and emerging demands of enterprise and wholesale customers. Pressures to reduce cost along with rising volumes of time-variable traffic, and the associated risks of overprovisioning or under-provisioning, are putting significant stress on network operations while challenging wide area network (WAN) utilization efficiency. However, SDN was developed to address these issues and challenges.

With OpenFlow-enabled SDN as the foundation for backbone services interconnecting provider data centers, both cloud service and network service providers will experience many benefits.

Advantages for cloud service providers include:

  • Better alignment of network demands to network resources
  • Greater adaptation of network resources with cloud service needs via user- or application-activated service changes
  • Stronger optimization of total network resources
  • Increased network availability

The benefits for network service providers include:

  • More compelling and competitive services delivering higher value
  • Better utilization of network resources
  • Reduced operational complexity
  • A framework that easily extends to additional services in other vertical market applications

With this in mind, cloud service and network service providers should not hesitate to consider running their own SDN tests for implementation. The benefits speak for themselves.

For more information about OpenFlow-enabled SDN for cloud backbone networks, read our solution brief, “OpenFlow-Enabled Cloud Backbone Networks Create Global Provider Data Centers.”

- Dan Pitt, Executive Director

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Dan Pitt