The true value of SDN will come from the real-world applications that it will enable. Although at times, when listening to vendors describe their SDN strategies, it seems like we are hearing more about solutions in search of a problem, and not the other way around. Today I am happy to be part of an announcement that is not that.
For service providers, the onslaught of data on their networks has made them re-examine and re-examine again how to build a more efficient network. The goal is to have a dynamic network infrastructure at all layers to not just handle the massive amount of traffic, but to also unlock new revenue streams by providing premium services with greater SLA’s to customers.
Today, Brocade is excited to be part of an announcement of a successful demonstration of such an SDN application. In collaboration with Infinera and ESnet, this demonstration shows how SDN can be used to provision services and automatically optimize network resources across a multi-layer network as traffic and service demands change. By leveraging an application developed by ESnet, called OSCARS, we were able to show two use cases:
The first phase of this demonstration showcases how the OSCARS application, integrated with a Floodlight controller, uses OpenFlow for orchestrated, multi-layer, automated provisioning across a packet optical 100 GbE network comprising of Brocade MLXe Core Routers, Infinera’s DTN-X converged OTN/WDM optical platform and additional OpenFlow enabled Layer 2 switches.
The second phase of the demonstration focuses on multi-layer network optimization and demonstrates how proactive detection of increasing bandwidth of packet flows can trigger the OSCARS application to dynamically re-optimize the underlying packet-optical topology and re-route the large flow to bypass an intermediate packet switch, improving overall network resource utilization and increasing operational efficiencies.
Originally a research project by ESnet, OSCARS has helped scientists collaborate with one another from around the world by moving massive amounts (in petabytes) of mission-critical data generated from research and experiments. Now with the demonstration announced today, this provisioning can be done at both the routing and transport layer using SDN. You can see the details of the demo setup in the diagram below.
This demonstration also exemplifies the power of an open SDN ecosystem. One of the major tenants of SDN is to unlock new levels of innovation for network operators. By establishing APIs between layers, software components and best-of-breed network elements this can ignite innovation, enabling the development of customized applications.
This week the demo will be on display at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress in Bad Homburg, Germany. If you are there, please stop by the Infinera booth #39 to see it live. Also check out the Brocade booth #41 where you can learn more about this solution in addition to other Brocade SDN and OpenFlow solutions. If you aren’t lucky enough to be in Germany, we will be showcasing the demo during a DemoFriday hosted by SDNCentral at 9am on November 22, 2013. Stay tuned for more details on this live virtual event where you will have a chance to hear commentary from Brocade, Infinera, and ESnet, see a live demonstration, and have time for questions and answers.