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Data Center

Intent-based Networking for CDN and Hybrid Cloud Connectivity

by asardell ‎07-17-2017 12:58 PM - edited ‎07-18-2017 07:16 AM (12,883 Views)

In earlier blogs, we have gone over the importance of automation for colocation providers, particularly Internet exchanges and especially those who are offering cloud based services to their customers.


By orchestrating between multiple cloud offerings the colocation provider can offer more complex services in an optimal way. And with intent-based networking, you’re assured that the policies you carry out are handled properly by a stable network for a variety of use cases.


Here, we’re going to look at a slightly more complex use case involving a content delivery network (CDN) that can differentiate between the different content types that are delivered. This can be an especially valuable use case it allows very granular treatment of content with respect to content placement, security and access.   


About the Use Case


In this use case, the Colocation (Colo) network orchestration intelligently decides, based on security and other attributes, where place the content. This way, the two orchestration system’s CDN, in conjunction with the Colo will provide a better return on investment (ROI) for the content provider.


It will also provide better utilization of the network for the Colo, which (in this example) has an intent-based service delivery function in place.


 In the example shown here, we are considering:


  • Streamed video; this is considered “low risk” (not much fallout from infiltration)
  • A software patch for a major platforms; this is considered “medium risk” (must be kept secure)
  • An ecommerce back-end that contains sensitive personal and credit card information; this is “high risk” and perhaps should run on dedicated infrastructure

Flow of the Content


The content passes into the content origin (lower left of Figure 1) into a CDN network (1).


Software Controlled CDN and Hybrid Cloud (July 14).png

Figure 1: Software-Controlled CDN and Hybrid Cloud 


This original content is then uploaded into the Content Delivery System (2) for distribution, Content is analyzed based on its attributes by the Content Delivery system.


A service request is made by the Content Delivery System to the Colocation Intent Based network portal with one or more of the following attributes as the intent of the requested service.


Service delivery has to take into account some salient attributes are attached to the content. Examples might include:


  • Location: Global or tied to one or more specific locations
  • Time: 24 hours, weekly, anytime on demand
  • Availability: High (5x9’s), medium (4x9’s) or low (3x9’s)
  • Security: High, medium or low
  • Performance: Low (1G) or high (10G), error rate, etc.


An intent based service portal (3a) determines how to act on these attributes.


Service Delivery: Categorization and Cloud Orchestration


The Service Delivery Module (3b), based on the security intent of the request, chooses to place the content on different infrastructure. For example, the content may be sorted into:


  • Public: Low Risk (streamed video) will be placed on a public cloud tenant
  • Private: Medium Risk (software patch)  will be placed on a private hosted cloud
  • Dedicated: High Risk (ecommerce backend) will be placed on dedicated infrastructure


Accordingly, the service delivery module may use a cloud orchestration system (3c) to assign storage, compute, and other physical resources needed. For example, if the Colo orchestration decides to get a cloud tenancy for the content, the cloud orchestration will also provide the required storage as a part of the service. This provides clear boundaries of resource allocation.

Once the tenancy, is established, the systems utilizes the Colo’s intent-based networking APIs to request connectivity from the CDN Colo cage (5a) to the content service provider’s Point of Presence (PoP) at 5b.

Once the connectivity is established, a copy of the content is moved to the appropriate location:


  • CSP public cloud tenancy (for the low-risk case)
  • Private cloud (for medium risk)
  • Dedicated storage (for high risk)

The service is delivered as a one-stop-shop by the Colocation provider; the Content Delivery Systems are billed for the service all at once. The creation, placement and billing of the needed infrastructure is all handled by the Colocation provider.


Call to Action


Please contact your account representative for more information.


Also, see the following related blogs: