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Mile High Software-Defined Networking

by mschiff ‎11-14-2013 06:32 PM - edited ‎12-05-2013 02:59 PM (5,682 Views)

Next week, arguably one of the biggest SDN events will be held in Denver, Colorado.  At this event there will be more live demonstrations of SDN applications and solutions by organizations actually using SDN than there have been at any other event to date.  A vibrant community will come together for nearly a week to openly share technology and ideas with one another for the betterment of each organization scratch that, mankind.  If you have an interest as to where the world of networking is going, then you should pay attention to what is happening at Supercomputing 2013 (SC13). For the last 25 years, the Supercomputing Conference has been the premier event for the High-Performance Computing community, attracting members of research and education networks, universities, national laboratories, and other public and private research institutions. It is at this event, and really this event only, that you can get a preview of what networking may look like in 2, 3, maybe even 10 years down the road. 


Due to the nature of the research conducted by these organizations (think human genome or Higgs boson), they are generating massive amounts of data, and so today’s traditional networks will just not work for them. In fact, some researchers actually prefer to FedEx their data to their colleagues, rather than transfer it over the network. The attendees who will be at SC13 need bigger, badder networks. This means that they are looking for technologies that the average commercial network won’t be using until we are all wearing 7 different Internet-connected devices on our bodies and consuming terabytes of data (which is probably sooner than I think).  It is pretty cool to be able to get a glimpse into the future. Now, of course not all of the technology at this event will cross into mainstream, but that is part of the intrigue of the event.  At SC13, I do predict there is going to be a lot of SDN technology on display, and some of it is going to help pave the way for the networks of the future. 


If you are attending and interested in seeing live demonstrations of new and cutting-edge SDN I invite you to check out the Brocade booth (#3301).  In one demo you will see how to control massive, HPC networks with 100 GbE Hybrid OpenFlow and the Open Daylight controller. In other words, OpenFlow when you need it for large, long-lived flows, and then traditional networking for when you don’t; all on the same network and systems. Then, go take a look at a multi-vendor (collaborating with Infinera) SDN application for multi-layer network provisioning and optimization. This application was actually developed and is currently being deployed by one of the attendees at SC13, ESnet. If you want to know more about this demo, I actually wrote about it in a blog last month. Finally, check out a couple of our campus demos.  These high-performance and reliable solutions can handle the data coming onto the campus from the research network, while also  meeting the demands that come with supporting thousands of students, each with three Apple products to their name. There will also be a pretty unique virtual reality show, and of course some prizes to give away. 


Classroom + Galaxy.png


Caption: Build networks that can support this (students and their "notebooks" at The Missouri School of Journalism) and this (the Milky Way galaxy)


Outside of the Brocade booth, there will be a lot more going on that is worth checking out.  Every SC conference hosts one of the most powerful and advanced networks in the world – SCinet.  SCinet serves as the platform to demonstrate advanced computing resources by supporting a wide variety of bandwidth-driven applications, and part of the infrastructure this year will be Brocade.  Also, if last year’s event was any indication, many of our customers are going to be demonstrating some pretty amazing things in the exhibition hall.  


If you are not attending SC13, but would like to see one of the Brocade SDN demos that will be there, I invite you to register for SDNCentral’s DemoFriday on November 22.  During this live, virtual event, panelists from Brocade, Infinera, and ESnet will demonstrate the same SDN application that we will be showing in the Brocade booth.  You will be able to see how SDN can help you achieve multi-layer networking efficiency using common management abstractions. If you would like to register please visit SDNCentral here.