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Better Ways to Distribute Bandwidth in the Cloud

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Better Ways to Distribute Bandwidth in the Cloud

July 30, 2014
By Meenakshi Shankar
TMCnet Contributor

AT&T, IBM and Applied Communication Sciences (ACS (News - Alert)) have joined force to unveil a new SDN prototype, described as a powerful resource management system that can coordinate data flow and hand out more bandwidth when needed.

The prototype focuses on rapid reconfiguration of terabit networks which can reduce set up times for cloud-to-cloud connectivity from days to seconds. Cloud service providers can with this system gain a faster way to access extra bandwidth when required.

According to the companies, this initiative is a major step forward that could eventually lead to sub-second provisioning time with IP and next generation optical networking equipment and can provide elastic bandwidth between clouds at high connection request rates using intelligent cloud data center orchestrators.

"The program was visionary in anticipating the convergence of cloud computing and networking, and in setting aggressive requirements for network performance in support of cloud services," said Ann Von Lehmen, the ACS program lead.

The demand for dynamic cloud services is going to be high in the future. Carriers and cloud providers need to look at a highly efficient way to adopt bandwidth sharing which can significantly reduce costs. The shift is to have a rapid and high rate bandwidth-on-demand in the Wide Area Network (WAN).

"By combining software defined networking (SDN) concepts with advanced, cost-efficient network routing in a realistic carrier network environment, we have successfully demonstrated how to address this need," said Robert Doverspike, executive director of Network Evolution Research at AT&T (News - Alert) Labs.

The three companies developed this technology as part of the U.S. Government’s DARPA CORONET program, created in 2007.

The new system was developed with the help of IBM (News - Alert) cloud platform technology that manages all virtual machine network applications running on OpenStack software. ACS contributed its expertise in network management and innovation in optical-layer routing and signaling as part of the overall cloud networking architecture. AT&T was responsible for developing the overall networking architecture for this concept. The IBM platform connects with AT&T’s SDN wide area network (WAN) orchestrator, which handles all of the data server connection requests and distributes the appropriate bandwidth when needed.

"This technology not only represents a new ability to scale big data workloads and cloud computing resources in a single environment but the elastic bandwidth model removes the inefficiency in consumption versus cost for cloud-to-cloud connectivity," said Douglas Freimuth, IBM Research Senior Technical Staff Member and Master Inventor.

The team also recorded setup times of 40 seconds and claimed that they were able to get results in less than a second by using advanced reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM (News - Alert)) equipment, which helps in wavelength distribution for increased bandwidth.

The DARPA CORONET program seeks to develop the target network architectures and technologies needed to build next-generation bandwidth on demand services. 

Edited by Adam Brandt

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