Nuage Networks Software-Defined Network Helps Data Center Transformation
It is no secret: Software-defined Networks (SDNs) are picking up momentum as game-changers in datacenter transformations. Unlike hardware-based networking solutions, SDN bring agility to datacenter networks that lets the network adapt rapidly to changing traffic and operational requirements. Datacenter networks that leverage SDN can respond directly to application needs, automatically reconfiguring themselves in seconds.
Alcatel-Lucent (News - Alert) (ALU) recently established a new corporate entity Nuage Networks to focus on the critical role that SDNs can and will play in making datacenters operationally more efficient and effective. It hit the ground running with the first in a series of next generation SDN solutions for datacenter networks. Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform fully virtualizes and automates any network infrastructure, delivering instant and unconstrained network services for thousands of tenants.
The flexibility and usefulness of SDN is not limited to datacenter networks, however. In a recent white paper, The Consumable Network: Preparing Business Networks for the Cloud with Software Defined Networking, Alcatel-Lucent has sketched a vision for how SDN can change the way businesses use and deploy virtual private networks.
As part of the launch, ALU also provided an instructive video about its vision.
As the whitepaper explains, “The operational benefits of SDN solutions can be extended to the WAN with Software Defined VPNs (SDVPNs)…This is a new kind of VPN that is optimized for cloud services, allowing businesses to connect their users and offices to the cloud instantaneously.”
SDVPNs, powered by software-defined networking, bring the promise of simplified, programmable network access and control that eliminates the need for manual provisioning and low-level IT/OSS integration. It has the potential to both cut costs and boost responsiveness, according to the paper.
To realize this promise, the current network architecture must be replaced by an AND framework. This framework must automate and scale the network service layer by taking advantage of policy-based service management to deliver dynamic network services with automated provisioning. It must simplify the service and customer edge by externalizing the control planes so complex protocols are not run at the customer service endpoint.
Also, the service and transport layers must be opened, according to the paper. This will accelerate innovation and enable rapid consumption of cloud services by offering programmability to applications through easy-to-use application programming interfaces (APIs).
Leveraging the framework it developed for its Nuage Networks, Alcatel-Lucent has foundation for such network transformation through its SDN framework.
“To provide SPs [service providers] with the opportunity to participate in the cloud and offer high-value services to their customers, Alcatel-Lucent is transforming the network into a dynamic, virtualized network fabric that is agile, open and seamless,” the paper noted. “To accomplish this, Alcatel-Lucent is building SDN solutions branded as Nuage Networks. These solutions create a virtualized, multi-tenant network services layer built across a programmable and virtualized IP/Optical transport network.”
The advantages of SDNs as the critical missing link for cloud adoption and are a hot industry topic and clearly are poised as a key to datacenters being able to accommodate the “new normal” where datacenters need to be more agile and automated. Nuage Networks has made an important contribution both in terms of a solution that addresses today’s pain points as well as outlining the path forward with SD VPNs.
Edited by Peter Bernstein