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Kontron 2016 Predictions: Software Defined Networking (SDN) on Converged Infrastructure to deliver on its adaptive QoS promise

Virtualization and Cloud executives share their predictions for 2016.  Read them in this 8th Annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Peter Matz – Product Marketing Manager, Communications Business Unit, Kontron

2016 - Software Defined Networking (SDN) on Converged Infrastructure to deliver on its adaptive QoS promise

Today's networks typically direct traffic on the ‘best path' only 15 percent of the time. To make better use of available bandwidth on more available resources, software defined networking (SDN) is expected to resolve this issue with dynamic network adaptability. SDN Controllers will offer the tools to provision adaptive QoS and ‘Flow' routing capabilities and, with better network statistics, make more informed decisions in real-time to optimize loads over multiple routes. Additional features can then be developed to enable ‘on demand' QoSaaS deployments on SDN networks. End customers will be able to manage QoS in real-time by selecting quality models and assigning them to their infrastructure-level applications.

Accelerating this SDN-QoS trend are the underlining technologies and concepts that make up converged (CI) and hyper-converged infrastructure. Enterprises that operate data centers and telco cloud environments are steadily accepting the key advantages of integrating compute, storage and networking onto the same hardware platform for more high density performance with much lower operating costs, while also reducing costs for cabling, cooling, power and floor space.

The extension is the application of virtualization layers and software defined ‘everything', including storage and networking, thereby creating hyper-converged appliances. With the rising popularity of OpenFlow-enabled open switching solutions, the next logical step is to integrate hardware-accelerated SDN network operating systems (and/or even SDN Controllers) onto the same CI platform.

The total effect is a rack-level scenario that condenses and converge hardware and software for more flexible topologies and tighter control and optimization of the data and control planes. This is necessary to handle the ever-growing demand for bandwidth - without reducing the manageability of the platform. In 2016, carrier cloud deployments will benefit the most, as more vendors find ways to unify both NFV (network functions virtualization) and hardware accelerated SDN switching onto the same common converged infrastructure.

If virtualization offers flexibility, it does come with some drawbacks on performance and latency, especially around networking. Thus, on the same CI platform, there will be the need for redundant switches, manageable from an SDN controller, and which can be maintained at the hardware level. This combination is possible with the use of OpenFlow to expose the configuration of the switch directly from the SDN controller. Hence any application or Software Defined Infrastructure environment can create complex connectivity within the platform without relying on any external SDN-Ready Top of the Rack (ToR) switch. The concept can also be extended to multiple CI platforms by daisy chaining them together via 40Gbps links. Service providers can achieve greater control and full visibility of provisioned resources.

Overall, this underlying architecture is much more fluid and dynamic, enabling more choice and less complexity, and will play a major role in the evolution of data center economics as Internet of Things (IoT), edge computing, and 5G networks become reality.

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About the Author

Peter Matz - Product Marketing Manager, Communications Business Unit, Kontron.

Peter is responsible for the marketing of the SYMKLOUD Series of converged infrastructure COTS (x86) platforms and their successful Use Case applications across the communications ecosystem. This includes - NFV/SDN carrier cloud, and cable operators, content delivery networks, and private/public  cloud (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) service providers.

Published Friday, December 04, 2015 9:32 AM by David Marshall
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