Network Evolution Key to Driving Cloud Expansion

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Software-driven networks

SDN standards for OpenFlow and network-function virtualization (NFV) are providing the key building blocks for rapid network innovation. Early phases of SDN offer a time scheduling capability that enables users to dynamically reserve or schedule bandwidth, similar to using an airline reservation portal:

  1. "From" and "to" a location, such as between on-premises and cloud data centers
  2. At a specific date, time, or during a time window
  3. At a network bandwidth value or other workload parameter

The on-demand network service is administered and controlled by policy. Different levels of resources can be assigned to users and groups to enable network segregation. This is equivalent to having the ability to assign rights to use the high-speed lane on the highway, and to charge for its use. The network should be able to compute price/performance options for the user, allowing the user or application to select the most efficient combination of cost, time, and performance for each workload requirement.

During the early 1990s, visitors to a trade show clicked on a hyperlink and used the Internet to connect to over 600 servers. It was called the World Wide Web and stunned the users with the simplicity of the operation and how easy it was to get information. Of course, today we can connect to more than 690 million servers, and the Web is woven into the very fabric of our lives. It was the dawn of a new era in technology.

Which of today's technologies are now similarly positioned to revolutionize our work and interactions? Cloud computing is signaling that we are again at the dawn of a new era, and the network will drive the way we use the cloud in much the same way as the browser transformed the Internet.

Today the cloud is bound by the network. To truly realize the full potential of cloud computing, network connectivity must be as accessible and user-friendly as the Web made the Internet. In this slideshow, network specialists from Ciena take a closer look at the networking elements that are driving a new era of cloud computing.


Related Topics : IBM Looks to Redefine Industry Standard Servers, APC, Brocade, Citrix Systems, Data Center

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