It’s still a significant challenge to connect multiple networks, because any configuration change in one environment needs to be reflected across all the other networks. The more networks that become connected, the more that complexity exponentially increases.
At the Open Network User Group (ONUG) Fall 2016 conference today, Pluribus Networks unveiled an Open Data Center Interconnect (Open DCI) that makes use of standard VXLAN network virtualization software to create a software-defined network (SDN) capable of spanning multiple data centers.
Mark Harris, vice president of marketing for Pluribus Networks, says Open DCI is typically deployed at the edge of each data center for a low cost. Each of those switches appears to the rest of the data center environment as another Layer 2 switch. But any changes to that data center environment are then automatically shared with every other switch running Open DCI to create a unified network fabric across multiple data centers using a Pluribus Virtualization-Centric Fabric (VCF) architecture, says Harris.
“DCI manages all the tunnels, set-ups and configurations,” says Harris.
In addition, Harris says Pluribus Networks provides access to the analytics required to visualize traffic between networks. Armed with that data, IT organizations can then more easily determine where to optimally place data based on where it’s being accessed from.
Down the road, Harris says, Pluribus Networks will also add deeper levels of support for container networking to make it simpler for IT organizations to deploy container applications that tend to be more ephemeral than existing applications. In addition, Harris notes that via integration with IT automation frameworks such as Puppet and Ansible, it’s now possible to automate the provisioning of network services at unprecedented levels of scale across both container and virtual machine environments.
As an enabling technology for building SDNs, interest in all forms of network virtualization is on the rise. As is often the case, however, there is no shortage of ways to build an SDN. The challenge now is determining the best path toward building those SDNs in keeping with both the IT organization’s long-term goals and its current data center investments.