How the Cloud is Making Datacenters Dynamic

Next Generation Communications Blog

How the Cloud is Making Datacenters Dynamic

By: Sunil Khandekar, CEO, Nuage Networks

The future of datacenters is virtual, automatic, cloud-based, instantaneous, and boundary-less. These might not be the words associated with datacenters today -- you're more likely to hear slow, cumbersome, and related words in the same breath -- but software is driving this revolution in networking.

It has been undergoing a massive shift to the cloud for years now, driven by enterprise motivations to consolidate, as well as to use computer resources more optimally and efficiently. While computing virtualization has driven this transformation, the network has fallen woefully behind. Imagine having 20 virtual machines (VMs) in a server: Tomorrow that number grows to 100, to 200 the day after, and so on.

As you realize the implications of this growth in the datacenter, it becomes clear that the traditional networking approach of connecting those VMs is mindboggling because it doesn't deliver the true promise of the cloud -- instant access to apps anytime, anywhere and with no disruptions.

Or, put another way, imagine going to an ATM, punching in your information for a withdrawal, and receiving the message that your cash will be ready in two months. That's the state of network in the datacenter today. For the infrastructure, most of which is decades old, connecting servers and storage across datacenters isn't flexible. Just delivering basic connectivity can take days or weeks of manual provisioning across network silos.

This is the problem we aimed to solve when we first started working on the Nuage software platform last January. We are delivering a software-defined network (SDN) platform that is independent of the choice of orchestration platform and hypervisor, independent of the choice of compute platform, and independent of the datacenter network infrastructure.

Datacenter operators, whether they be giant telcos or enterprises, are in various stages of this move to virtualization. For example, we are helping French telecom service provider SFR trial move its cloud architecture from best effort to instantaneous.

Cloud-powered SDN is turning the old model on its head, making it boundary-free and much more dynamic. It promises to deliver network services and capabilities instantaneously and flexibly in a virtualized environment. And, it's here today.

It will save money, time, and resources (both physical and mental human power), and it will allow the cloud model to be used by all enterprise -- even those that have been hesitant like healthcare, financial institutions, and governments. And, it will usher in a new world of applications that we can only dream of today.

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