1. Software Defined Networking (SDN) enables
flexibility and scale in data centers
Scalability, flexibility and choice are the three mantras commonly associated with data centers
today. Organizations are more focused on implementing solutions that give them the flexibility
of expanding their network easily and cost effectively. Additionally, they are also keen to choose
their own equipment from vendors of their choice and avoid vendor lock-in as far as possible.
Data center networks, traditionally, comprise of large number of switches and routers. These
devices direct traffic as per the limited view and capacity of each device. Till now, the hardware
was coupled with software to manage traffic flows within the small patch of connectivity that
was in the purview of those specific devices.
The above model for networking within the data center, has been effective to the extent of
improving upon the old-fashioned ways of passing data, but lacks the flexibility required to
deliver massive amounts of data. Besides, on coupling the hardware and software, the network
2. becomes expensive to maintain and scale, and lacks the capability for users to innovate and
administrators to tune applications.
These solutions are usually vendor specific and come with predetermined configuration and
routing protocol, tools and feature roadmap. In many cases, most of the in-built features may
not have relevance for the markets that the customer operates in, but with vendor lock-in,
customers do not have a choice. This situation leaves much to be desired as organizations
grapple with the need to leverage data and the desire to optimize their data center to handle
their specific requirements for compute, storage and networking.
Leveraging Software Defined Networking (SDN)
Organizations are increasingly turning to Software Defined Networking (SDN) services for tackling
the above issues. SDN services are usually controlled and monitored from centrally located
sources. SDN takes a comprehensive view of the entire network and manages traffic flow
dynamically with the help of software applications. SDN also allows for optimization and tuning
options that are typically not possible through locally managed switches and routers.
SDN also allows for scalability where an organization can scale up to as many switches or
routers as required or are available in the network. Adding on hardware creates new avenues or
a pathway for the software to manage and monitor the traffic flows more efficiently.
With centralized SDN solutions, network routing can be customized to the specific requirements
and needs of the data center. SDN creates a tailored or customized network experience that
increases speed, flexibility, agility and scale in the data center thereby encouraging innovation.
Being vendor neutral, SDN can be adapted to any equipment type. As long as there are common
SDN interfaces, who provides the hardware or which operating system is being used to run the
applications does not matter. SDN relies on OpenFlow, Puppet, and other protocols to remain
agile and flexible, as well as cost-efficient and uses algorithms to create a solution.
Overcoming Gaps With SDN
3. One of the gaps while using SDN is the ability to guarantee service delivery.
While SDN tools can detect congestion, and in some cases can reduce congestion, they cannot
prevent data loss. SDN applications can report loss of data only after it happens. To overcome
this, the network in itself must be reliable, robust and non-blocking regardless of its
management interfaces. Networks with non-blocking switches and routers can leverage SDN
Opportunities With Open Ethernet
SDN is a part of the Open Ethernet architecture that separates hardware and software functions
while establishing common software interface between the two functions at the same time. This
enables organizations to select a hardware vendor separately from the software vendor. Open
Ethernet provides greater flexibility and choice to organizations by providing the tools to alter
the software that runs on the hardware and not simply the ability to control it remotely.
This separation of the software from the hardware enables a greater level of flexibility, providing
the means to optimize the hardware for a specific deployment. Community-based collaboration,
such as the Open Network Install environment (ONIE) and Switch Abstraction Interface (SAI),
both driven in the Open Compute Project (OCP) are targeting the easy replacement of the switch
and router OS while in-service and upon a change in the data center.
Open Ethernet (and SDN) restores control of the network to the data center owner, enabling the
organization to scale its network based on its own considerations, rather than based on existing
vendor solutions. It provides more flexibility in configuring network traffic flow, better
monitoring and smoother removal of inefficiencies and bottlenecks, and a more cost-effective
answer for today's data centers than traditional networking solutions.
If your organization is also looking at Software Defined Networking (SDN) to increase flexibility,
agility and scale in the data center and do not know who to ask for help, please do write to us
email@example.com and let our experts guide you through the process.
4. About NTT Communications Corporation
NTT Communications provides consultancy, architecture, security and cloud services to
optimize the information and communications technology (ICT) environments of enterprises.
These offerings are backed by the company’s worldwide infrastructure, including the leading
global tier-1 IP network, the Arcstar Universal One™ VPN network reaching 196
countries/regions, and 140 secure data centers worldwide. NTT Communications’ solutions
leverage the global resources of NTT Group companies including Dimension Data, NTT
DOCOMO and NTT DATA.
www.ntt.com | Twitter@NTT Com | Facebook@NTT Com | LinkedIn@NTT Com
About Netmagic Solutions (An NTT Communications Company)
Netmagic, an NTT Communications company, is India’s leading Managed Hosting and Cloud
Service Provider, with 9 carrier-neutral, state-of-the-art data centers and serving more than
1500 enterprises globally. A pioneer in the Indian IT Infrastructure services space - it was the
first to launch services such as Cloud Computing, Managed Security, Disaster Recovery-as-a-
Service and Software-Defined Storage. Netmagic, also delivers Remote Infrastructure
Management services to NTT Communications’ customers across Americas, Europe and Asia-
Pacific region. Recipient of several industry accolades, Netmagic was recently chosen by Frost &
Sullivan for both Third Party Data Center Service Provider of the year and Infrastructure as a
Service Provider of the year at India ICT Awards 2015.
Netmagic is the first cloud service provider in India and in the world, to receive the CSA STAR
certification for Cloud Capability Maturity Model (CCM) version 3.0.1, an industry benchmark
for the specific security requirements of multi-tenant service providers. Besides this, Netmagic
is also empanelled as an IT Security Auditing Organization with CERT-In (Indian Computer
Emergency Response Team).
NTT Communications, world’s largest data center company, has over 140 data centers globally.
NTT Communications is a part of NTT Corporation, Japan – which is ranked 53rd on Fortune
Global 500 list (2014) with annual turnover of USD 112 Bn. With 240,000 professionals in 79
countries, NTT Corporation is the only global partner that supports clients with an integrated
perspective across applications, infrastructure and network.
www.netmagicsolutions.com | Twitter@Netmagic | Linkedin@Netmagic | YouTube@Ne