Researchers demo elastic cloud-to-cloud networking

Researchers demo elastic cloud-to-cloud networking

Scientists announced a cloud-to-cloud networking technology that could one day lead to sub-second provisioning time.

The prototype was built with contributions and expertise from AT&T, IBM and Applied Communication Sciences (ACS), and the work was performed under the auspices of the Defense Advanced Research and Projects Agency’s CORONET program, which focuses on rapid reconfiguration of terabit networks.

In response to the rapid advent of cloud-based services and an explosion in data center size and scope, cloud service providers have installed automatic, intelligent resource management systems within their data centers that can load balance both processor and storage resources, as well as perform massive transfers of data among multiple data centers.

"These shifts have driven the need to develop rapid and high rate bandwidth-on-demand in the wide area network," said Robert Doverspike, executive director of Network Evolution Research at AT&T Labs in the announcement. "By combining software defined networking (SDN) concepts with advanced, cost-efficient network routing in a realistic carrier network environment, we have successfully demonstrated how to address this need."

AT&T was responsible for developing the overall networking architecture for the concept, drawing on its experience in bandwidth-on-demand technologies and advanced routing. IBM provided the cloud platform and intelligent cloud data center orchestration technologies to support dynamic provisioning of cloud-to-cloud communications. ACS contributed its expertise in network management and innovation in optical-layer routing and signaling as part of the overall cloud networking architecture.

This prototype was built on OpenStack, elastically provisioning WAN connectivity and placing virtual machines between two clouds for load balancing virtual network functions. The use of flexible, on-demand bandwidth for cloud applications provides the potential for cost savings and efficiency for both cloud service providers and carriers.

"This technology not only represents a new ability to scale big data workloads and cloud computing resources in a single environment but the elastic bandwidth model removes the inefficiency in consumption versus cost for cloud-to-cloud connectivity," said Douglas Freimuth, IBM Research senior technical staff member and master inventor. 

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