Welcome!

Microsoft Cloud Authors: Stackify Blog, Liz McMillan, David H Deans, Automic Blog, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Outlook 2013: Enterprise Will Seek a Better Network to the Cloud

The network is key for cloud use tomorrow

In 2012, much of the industry was focused on what's going inside the data center to enable cloud computing. As we move into 2013 and beyond, enterprise IT will need to consider the network that connects the data centers - particularly how these inter-data center networks need to change to support new cloud use cases and associated network requirements for bandwidth scalability, low latency, security, virtualization and automation. As network specialists, Ciena has been concentrating on solving the connectivity issues between data centers, and data centers to the cloud.

There are multiple reasons for this. First, enterprise IT organizations are highly motivated to drive efficiencies. Enterprise is already deriving efficiencies from its network - first through data center consolidation, then virtualization. The cloud promises to offer up to 25 percent infrastructure savings on IT services and hardware expenses, according to some studies. In turn, the network is also a key enabler for cloud service providers to operate multiple data centers as a shared pool of virtual data centers. We've found through our own research that this can enable a 35 percent reduction in total cloud data center resources.

Second, the use of cloud services is still in its infancy at many enterprises. Cloud software and infrastructure-as-a-service applications today live in the service provider cloud, often locked behind semi-proprietary architectures. As cloud deployments get more sophisticated, IT will need to deploy a more open architecture with standards in place for APIs and management tools. By doing this, they will be able to unlock the potential to federate private data centers with multiple provider cloud data centers, enabling greater workload mobility and the ability to deploy entirely new applications - this will require a better network to run effectively.

How the Cloud Is Used Today
Enterprise today typically uses cloud infrastructure for simple storage backup to cloud data centers over low speed IP networks, trickling the data asynchronously as the network permits in a north-south traffic flow from user-to-machine that moves over a tiered IP network architecture.

Tomorrow, the enterprise will want to take advantage of lower cost cloud storage for large amounts of storage. It will want a network that can dynamically respond to moving terabytes when the data needs to move - without bottlenecks, security holes or dropped packets. This will require east-west traffic flows from machine-to-machine within, and increasingly between, data centers. Such traffic has much more stringent quality-of-service requirements.

In the near future, we'll see at least an order of magnitude more east-west data workloads driven by applications like storage synchronization, inter-data center storage virtualization and virtual machine migrations. This means the cloud network needs to be designed for performance to meet the traffic flow change and intensity challenges of the future. For example, a flatter Layer 0/1/2 network architecture between data centers would deliver better scalability, latency and deterministic performance. With this architecture, the network won't be a bottleneck when it's needed the most, and it will deliver the lowest cost per bit throughput.

The Network Is Key for Cloud Use Tomorrow
As enterprise use of the cloud becomes more prominent, IT will look for ways to automate cloud use cases using an intelligent network. Software defined networking (SDN) is the key to achieving greater flexibility and lower costs. Workload orchestration between cloud data centers, and between enterprise and cloud data centers, will be driven by policy-based software automation tools. On-demand change in performance parameters such as bandwidth scalability will be accomplished through high-level software interfaces into the network control planes, not by an operator using a command line interface to the equipment. This performance-on-demand will be triggered at the application level, ensuring that the adjustments to the network and to the cloud meet the business requirements. In order for this to happen, the network will need to become an integral part of the entire cloud framework - it is the key ingredient that ties everything together, serving as a backplane across the data centers for flexible delivery of applications and services.

Inter data center networks need to become virtual, too. A virtualized network partitions resources in many different ways, e.g., virtual circuits (EVPLs), virtual wavelengths (Optical Transport Network - OTN); virtual switches (VSIs) and virtual networks (VPNs, Optical Virtual Private Network - OVPNs). Virtualization of the network provides network efficiency, i.e., coordination of the bandwidth and topology to the specific application need at a point in time. This eliminates the need to size all data center network interconnection facilities for a peak capacity that is only rarely used, which lowers costs because you don't need to make unnecessary network equipment investment.

A Virtual Data Center Architecture Will Deliver a Data Center Without Walls
A virtual data center architecture - "A data center without walls" - will deliver cost savings and operational efficiency. At Ciena, we are leveraging our networking expertise to deliver a "Data Center Without Walls" architecture for our customers that creates a multi-data center, hybrid cloud environment able to function as a set of virtual data centers from a common resource pool to address any magnitude of workload demand and offer seamless workflow movement. Enterprises will be able to access cloud resources anywhere, anytime. Service providers will be able to offer cloud services differentiated by state-of-the-art, programmable network access, and economies of scale that leverage their data center footprints. Cloud providers will be able to handle uncertain demand requirements and failover by more efficiently allocating workloads across multiple data centers. This cloud backbone network will be the critical link for providing cost-effective scalability, security, and on-demand services that enable the virtual data center.

More Stories By Jim Morin

Jim Morin is a Product Line Director working in Ciena’s Industry Marketing segment. He is responsible for developing and communicating solutions and the business value for Ciena’s enterprise data center networking and cloud networking opportunities. Prior to joining Ciena in 2008 he held roles in business development and product management for several high technology storage and networking companies in Minneapolis.

Jim holds an MBA from the University of St. Thomas and a BA from the University of Notre Dame. He recently served on the Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in US Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD2).

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Cybersecurity is a critical component of software development in many industries including medical devices. However, code is not always written to be robust or secure from the unknown or the unexpected. This gap can make medical devices susceptible to cybersecurity attacks ranging from compromised personal health information to life-sustaining treatment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Fortney, Software Engineer at Battelle, will discuss how programming oversight using key methods can incre...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...