As organizations large and small turn to virtual private clouds (VPC), the pressure is on cloud providers to deliver the performance, agility, and cost efficiency customers expect from a cloud offering. Software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) are key for providers’ ability to ensure the fast provisioning, flexibility, and scale of compute and storage architectures they’re connecting.
All SDN solutions separate network management and services from traffic forwarding capabilities — it’s how they do it that makes all the difference. A new white paper from Centec reviews the different approaches to network virtualization and highlights the advantages of its hybrid switch solution.
To deliver the level of service VPC customers expect, providers must be able to quickly isolate tenants and efficiently support their customers’ services and applications. The white paper, “Centec’s SDN Switch – Built from the Ground Up to Deliver an Optimal Virtual Private Cloud” says the company’s white box hybrid solution combines the best of software and hardware approaches to deliver maximum service levels.
At the highest level, most approaches to virtualizing the network can be classified as either software overlays or direct fabric programming. The white paper argues that both approaches have their strengths but eventually force providers to make some sort of compromise. Software overlays offer flexibility but have scale, visibility, and performance issues. Direct fabric programming approaches visibility, and high performance but are expensive and inflexible — often locking customers into using a single vendor’s solutions or requiring a forklift upgrade of switches.
The white paper outlines Centec’s hybrid top-of-rack (ToR)-offload approach that the company says combines the best of software and hardware approaches without compromise. The ToR-offload hybrid solution combines specialized ToR switches (hardware) and an integrated OpenStack Cloud Controller (software) to provide the benefits of a unified network fabric that delivers both performance and flexibility.
The Centec solution uses tunnels to abstract the network and isolate tenants while offloading the compute-intensive operations (e.g. encapsulation/de-capsulation) to the ToR switch to ensure optimal performance. By reducing pressures on of the control plane, the network can be quickly scaled to address changing needs.
Choosing the right SDN solution is essential to supporting current VPC offerings and creating new services and applications. Download your free copy of the white paper and learn more about how Centec’s distributed design offers the flexibility of a software overlay with the performance of hardware.