I recently had an opportunity to speak with Amit Agarwal, Product Manager at Google with the Platforms team. The Google Platforms team is responsible for designing, building and operating the entire infrastructure on which all Google services run and operate — and the team who developed, deployed, and now operate the famous Google SDN case study: Inter-datacenter WAN with centralized traffic engineering using SDN and OpenFlow presented at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) in April, 2012.
The entire network virtualization and SDN community has been seeking more details about the Google SDN Inter-datacenter WAN deployment — so much so that SDNCentral typically receives a couple requests per week for more information about the ‘Google SDN Use Case.’
Additionally, while speaking with Amit — as one of the Google leads on SDN — I asked him to share a few thoughts with the SDNCentral community on his views for network virtualization, software-defined networking and OpenFlow. Enjoy.
Amit Agarwal on Google SDN
SDNCentral: What do you think of the future of network virtualization and SDN?
Amit: “SDN enables us to leverage the work that has been happening in software systems and large scale distributed systems and apply it to networking. As networking systems scale, whether it be growth in bandwidth or the number of users being served, one has to worry about manageability, cost-efficiency, robustness and availability of the network fabric. SDN allows you do tackle many of these problems. Furthermore, it unleashes the potential of innovative network services.”
SDNCentral: How do you see OpenFlow evolving?
Amit: “OpenFlow as a protocol is still barebones and in its infancy. There is ongoing work in adding more features and capabilities and enhancing the protocol. Some of these have been incorporated in subsequent versions and others are being actively discussed at the Open Network Foundation (ONF)*. However, even in its current state OpenFlow is good enough for many use cases, such as, Google’s WAN deployment shows.”
Google SDN’s deployment is a fantastic example as to how SDN and specifically OpenFlow are used to solve real-world business problems at leading commercial organizations. Don’t forget to download your copy of the Google OpenFlow case study!
* Google is a founding member of the ONF and Urs Holzle, Senior Vice President, Technical Infrastructure & Google Fellow is the Chairman / President of the ONF.