AT&T, IBM, ACS develop elastic cloud-to cloud networking tech

Scientists from AT&T, IBM and Applied Communication Sciences (ACS) have announced a proof of concept for an elastic cloud-to-cloud networking technology.

The project was supported by U.S. Government’s DARPA CORONET program, which focuses on rapid reconfiguration of terabit networks.

AT&T was responsible for developing the overall networking architecture for this concept. The telco supplied its bandwidth-on-demand (BoD) technologies and advanced routing concepts.

Cloud computing

IBM provided the cloud platform and intelligent cloud data center orchestration technologies to support dynamic provisioning of cloud-to-cloud communications.

Meanwhile ACS contributed its expertise in network management and innovation in optical-layer routing and signaling as part of the overall cloud networking architecture.

The technology, according to scientists, is a major step forward that could lead to sub-second provisioning time with IP and next generation optical networking equipment and enables elastic bandwidth between clouds at high connection request rates using intelligent cloud data center orchestrators, instead of requiring static provisioning for peak demand.

“The program was visionary in anticipating the convergence of cloud computing and networking, and in setting aggressive requirements for network performance in support of cloud services,” said Ann Von Lehmen, the ACS program lead.

The technology helps cloud service providers (CSPs) address the demands arising from the transforming cloud services and explosion in data center size and scope. For example, these systems can load balance both processor and storage resources, as well as perform massive transfers of data among multiple data centers, according to the research team.

“These shifts have driven the need to develop rapid and high rate bandwidth-on-demand in the Wide Area Network (WAN),” said Robert Doverspike, executive director of Network Evolution Research at AT&T Labs.“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.”

This prototype was implemented on OpenStack, an open-source cloud-computing platform for public and private clouds. The use of flexible, on-demand bandwidth for cloud applications, such as load balancing, remote data center backup operation, and elastic scaling of workload, provides the potential for major cost savings and operational efficiency for both CSPs 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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