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1 W H I T E P A P E R A p p l i c a t i o n D e l i v e r y f o r C l o u d S e r v i c e s : C u s t o m i z i n g S e r v i c e C r e a t i o n i n V i r t u a l E n v i r o n m e n t s Sponsored by: Brocade May 2012 Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA USA P F E X E C U T I V E S U M M A R Y Cloud-based computing will have a major impact on the way that enterprises configure their IT resources over the next several years. To stay competitive in this environment, providers of cloud services must move quickly to create and deploy innovative and high-value service offerings. Using the network as the foundation, cloud providers require next-generation application delivery platforms for building, testing, and deploying services. These platforms will need to be scalable, reliable, customizable, and optimized for virtual environments. This requirement builds upon the core functions typically associated with application delivery, such as acceleration, load balancing, and security. Application delivery controllers (ADCs) that can meet the emerging needs of cloud providers have a number of important attributes. ADCs maximize availability by providing continuous delivery of business-critical applications. Scalability is a critical dependency because cloud providers need the ability to scale up or down as customer demand increases or decreases over time. Application developers require platforms that can offer predictable levels of performance because new applications must be continually tested against the real-world limits of network performance. Given the diversity of applications that cloud providers face from a wide variety of end-user requirements, service customization and traffic manipulation are also critical. In addition, network operators need to be able to customize the capabilities of their network using open and extensible platforms that have extensive libraries for rapid service creation. Finally, ADCs must take into account management considerations, including the management of virtual machines (VMs) and support for all major hypervisors. Brocade has made cloud-optimized networking a major part of its overall market strategy with the ServerIron ADX series of application delivery controllers. By accepted industry standards, this product set has traditionally offered excellent scalability and reliability. With the recent ADX 12.4 software release, the company's goal is to give cloud providers greater application control, customization, and scalability for the services they create. A centerpiece of these enhancements is the OpenScript engine, an open service creation platform that enables cloud provider development teams to customize traffic management capabilities to improve scalability and performance. In addition, the Application Performance Estimator feature gives developers a way to predict an application's performance in the network environment before the service goes live. ADX enhancements have also been designed to facilitate IPv6 migration and accommodate heterogeneous virtual environments by interworking the ADX with another Brocade product, the Application Resource Broker.

2 A P P L I C A T I O N D E L I V E R Y C H A L L E N G E S F O R C L O U D S E R V I C E S Cloud-based computing represents a major paradigm shift and will have a major impact on the way that enterprises configure their IT resources over the next several years. The growth of the cloud model is well documented. IDC predicts that public IT cloud services will grow at almost four times the rate of the IT market as a whole. By 2015, one of every seven dollars spent on packaged software, server, and storage offerings will involve the public cloud model. To stay competitive in this environment, providers of cloud services will need to move quickly to create and deploy innovative and high-value service offerings. In addition, they need to be able to scale service creation capabilities and use open development platforms to bring these differentiated services and applications to market. Using the network as the foundation, cloud providers need scalable and reliable application delivery platforms for building, testing, and deploying the kinds of services that will be attractive to their customer base. These platforms also need to be optimized for the virtual environments that form the basis of provider and enterprise customer infrastructures. T h e R o l e o f A p p l i c a t i o n I n t e l l i g e n c e Application delivery controllers (sometimes referred to as server load balancers) are widely deployed in enterprise environments and used for a variety of purposes, including load balancing, security, optimizing reliability, and enhancing the performance of a variety of end-user applications. When cloud-based computing services are used to deliver similar application sets to the enterprise, those same capabilities are still needed. In fact, arguably because of the challenges associated with extending the enterprise network into the cloud, they become even more business critical. As the number and complexity of service opportunities increase, cloud providers are finding that there is a requirement for next-generation application delivery controllers related to the need for more scalability and increased levels of Layer 7 intelligence. Other issues relate to the fact that older appliance systems can't always provide the flexibility and business agility needed to match service features more precisely with specific attributes of the providers' customer base. In part, this is because existing solutions were not designed with cloud application platforms in mind. Further, the use of virtualization is becoming pervasive in every datacenter. It is placing an increased burden on the network in terms of bandwidth requirements, reliability, scalability, and resilience, and network managers are struggling to architect an application delivery strategy that extends seamlessly from physical to virtual datacenter elements. Next-generation application delivery controllers employ open API-based extensibility that enables providers to customize their applications. All of the core functions typically associated with application delivery, such as acceleration, load balancing, security, and other features, can benefit from this type of approach. In addition, bringing this type of capability into the picture can further support the necessary process of making the network more cloud ready as the move to cloud infrastructure gathers momentum. 2 # IDC

3 In this context, another important and related trend is software-defined networking (SDN). SDN is changing the way that networks are designed. It allows for a dynamic exchange between applications and the network. At its core, it offers a programmable interface to the network. It is new because it gives a context for the network professional and the application developer to work together to solve a service delivery problem. For example, if a particular application needs to meet a defined service-level agreement (SLA), SDN can provide an automated program for the network to deliver the appropriate policy and bandwidth to meet that service level. This separation of the control and transport functions makes the underlying network more transparent to the application developer. K E Y A T T R I B U T E S F O R S C A L A B L E A P P L I C A T I O N D E L I V E R Y The roster of application delivery features and functionality that can meet the emerging needs of cloud providers has a number of important attributes. Given that cloud providers will rise or fall in the eyes of their IT customers on the basis of contractual SLA performance, the reliability and availability of service offerings are paramount considerations. The application delivery controller's first order of business is to accelerate application performance, increase application availability, and improve application security with a single point of management. Optimal capabilities include the ability to provide a very scalable number of HTTP connections per second (CPS) as well as a high level of HTTP application throughput. The ability to perform low-latency switching for response-sensitive applications is also key. ADCs also need to maximize availability by providing continuous delivery of businesscritical applications and infrastructure systems such as DNS, firewall, and caching so that cloud providers can consistently fulfill the requirements of those SLAs. This process can be enhanced within distributed locations by employing a range of advanced local and global traffic management features and offering intelligent application health monitoring with multiprotocol support. S c a l a b i l i t y a n d P r e d i c t a b i l i t y R e q u i r e m e n t s Scalability is a critical dependency for cloud providers. For the enterprise customer, a key advantage of cloud-based services is the ability to "pay as you go," taking full advantage of the on-demand capabilities offered by cloud infrastructure and its associated economic model. For cloud providers, this requires the ability to scale up or down as customer demand increases or decreases over time. State-of-the-art application delivery functionality can help cloud providers more easily scale their environments in response to rapidly changing customer needs. Another key attribute is predictability during the service creation process. In the cloud provider's production environment, application developers require robust application delivery platforms that can offer predictable levels of performance. As new applications are developed, but before they are deployed, they must be continually tested against the real-world limits of network performance. Developers require the capability to determine the impact of any given application on network loading in advance of the application going live so that costly unanticipated outages can be avoided IDC #

4 O p e n A p p l i c a t i o n D e v e l o p m e n t For cloud providers, application delivery customization is another key attribute. Given the diversity of applications that cloud providers need to address by being responsive to a wide variety of end-user requirements, service customization and traffic manipulation are critical requirements for developing new and differentiated cloudbased services. Network operators require the ability to customize the capabilities of their network to match the needs of their customer base, which may involve specifics of geography, vertical markets, and other considerations. One success factor in the mix involves relying on open and extensible application-aware platforms that foster customization and have extensive libraries for rapid service creation. With this capability, the cloud provider's developers can abstract away repetitive programming chores and avoid long testing and quality assurance cycles. In addition, management considerations must be taken into account, including the management of virtual machines. As table stakes, application delivery controllers are required to integrate with the cloud provider's orchestration systems for automatic provisioning of application and network resources in heterogeneous virtual environments. In this context, support for all major hypervisor systems is a checklist item. O P T I M I Z I N G C L O U D S E R V I C E S U S I N G B R O C A D E S E R V E R I R O N A D X S W I T C H E S Brocade has made cloud-optimized networking a major part of its overall market strategy. In this context, Brocade's application delivery offering is the ServerIron ADX series. By accepted industry standards, this product set has traditionally offered excellent scalability. In addition, the company is solidly established in service provider markets where reliability is put at a high premium. In the past, however, open APIbased customization has been not been represented in the product line. With the recent ADX 12.4 software release, the company has made significant software advancements to address this market challenge. Current Brocade product enhancements are intended to give cloud providers and other network operators greater application control, customization, and scalability for the services they create. A centerpiece of these enhancements is the OpenScript engine, which was developed to address the scalability, predictability, and accelerated time-to-market considerations specific to this market segment. OpenScript is an open service creation platform that enables cloud provider development teams to customize traffic management capabilities to improve scalability and performance (see Figure 1). In addition, the Application Performance Estimator feature gives developers a way to predict an application's performance in the network environment before the service goes live. It does this by configuring profiles that define the script's performance bound. After the script is successfully compiled, approximate CPS performance estimates are provided. 4 # IDC

5 F I G U R E 1 B r o c a d e O p e n S c r i p t A r c h i t e c t u r e Source: Brocade, 2012 O p e n S e r v i c e C r e a t i o n The OpenScript programming environment uses the Perl scripting language in conjunction with a series of APIs that control application delivery functionality. Cloud providers can create scripts based on IP, TCP, UDP, or HTTP protocol events to manipulate packet headers and make custom forwarding decisions. For example, a script could perform load balancing to different servers based on a URL pattern match in the HTTP request. Once a script is written, it can be uploaded to the ADX to be compiled and bound to a virtual server. The system has been designed so that developers can leverage a range of XML API extensions ranging from basic load balancing and system stats to advanced system monitoring such as SSL, health checks, firewall load balancing, and security. Brocade chose Perl on the basis of openness and modularity and because it is one of the most widely used scripting languages among application developers. To support custom service creation efforts by fostering developer interaction, Brocade created a social networking collaboration platform called the OpenScript community to offer technical guidance, real-time discussions, and configuration examples. In this forum, developers can contribute their own custom scripts. They also have access to the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN), a repository of free code with extensive libraries of software modules. ADX 12.4 offers a graphical interface for configuring and monitoring functionality. Brocade has released extensions to its XML/SOAP API that are intended to simplify custom integration and orchestration with third parties. The extensions cover areas such as server load balancing, security, and other core functions IDC #

6 I P v 6 I n t e r n e t M i g r a t i o n f o r C l o u d - O p t i m i z e d N e t w o r k s Every device needs an IP address to be on the network, but the IPv4 address space is running out of available addresses and will force the transition to IPv6 to accommodate the current need to be able to connect and exchange data. This migration is currently under way, with the U.S. government mandating that its publicfacing Internet presence be IPv6 compliant by 2012 and that the entire U.S. federal agency internal infrastructure follow by Service providers and large enterprises will be leading the way, particularly global organizations that do business in Asia and emerging markets. In fact, IPv6 may be the only way Asia can effectively scale its addressing plans. IPv6 significantly increases the pool of global IP addresses and improves quality of service and network performance. Brocade has addressed this upcoming challenge in the ADX 12.4 release, which doubles IPv6 performance with the intent of delivering consistent services across IPv4 and IPv6 domains. The upgrade is designed to facilitate the transition to IPv6 while preserving IPv4 assets using translation technology. Cloud providers can use this capability to bridge IPv6 performance to IPv4 for feature parity in infrastructure, security, server and firewall load balancing, SSL support, and routing services and other areas. A u t o m a t e d P r o v i s i o n i n g i n V i r t u a l E n v i r o n m e n t s Increasingly, cloud environments are leveraging the power of virtualization, as are the enterprises that utilize the benefits of cloud services. Accordingly, application delivery platforms require automatic provisioning of application and network resources in heterogeneous virtual environments. Brocade addresses this by interworking ADX with another Brocade product, the Application Resource Broker. This approach enables automated VM provisioning in major hypervisor environments, including VMware, XenServer, and Microsoft Hyper-V. Distributed resources can be dynamically added or removed through real-time monitoring of application responsiveness, traffic load information, and infrastructure capacity data. C H A L L E N G E S / O P P O R T U N I T I E S In this market area, Brocade faces several challenges. First, as with any vendor in challenging economic times, Brocade must continue to demonstrate that it can deliver products that help cloud providers gain greater utilization out of the infrastructure assets they have already deployed. Second, as the nature of enterprise networks and networking in general continues to change, Brocade needs to align its future road map with the tidal wave of applications and devices that continue to demand network services. Increasingly, in cloud environments, organizations' application developers and enterprise IT architectures must work together to ensure end-to-end application delivery. Brocade has an opportunity to demonstrate that it has designed ADX with support for next-generation cloud datacenter environments and enabling service creation as core competencies. 6 # IDC

7 C O N C L U S I O N The network represents the foundation for cloud computing. However, many legacy networks were not built with the cloud paradigm in mind. As the network's role in optimizing cloud-based applications becomes more important, IDC believes that more application intelligence will need to be instantiated into the networks of operators offering cloud-based services. As this market continues to evolve, these providers will need to move quickly to create and deploy innovative differentiated service offerings to maintain their competitive edge by scaling service creation and applications and using open development platforms to customize those services. Brocade has taken a major step toward fulfilling these expectations for its strong base of service provider customers with its latest software release for the ADX series. The centerpiece of these enhancements is the OpenScript engine, an open source service creation platform that gives cloud provider development teams the ability to customize traffic management capabilities to improve scalability and performance and predict an application's performance in the network before the service goes live. In addition, ADX enhancements have also been designed to facilitate IPv6 migration and accommodate heterogeneous virtual environments. C o p y r i g h t N o t i c e External Publication of IDC Information and Data Any IDC information that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from the appropriate IDC Vice President or Country Manager. A draft of the proposed document should accompany any such request. IDC reserves the right to deny approval of external usage for any reason. Copyright 2012 IDC. Reproduction without written permission is completely forbidden IDC #

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