CENTER I S Y O U R D ATA

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1 I S Y O U R D ATA CENTER R E A DY F O R S D N? C R I T I C A L D ATA C E N T E R C O N S I D E R AT I O N S FOR SOFT WARE-DEFINED NET WORKING Data center operators are being challenged to be more agile and responsive and to meet that challenge, investments must be made in data center networks.

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Data center operators OVERVIEW... are3 being challenged to be more agile and responsive and to INTRODUCTION... 4 meet that challenge, investments must be5made in data WHAT ARE SDN AND NFV?... center networks. TOP 5 BENEFITS OF SDN AND NFV... 6 ARE SDN AND NFV READY FOR PRIME TIME?... 7 ORCHESTRATION: A CRITICAL ENABLER FOR SDN AND NFV WAYS ETHERNET FABRICS CAN DELIVER ON THE PROMISES OF SDN AND NFV... 9 BROCADE VCS: A CORNERSTONE FOR THE NEW DATA CENTER CONCLUSION: GET READY TO MAXIMIZE YOUR INVESTMENTS

3 OVERVIEW This e-book explains the state of emerging technologies such as Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) in the data center, as well as key considerations to make when positioning your data center to leverage these technologies. It will also explain the essential role of mature technologies like Ethernet fabrics in how they add value today and create a strong foundation to support them. IT MANAGEMENT PRIORITIES Leveraging Data Center Technology Investment priorities for the next three years: Improved staff productivity and operational efficiency Implementing common management software, services and processes across cloud and non-cloud environments Data center operators are being challenged to be more agile and responsive and to meet that challenge, investments must be made in data center 49% networks. 40% The adoption of SDN and NFV is not a matter of if but when, and no matter what your adoption time frame is or what technologies become eminent, one thing is clear: You ll need a reliable and integrated physical network underneath. Reducing the number of software-management tools Aggressively investing in automation and orchestration in pursuit of business benefits, such as savings in operational expenditures and greater business agility 39% 24% Source: 2013 IDC IT Management Quickpoll 3

4 INTRODUCTION Progress of SDN Adoption Programs Driven by pervasive virtualization, today s data center is experiencing unprecedented fluidity and disruption, from computing and storage to networking. Data center operators, both enterprise and service providers, are being challenged to be more agile and responsive to deploy innovative new applications and services faster than ever before. And to meet that challenge, organizations must invest in their data center networks. But data center operators must also ensure that the networks they invest in today don t lock them out of critical new technology trends such as SDN and NFV. Current state of adoption by organizations with SDN programs: Data center operators need headroom to grow and future-proof protection to prepare them for these emerging technologies 7% 11% 54% Data center operators are being challenged to be more agile and responsive and to meet that challenge, organizations must invest in their data center networks. 28% Fully implemented Test implementation Early adoption/pilot Research only Aberdeen Group,

5 WHAT ARE SDN AND NFV? SDN SDN is an approach to networking in which control is decoupled from hardware and transferred to a software application called a controller. It abstracts the underlying infrastructure of the network so it can be treated as a logical or virtual entity. SDN separates the network s control and forwarding planes to make each one easier to optimize, and it provides a centralized view of the distributed network. The goal of SDN is to enable network engineers and administrators to make changes faster. In a software-defined network, a network administrator can shape traffic from a centralized control console without having to touch individual switches. The administrator can change any network switch s rules as needed prioritizing, deprioritizing, or even blocking specific types of packets with highly granular controls. NFV NFV is an initiative to virtualize network functions previously handled by proprietary, dedicated hardware. A new way to design, deploy and manage networking services, NFV decouples network functions including network address translation (NAT), firewalling, intrusion detection, domain name service (DNS), and caching from proprietary hardware appliances so they can run in software. NFV leverages standard IT virtualization technologies to consolidate many types of network equipment onto industry standard servers, switches, and storage to reduce data center hardware, power, and space requirements. SDN and NFV share a softwarebased approach to networking to support more scalable, agile and innovative networks. Mutually beneficial but not dependent upon one another, SDN and NFV share a softwarebased approach to networking to support more scalable, agile, and innovative networks. But SDN has a broad focus on traffic flow control and manageability of the network. NFV is more specialized, concentrating on virtualizing and optimizing specific network services and functions such as routers, application delivery controllers, load balancers, and firewalls. 5

6 TOP 5 BENEFITS OF SDN AND NFV 1. Increased Business Agility: SDN improves network orchestration, manageability, and control, helping network engineers and administrators respond more quickly to changing business requirements. With SDN, administrators can control the flow of traffic from a centralized location, eliminating the need to manually log onto and update individual switches. Data traffic flow, prioritization, and even security can be set up centrally and distributed to all switches quickly and efficiently. 2. Lower Operational Costs: SDN s ability to automate network provisioning and orchestration can cut operating costs by reducing overall management time and decreasing the chance of errors that lead to network disruptions. 3. Lower Capital Costs: NFV reduces the cost of network devices such as routers, firewalls, and security appliances by allowing them to run on common commodity platforms. By enabling software-based network functions, NFV reduces hardware, power, and space requirements. Most importantly, NFV can significantly reduce networking complexity, which eases network management tasks, reduces potentially costly errors, and speeds deployment of new capabilities. 4. Better Quality of Service: SDN also improves Quality of Service, ensuring that applications and business organizations achieve the appropriate level of responsiveness by prioritizing certain types of network traffic. For example, a latency-sensitive voice or video call might receive higher priority than an for which congestion and latency concerns are less critical. SDN can cut operating costs by reducing overall management time and decreasing the chance of errors that lead to network disruptions. 5. Improved Security: SDN can improve security by blocking or rerouting traffic based on software-defined rules. This is particularly helpful in multitenancy use cases such as on-premises or offpremises cloud-computing services. 6. 6

7 ARE SDN AND NFV READY FOR PRIME TIME? There s no question that SDN and NFV will be important networking technologies, but all the pieces are just starting to fall into place. Because SDN requires support and communication across a broader range of devices than NFV, it will take longer to reach mainstream adoption. Vendors have only recently started coming out with their SDN-ready infrastructure products; SDN is still mostly being tested in lab settings. NFV, meanwhile, is already being deployed in production environments. NFV s focus on replacing specific network functions that typically were provided by expensive network appliances makes it easier for vendors and customers to get started developing and implementing these services. So it s much closer than SDN to gaining broad market adoption. SDN is expected to have full mainstream acceptance in 2017 There s no question that SDN and NFV will be important networking technologies, but all the pieces are just starting to fall into place. A November 2013 Infonetics Research study1 shows that most enterprises are still kicking the tires on SDN. Infonetics doesn t expect SDN to move out of the enterprise labs until 2015, with full rapid mainstream acceptance coming in SDN on commodity switches where the technology reveals even more of its value is even less mature than SDN itself. Only organizations with the resources and expertise to customize their technology should consider this right now

8 ORCHESTRATION: A CRITICAL ENABLER FOR SDN AND NFV Network orchestration, which is already beneficial in today s data center, will become critical as SDN and NFV become mainstream. Orchestration combines multiple automated tasks such as infrastructure, middleware, applications, and data services into a coordinated workflow aligned with business needs. It can help provision the network, storage network, storage, firewalls, port profiles, operating system, and even applications, while incorporating security each step of the way. take specific action under certain conditions. Additionally, administrators will be able to automatically deploy complex services that require a server, network policies, and storage. As with the other technologies, orchestration simultaneously reduces operational costs and improves agility. Orchestration combines multiple automated tasks into a coordinated workflow aligned with business needs. As SDN begins to dynamically shape traffic flow through software, NFV-based solutions can be automatically instantiated, and processes can be created to automatically 8

9 3 WAYS ETHERNET FABRICS CAN DELIVER THE POTENTIAL OF SDN AND NFV For SDN and NFV to deliver their full potential, they need to run on an optimized, SDN-ready network foundation, with Ethernet fabrics playing a crucial role. SDN cannot be simply moved on top of a complex, unreliable, limited-scale physical network because the benefits will be lost in the increased complexity and higher maintenance of existing architectures. Unfortunately, very little existing enterprise infrastructure is fully SDN-capable, so many organizations will have to replace almost everything to enable SDN. The major question, then, is what are the key requirements and considerations as you map a strategy to address the data center s immediate pain points while also readying your network for SDN and NFV? SDN-ready infrastructure is an obvious primary requirement, but so are Ethernet fabrics, which provide the automation, optimization, and resilience needed to realize the full benefits of SDN and NFV. Overall, a modern, well-architected network has three key characteristics: 1. Simple and automated Ethernet fabrics provide the automation, optimization and resilience needed to realize the full benefits of SDN and NFV. 2. Optimized 3. Resilient 1. Simple and Automated: A simple and automated network is a network where ports, links and devices do not need to be micromanaged and is VMaware. Whether it s provisioning for virtual machines (VMs), enabling VM mobility, or adding network capacity, it should be accomplished with zero touch provisioning. It must have centralized management and easily integrate with orchestration framework tools such as OpenStack. 9

10 2. Optimized: Network optimization requires a flatter, multipathed architecture to reduce the number of network hops and communication latency and facilitate server-to-server (or East-West ) traffic pattern growth. All links should be active there s no room for idle, redundant links that must be laboriously configured and maintained. It should also support automatic load balancing and shortestpath capabilities. An optimized network should be SDN- and virtualizationintegrated, and support multipathing capabilities at all network layers. There should be 1/10/40/100 GbE support with easy software-based upgradability, and all switches should utilize a nonblocking, wire-speed architecture. 3. Resilient: A good network foundation must be resilient, with automatic traffic re-routing around failed links and loadbalancing capabilities. Simple and Automated Optimized Resilient

11 BROCADE VCS FABRICS: A CORNERSTONE FOR THE NEW DATA CENTER Brocade VCS fabrics delivers the value of Ethernet fabrics today, and also provides an optimized, automated, and scalable foundation that is just a software upgrade away for future SDN and NFV deployments. Brocade VCS fabrics provide zero-touch provisioning and are self-forming. By simply connecting two switches, a VCS fabric is automatically created, multiple links automatically form Link Aggregation Groups (LAGs), and port profile information is shared among all members of the VCS fabric. The Brocade VCS Logical Chassis feature provides centralized management of up to 32 switches, and allows administrators to add capacity through a simple software update. VCS fabrics integrate with OpenStack through a single IP for communication. Brocade VCS fabrics use a flatter fully optimized architecture where all links are active, and also provide automatic load balancing and shortest-path capability to ensure optimum performance. VCS fabrics support OpenFlow v1.3 for SDN controllers, APIs, and network virtualization technologies. VCS fabrics are VM-aware and work seamlessly with all server virtualization technologies. With VMWare, VCS fabrics can pull VM profile information directly from vcenter and automatically migrate those port profiles across the VCS fabric using Automatic Migration of Port Profiles (AMPP). In addition, VCS fabrics are resilient, with seamless traffic re-routing whenever a failure occurs. Even before a data center implements SDN, Brocade VCS fabric technology enables administrators to add capacity five times faster than they could with competing technologies, and increases network efficiency by 200 percent. Combined with SDN, VCS fabric technology can quickly cut network OpEx in half right now, not years down the road. VCS enables administrators to add capacity 5X faster than they could with competing technologies. 11

12 CONCLUSION: GET READY TO MAXIMIZE YOUR INVESTMENTS SDN promises tremendous benefits, and NFV is already delivering some of those advantages. For maximum impact, however, SDN and NFV must run on top of a simple, optimized, and resilient physical network foundation. Ethernet fabrics provide that physical infrastructure with a blend of SDNready and, in the case of Brocade VCS fabrics, advanced switch-based services. Implementing Brocade VCS fabric technology now delivers many of SDN s promised benefits immediately, and enables you to take advantage of SDN solutions when you re ready. Instead of locking you out of SDN, VCS fabrics let you seamlessly migrate to more comprehensive SDN solutions as they become available. Brocade was the first vendor to provide Ethernet fabrics, and more than 1,700 customers worldwide use its proven VCS fabric technology. Committed to opensource, Brocade is completely focused on its core networking competency. That s why Brocade works with best-in-class partners at all different layers within the data center to help enterprises and service providers deploy best-in-class solutions now and in the future. Brocade VCS fabrics let you seamlessly migrate to more comprehensive SDN solutions as they become available. 12

13 ABOUT BROCADE SHARE THIS E-BOOK Brocade (NASDAQ: BRCD) networking solutions help the world s leading organizations transition smoothly to a world where applications and information reside anywhere. This vision is designed to deliver key business benefits such as unmatched simplicity, nonstop networking, application optimization, and investment protection. Innovative Ethernet and storage networking solutions for data center, campus, and service provider networks help reduce complexity and cost while enabling virtualization and cloud computing to increase business agility. To help ensure a complete solution, Brocade partners with worldclass IT companies and provides comprehensive education, support, and professional services offerings. (www.brocade.com) 13

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