Networking for cloud computing

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1 IBM Global Technology Services Thought Leadership White Paper Cloud computingi IBM Global Technology Services Networking for cloud computing Optimize your network to make the most of your cloud

2 2 Networking for cloud computing The network s role in the cloud In recent years, no single advance in information technology has commanded the attention that cloud computing has and for good reason. Because clouds allocate resources when and where they re required, while also more heavily leveraging automation than any previous computing technology, they are remarkably efficient and cost-effective service delivery platforms. In increasing IT speed and agility, cloud computing can help organizations more quickly respond to competitive challenges and opportunities, thereby more closely aligning IT with business goals. Chief executive officers and other IT executives also look to cloud computing to solve ubiquitous challenges in the data center environment. These challenges include low server utilization rates; significant operational inefficiencies; arduous processes to procure, build and maintain server environments; and long application deployment times. Enterprises too often leave network planning until late in the design of a cloud solution. This is a mistake. To deliver the benefits of cloud, the network s role must be considered in the early stages of cloud design, along with applications, storage and servers. For clouds to deliver on their full potential, they must achieve the best possible utilization of all available resources processing power, memory, storage and the network. The network plays an essential role in how efficiently the other IT resources are connected, utilized and secured. Because of its role in the cloud architecture, the network should be addressed in the early stages of cloud consideration, as an essential element in cloud design and implementation. In IBM s experience, however, enterprises too often leave network planning until late in the design of a cloud solution. This is a mistake. A networking plan tacked onto an all-but-completed cloud solution is likely to result in a design that delivers lessthan-optimal business value. The more significant the role the network plays in delivering business services, the more likely this will be the case. Not every organization, however, has a complete understanding of networking for cloud computing. Challenges include instituting end-to-end management plans and navigating the complex interplay among networks, storage and servers. This white paper is designed to help. It explores the networking ramifications of various cloud deployment models. It also addresses some of the specific ways IBM services can help organizations create tailored networking solutions that will help their clouds deliver improved business value.

3 IBM Global Technology Services 3 Cloud deployment models and their networking ramifications Organizations have a variety of cloud deployment options to choose from, depending on business objectives, security needs, performance goals and manageability requirements. (See Figure 1.) Network requirements will vary from deployment model to deployment model. In IBM s experience, most enterprises will choose among the following cloud models: Public clouds: Public cloud infrastructures are typically hosted in a third-party cloud service provider s data center, on a platform that is shared by other organizations or individuals. Private clouds: Private cloud infrastructures can be located on or off premises, are operated solely for the organization, and are managed by the organization itself or a third party. Hybrid clouds: Hybrid clouds utilize the capabilities of both public and private cloud infrastructures merged with traditional IT to meet business requirements. Depending on the cloud deployment model chosen, the organization will be responsible for different networking requirements such as security, performance, availability and manageability. What follows is a look at how network elements may vary from cloud model to cloud model. It is important to remember that, regardless of the cloud model employed, organizations must make sure that the network fully supports business needs and meets security requirements and target service levels. Public IT activities/functions are provided as a service over the Internet Hybrid Internal and external service delivery methods are integrated Private IT capabilities are provided as a service over an intranet, within the enterprise and inside the firewall Figure 1: Organizations have a variety of cloud deployment options to choose from. Networking requirements will vary from deployment model to deployment model. Networking considerations for public clouds Public cloud delivery models will commonly deliver services to support the interests of a broad population. For cost efficiency, the Internet is used as the basic networking platform for users to connect to the cloud. When employees use public cloud delivery models, organizations are expanding the company security boundary to the Internet and beyond. Cloud service providers may offer a broad range of available access methods and connectivity technologies (including broadband, wireless and mobile technologies) that allow the cloud provider s services to be accessed anywhere, anytime. Enterprises must see to it that the network design and enforcement of security and privacy policies encompass the public domain, including public access technologies and methodologies.

4 4 Networking for cloud computing In addition to the Internet, organizations that use public clouds can obtain cloud access through a private extranet. Extranets can provide better security control by leveraging firewalls, encryption technologies, access controls and intrusion detection and prevention systems. Access methods and connectivity technologies can be tailored to meet enterprise IT standards. Extranets may also allow enterprises to implement symmetric wide area network (WAN) optimization technologies between the cloud and enterprise data centers. These technologies can improve network performance and accelerate application delivery. To deliver the benefits of cloud, applications, servers storage and the network must be considered as a system and managed jointly for optimal function. However, the use of extranets comes with its own set of challenges. The organization must carefully consider and plan the network capacity between itself and the cloud hosting center. Cost is one issue. The organization can incur excess costs if there are too many points of access to the cloud site from multiple, remote locations, including the organization s own data centers. The network needs to be designed to optimize the number of access points. Network performance is a second concern performance will suffer if there is insufficient capacity. Potential resolutions to this issue include network capacity planning, modeling and simulation techniques. WAN optimization controller technologies can be implemented between enterprises and cloud providers to improve WAN traffic, and application delivery controller technologies can be deployed to accelerate network traffic and increase application availability. Networking considerations for private clouds In a private cloud delivery model, the network is controlled by the enterprise. This leaves the enterprise with responsibility for the overall network infrastructure and its end-to-end management. Issues such as reliability, performance, security and expense must all be addressed in developing a network that supports a cloud-based environment. Traditionally, enterprise networks have been static, inflexible, isolated and managed separately from other data center operations. They have been developed to meet point-in-time requirements, which resulted in network device sprawl much like that appearing in the rest of the data center and in IT operations in general. Often, optimizing for high availability also increased network sprawl due to the layered approach and redundancy requirements for everything in the data center. To deliver the benefits of cloud, applications, servers, storage and the network must be considered as a system and managed and provisioned jointly for optimal function. This requires a new approach for the network. Overall, the network design must be simplified through the standardization of devices and protocols. Modular, repeatable designs must be used to scale the infrastructure smoothly. Consolidated and virtualized network services must be used when possible, minimizing the number of physical appliances. Complicated or vendorspecific features should be kept to a minimum to simplify troubleshooting and management. Security integration is also necessary at every level and juncture to help provide effective protection across the infrastructure and across the business.

5 IBM Global Technology Services 5 Data center network technologies are evolving rapidly to address these cloud infrastructure requirements. Developments such as fabrics, virtualized network services, software defined networks and innovations in network provisioning and automation capabilities necessitates examining these trends in relation to the overall cloud design requirements. IBM believes that organizations should take a planned, architectural approach to developing a network that fully supports cloud computing. Finally, the architectures of the applications being hosted in a cloud can impact their performance over the network. Therefore the network requirements for the specific applications being hosted must be considered to support the required quality of service, security and performance requirements of those applications. Networking considerations for hybrid clouds More and more companies are moving to the hybrid cloud delivery model due to cost, resilience and security requirements. For companies that adopt a hybrid cloud model, networking considerations for both public and private models come into play. Hybrid clouds call for a more comprehensive and application-specific network strategy and architecture that focuses on both performance and security as more inbound and outbound Internet traffic mixes with intranet traffic on the organization s network. Charting a path to a cloud-ready network A planned, architectural approach is critical to developing a network that fully supports cloud computing whether the cloud is delivered through a public, private or hybrid model. The process starts with a network assessment. IBM assessments have been developed to give the client organization a clear view of its current network infrastructure while providing roadmaps for reaching the desired future state. With this information in hand, clients are better prepared for a network design that more fully supports cloud initiatives. If help is needed, IBM offers a rich portfolio of cloud networking services. (See Figure 2.) These services span from initial planning and assessment to implementation and optimization, and may be mixed and matched so that organizations can choose those services that most closely match their specific networking needs. Services are offered in the following fields: Network assessments: IBM offers assessments to help organizations prepare their networks for cloud adoption. These assessments examine network design, devices, components and capacity in terms of their cloud readiness. Additional analyses employ a patented methodology to help solve the network latency issues that can lead to slow application speed and other problems in a cloud environment, especially when the cloud is serving a geographically dispersed enterprise. Network security architecture: Effective, end-to-end network security is essential if a cloud is going to create business value and not engender business liability. IBM services help clients develop and implement network security solutions, conceived and integrated early in the cloud-planning process, that can be applied in as many ways or as many specific contexts as services demand.

6 6 Networking for cloud computing Network implementation and integration services: IBM s extensive, in-depth knowledge of cloud networking can help ease design and implementation of networking solutions. We help translate a relatively abstract network design into an up-and-running, optimized network. To do so, we apply time-tested methodology, expertise in industry leading technology and a vendor-independent approach to networking equipment choices. Network maintenance services: IBM s networking maintenance services strive to create a closed loop of optimization, in which each new iteration of adjustments makes the cloud more optimized from a business standpoint than it was in the previous cycle. This expertise is an area of particular strength for IBM a result of our industry-spanning, globe-spanning history of successful engagements that few competitors can match. Why IBM? All these services are backed by IBM s significant technological expertise and our more than 40 years of networking experience. We offer a global pool of skilled professionals with extensive technical knowledge not just of networks, but also of the myriad ways in which enterprise networks interact with cloud environments, application portfolios and end user groups as well as understanding the business IBM networking services support all cloud delivery models Public Hybrid Private Networking strategy and optimization services for cloud computing Network integration services for cloud computing Network managed services for cloud computing Figure 2: IBM offers a rich portfolio of networking services supporting the full range of cloud deployment options. ramifications of those interactions. This knowledge gives IBM cloud networking services professionals a comprehensive and forward-looking perspective. As a systems integrator, we are also able to offer a vendor-neutral approach to our networking services. In every case, the specific implementation will be determined by the client s requirements, and the business outcome will be our overarching priority, not any particular combination of technical features or functions associated with any subset of the cloud s networking elements.

7 IBM Global Technology Services 7 Designing, developing and deploying a network that fully supports cloud computing solutions can be a challenging task. It requires an in-depth understanding of how to develop the right type of network for the right type of cloud deployment model, taking into account security, performance, availability and management needs. It requires significant knowledge of the interactions between the network, enterprise storage components, enterprise servers and application portfolios. Without this knowledge, experience and expertise, a network may not optimally support the cloud computing environment. For more information To learn more about how IBM can help your organization develop and implement a network that supports cloud computing, please contact your IBM networking representative, or visit the following website: ibm.com/services/integratedcommunications For IBM insights and perspectives on the issues that matter most to IT and business executives, visit: ibm.com/c-suite This is why so many organizations turn to IBM for help in developing, designing and deploying the networks they need to support cloud computing initiatives. They understand that the better the network complexities of their clouds are addressed, the better their business outcomes will be. IBM is the vendor of choice for the development of the type of networks that help businesses get more out of their cloud investments, thereby improving business as a whole.

8 8 Networking for cloud computing Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM Global Technology Services Route 100 Somers, NY Produced in the United States of America April 2013 IBM, the IBM logo and ibm.com are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at Copyright and trademark information at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED AS IS WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON- INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. The client is responsible for ensuring compliance with laws and regulations applicable to it. IBM does not provide legal advice or represent or warrant that its services or products will ensure that the client is in compliance with any law or regulation. Statements regarding IBM s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice, and represent goals and objectives only. Please Recycle ICW03005-USEN-00

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