Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Software Defined Networks (SDN)

One hot topic that I would like to discuss today is that of software defined networks (SDN) in respect to Oracle and other database platforms. Key vendors that provide core technologies around this area are provided by VMware, Redhat, and Oracle. First let us cover the basics of SDN.

VMware Software Defined Network

From VMware approach, the new vCloud Director suite provides the tools to implement an end to end software defined network and virtualized ecosystem along with robust technologies such as VMware vCenter and VMware vSphere. According to VMware the Software Data Center:

The Software-Defined Data Center: Operating Principles

Rather than mask the inherent rigidity of specialized hardware under a tangle of scripts, the Software-Defined Data center leapfrogs these constraints to change the way all data center services are delivered.

As implemented in VMware’s vCloud Suite, the virtualization principles of abstraction, pooling and automation are applied to compute, storage, networking, security, and availability. This creates the Virtual Data Center, a new construct that aggregates these software-defined services and enables intelligent, policy-based provisioning, automation, and monitoring. APIs and other connectors provide seamless extensibility to third-party platforms and public cloud services.

Below is the architecture for vCloud environment for SDN:

Taken together, these capabilities comprise VMware Cloud Infrastructure, the virtualized infrastructure at the heart of the Software-Defined Data Center. As highly capable as it is, this “engine” is not sufficient on its own. It must be fully managed, which encompasses everything from delivering access to the right services with the right approvals to ensuring the performance, compliance and efficiency of your private cloud.

These management capabilities—delivered via VMware Cloud Management—are specifically designed to provide deep insight into cloud infrastructure performance, while enabling services to be provisioned and accessed in any available cloud.

For many companies, the Software-Defined Data Center will coexist in a heterogeneous environment with multiple hypervisors, hardware from different vendors, and various public cloud services. You can abstract away this complexity by extending VMware Cloud Management beyond your vSphere-enabled Software-Defined Data Center—to impose uniform governance, control, access and self-service over your entire heterogeneous, hybrid cloud environment.

Cloud Service Provisioning: Automate the provisioning of infrastructure and applications within the Software-Defined Data Center, and beyond it across multiple clouds and platforms. Cloud Operations Management: Manage the health, risk, efficiency and compliance of your infrastructure and applications. Cloud Business Management: Govern and manage cloud services as a critical element of running IT like a business.

Oracle Software Defined Network

Oracle has a different approach to software defined networking and virtualized data centers that is more application focused along the core suite of applications that run Oracle database and Oracle systems.

Below is an overview of the approach for SDN taken by Oracle:

Last but not least, completely integrated systems that merge SDN with hardware, storage, compute and network converged infrastructure are now on the market and provide turn key solutions to large customers who require a quick time to market data center such as that provided by VCE ( via the vBlock platform. A good overview of the vBlock is available below:

Until next time

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