High speed and efficient networking thanks to Software Defined Networking, InfiniBand, NAT and CrossConnectThe concept of Software Defined Networking (SDN) has not only generated significant degree of hype in recent times, but also has what it takes to be a game-changer in the IT landscape. Software Defined Networking describes an approach in IT that aims to use software in order to centrally administer, control and dynamically deliver a network. In a Software Defined Network, network infrastructures can be configured freely and flexibly. This allows network engineers and administrators to react quickly and flexibly to changing business requirements.
Software Defined Network - the basis of modern network architecture
Conventional networks based on physical hardware are not flexible enough for the requirements of modern IT infrastructures and, above all, are far too expensive. Therefore, there is a growing trend towards purchasing computer capacity as a service rather than considering it as an internal product in a business. Naturally, this also requires that the service is available at any time, in the required scope and configuration, and that it can be individually controlled as and when required. Software Defined Networks offer this possibility. Not only are server and storage virtualised (as has been the case up to now in cloud hosting) based on modern cloud computing technologies, but all network components – server, storage, switches, load balancers and firewalls – are provided in abstracted form.
Using the controller, a central control software, network administrators in the SDN have the option of summarizing each of the required single components into individual network structures, which they can then configure and control. All of this is achieved without the need to intervene manually in the physical network components. This opens up completely new design possibilities for setting up and operating virtual data centres. Similar to the Software Defined Network (SDN), this is referred to as a Software Defined Data Centre (SDDC).
What advantages does Software Defined Networking offer?Software Defined Networking creates networks that can be dynamically scaled and adapted to current requirements. This produces decisive advantages of Software Defined Networks compared with conventional networks:
Flexibility and reduced provisioning times: Applications and network services are available within a very short time. Network capacities can be precisely adjusted to requirements within minutes. In Software Defined Networks, not only is it possible to scale horizontally by adding new instances, but also to scale vertically. At ProfitBricks, this can even be done on the fly with the help of Live Vertical Scaling.
Fewer configuration errors thanks to lower complexity: automation simplifies the structure of the network. Software Defined Networking creates simpler and more adaptable networks. The configuration workload is significantly lower with SDN. The network infrastructure is less complex because fewer switch ports and cables are required, which minimizes the overall risk of configuration errors.
This is how it works with ProfitBricks: Free networking of all components according to your needsA virtual data centre from ProfitBricks functions to all intents and purposes like a real data centre. The critical difference is that we utilise the strengths of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Software Defined Storage (SDS) together with InfiniBand – a network technology from high-performance computing. InfiniBand is a switch-based point-to-point connection architecture that supports signal rates of up to 80 Gbit/s and data transmission rates of up to 64 Gbit/s. As a result, InfiniBand with its current transmission speed of 80 Gbit/s is eight times as fast as the current fastest Ethernet with 10 Gbit/s.
However, the data centres operated by our competitors typically use only 1 Gbit/s Ethernet or even 0.1 Gbit/s Ethernet. And that’s not all: Our HPC adaptation of Infiniband not only offers higher speeds but is also much more efficient because it eliminates network collisions even under high loads – a typical problem associated with Ethernet technology.
ProfitBricks applies SDN not just for the virtualisation of control levels, but also to the entire network. This allows us to offer SDN solutions that are significantly better than others in terms of functional scope and speed. Our technology is based on the open-source Linux kernel with a direct interface to the Kernel-Based Virtual Machine (KVM). This enables maximum freedom when it comes to adaptation to the most diverse scenarios. Our control software virtualises all conventional network hardware such as firewalls, load balancers and switches. Actual hardware is no longer required. The software uses integrated drivers to incorporate, configure and control the most diverse virtual network hardware. In this way, traffic is not only separated but also connected with our solution.
Additional features for high speed : Load balancer, NAT and Cloud ConnectOne of the biggest challenges when setting up virtual machines in the cloud is often the lack of flexibility when it comes to networking the virtual servers. In the worst case, all virtual machines are connected directly to the Internet. In some cases, restricted networking opportunities that enable load balancing are offered. However, genuine isolation of the customer network in a virtual data centre, such those offered by ProfitBricks, is rare. In addition, our use of Network Address Translation (NAT) gives customers the option of only coupling virtual servers directly to the Internet very selectively. For users who value a particularly high level of cloud security, this is an exciting added value from an IaaS cloud computing provider from Germany.
ProfitBricks Cloud Connect is a customised service that enables particularly secure access to the public cloud. With the help of access providers such as 1&1 Versatel, they establish dedicated access to your virtual cloud resources. High-performance VLAN interconnects ensure that the physical location of the communicating systems is no longer relevant, and that only these systems also actually exchange data with one another. Within the ProfitBricks data centers, Cloud Connect can be effectively supported by ProfitBricks Private Cross Connect. Private Cross Connect then also allows you to create dedicated connections between multiple virtual data centers WITHIN the public cloud (within a bricks-and-mortar data center). Cloud security and secure cloud hosting.