Google's software-defined/OpenFlow backbone drives WAN links to 100% utilization

By John Dix, Network World |  Networking, Google, WAN

The whole industry is just getting going. I think five years from now we're going to be able to look back with some sense of accomplishment. But we have the baseline for introducing new functionality and now we can do that much more rapidly than we could have otherwise. So for example, we have made the first steps in our optimization algorithms for managing traffic, but now we can deploy a whole range of new, more advanced optimization techniques. But at a technical level, we need to tighten the control loop. Today the time to measure, react and reprogram is a big challenge in software-defined networking overall because many of these software and hardware components weren't designed for having a tight control loop. So we have to address that.

Is your network controlled from a single NOC?

No, it is replicated and distributed for fault tolerance. And again, from a community perspective and certainly from our own perspective, coming up with the right software architectures to have in an SDN paradigm, replicated distributed control is fundamental. And getting that right in a repeatable way will be a very important challenge for the community in the next few years.

OK. Anything that we didn't touch on that you think is important to get out?

One of the key points here is that the Internet has been remarkably successful and really couldn't have gotten to the point that it's gotten to without fully decentralized control and operation. But for it to get to the next level it does require logically centralized control. In other words, logical centralization can be fundamentally more efficient. We have built these amazing protocols over a 40-year period and now we're essentially transitioning to maybe the next step in the Internet's growth.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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