Colt's programmable network vision


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Colt would like to present its vision around Network Programmability leading towards true IT and Network integration. Colt being an active Open Networking Foundation member since April 2012, is adopting SDN as a core component of its long term vision leading to a more flexible, automated and cost effective network infrastructure that can follow a similar evolution as we have seen over the past decades in computing. Colt will present the different areas for SDN applicability in Colt, covering both the Data Centre as well as the WAN.
Colt ( operates a 21-country, 35,000km network that includes metropolitan area networks in 39 major European cities with direct fibre connections into 17,000 buildings and 20 Colt data centres. In addition the Colt LDN (Colt owned & operated DWDM Long Distance Fibre Network) connects additional cities in Europe and the US for a total of 100 connected cities.

Several networks & technologies have been deployed by Colt to provide communication services only to business customers: DWDM, SDH, EoSDH, Carrier Ethernet (MPLS), IP (Internet & VPN), TDM Voice, VoIP (IMS) and Cloud.

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  • Colt is a European provider targeting business customers only (enterprise, wholesales and retail) with the strategy t o be a leading IDP supplier in Europe. IDP refers to the capability to supply integrated IT and network services. Colt has deployed a network infra over 21 countries, 39 EU MANs, 100+ connected cities across EU/USA/CEE This represents 20 data centers and 18,000 on-net buildings Served by a 35,000km fiber network More than 35,000 business customers Capabilities IT managed services, data and voice services Working with the leading technology vendors and 400 channel partners 5,200 employees in 16 countries, of which 1,300 in India Providing mission-critical services in demanding market sectors We manage thousands of IT systems for our customers Trusted by other carriers Performance 2011 Revenues of €1,554.3m EBITDA of €332m Profit before tax and exceptional items  €72.0m Shareholder stability
  • - Improved automation and management by using common APIs to abstract the underlying networking details from the orchestration and provisioning systems and applications - Rapid innovation through the ability to deliver new network capabilities and services without the need to configure individual devices or wait for vendor Releases - Programmability by operators, enterprises, independent software vendors, and users (not just equipment manufacturers) using common programming environments, which gives all parties new opportunities to drive revenue and differentiation - Increased network reliability and security as a result of centralized and automated management of network devices, uniform policy enforcement, and fewer configuration errors
  • Network Programmability is part of Colt’s Vision to integrate IT and Network
  • Network Virtualization Benefits: Full address virtualization DVNI fully decouples the virtual and physical address spaces. This allows VMs unrestricted placement and mobility anywhere in the world. (Mobility may be limited by the end-hosts’ ability to handle latency within the virtual network. For example, many L2 protocol stacks are built assuming LAN-level latencies and do not operate correctly over long distances). It also allows overlapping addresses between virtual networks, the ability to bridge or migrate physical networks into virtual networks without renumbering IP addresses, and it allows multiple addressing mechanisms (for example IPv6) to run over standard IPv4 gear. Full L2/L3 virtualization With DVNI, it is possible to faithfully reproduce the physical network service models such as L2, L3 with support for broadcast, multicast, flooding, and standard ACL and policy controls. The virtual service model is independent of the underlying network, allowing for multiple virtual networks to support different service models (e.g., some L2 and some L3) and for the service model to be distinct from the underlying networks (e.g., L2 virtual service model over an L3 network). It is also possible to insert L4-7 services such as NAT, stateful firewalling, and load balancing into the virtual network without requiring any additional hardware. Network Services as software Implementing the virtual networking functionality at the edge of the network allows services to evolve quickly with market needs by leveraging the rapid innovation and release cycle for software. Further, if implemented correctly, these services can be added, grown and configured dynamically without requiring any manual configuration or rewiring of the physical infrastructure. Scale and performance A DVNI solution can be overlaid on any data center fabric design without imposing any additional scaling hurdles, such as table state explosion or additional control overhead. Because DVNI implements everything at the edge in a distributed fashion, there is little to no data path performance degradation, and no additional choke points. The primary challenge with scale for a DVNI implementation lies within the controllers. They are responsible for managing the state mapping at the edge, between the virtual and physical address space. There may be thousands of forwarding entries and tunnels at thousands of end points. In order to truly scale and provide resilience to failure, the controllers should support distribution of the work needed to control all of the vswitches. Decoupling from physical hardware Under DVNI, any virtual network should be able to run on any physical hardware. From an operational viewpoint, this allows the physical network to be upgraded or replaced without significant disruption to the virtual networks. As previously noted, it also allows for the introduction of new services on software time scales. From a capital viewpoint, this decoupling allows a data center operator to evaluate physical network solutions on priceperformance rather than value-added features implemented in hardware
  • Colt's programmable network vision

    1. 1. Colt’s ProgrammableNetwork VisionOpenFlow & Software-Defined NetworkingJavier Benitez, October 2012 Download this presentation or view the video© 2010 Colt Technology Services Group Limited. All rights reserved.
    2. 2. Agenda 1 About Colt 2 Introduction – Programmable Networks 3 IT & Network Integration - Colt’s Vision 4 Colt’s SDN Potential Applications 5 Summary2
    3. 3. Colt – Europe’s Information Delivery Platform • 35,000km high capacity long distance network • Connecting 22 countries, 39 metro networks and >100 cities • 19 (+1) data centres and 18,000 connected buildings3
    4. 4. Colt Data Networks Strategy Current Target Network Architecture Optical Layer Network Architecture Ethernet Layer IP Layer Integrated Eth/IP Layer Integrated Optical IP/Optical Core Core IP/MPLS Ethernet Core Core Intelligent IP Service Edge/ Ethernet Edge Aggreg Edge/Aggreg IPCPE Ethernet CPE Modular Ethernet End-user / DC compute End-user / DC compute4
    5. 5. Introduction – Programmable Networks • Networks have evolved into complex, inflexible and costly systems – Main reasons: lack of networking principles and abstractions (control plane), lack of Network APIs • In contrast, computing is heavily built on abstractions, supporting cloud paradigm (elasticity, scalability, on-demand, virtualisation) • Programmable Networks: bring the computing paradigm to networking, allow application & network worlds to communicate – ONF - Software-Defined Networking: data & control plane separation, standardisation of fundamental networking abstractions – IETF - Software-Driven Networking : Focus on network APIs to allow applications and network to exchange information5
    6. 6. ONF – Software-Defined NetworkingApplication Layer Business Applications API API APIControl Layer SDN Control Network Services Automation Software Rapid Innovation Control Data Plane Interface (e.g., OpenFlow Protocol)Infrastructure Layer ProgrammabilityNetwork Device Network Device Network Device Reliability Network Device Network Device Colt Joined ONF in Apr6 2012
    7. 7. IETF – Software-Driven NetworkingApplication Layer Business Applications Real Time Topology (ALTO / BGP-TE) API API API SDN Controller Path Computation (PCE) i2aex Management Selecting Traffic (OpenFlow) DC Network Virtualisation OpenFlow BGP-TE Other… ALTO (nv03 overlay) PCENetwork APIs Unified Network API (i2aex)Infrastructure Layer Classical Control Plane (Routing Protocols) Network Device Network Device Network Device 7
    8. 8. IT & Network Integration – Colt’s Vision The integration of the network and IT platforms from the service, technology, system and process point of view to deliver an end to end integrated customer experience (the Information Delivery Platform). • A set of technical solutions Network • to flex single or multiple parts of the network automation • to direct traffic to specific locations and • to prioritize traffic intelligently elasticity • Can also be simulated with an usage based metering and billing commercial proposition8
    9. 9. Cloud and Network Architecture Customers9
    10. 10. SDN potential applications in the Colt network 2 Application Intelligence Controller 3 1 Compute Instance Data Compute Centre Instance Network Customer (OpenFlow-aware) Network Compute Fabric Instance Compute Instance Metering and Billing10
    11. 11. SDN potential applications in the Colt network DC • New (Generation 4) DC Fabric Fabric based on OpenFlow enabled switches • Network Virtualisation: Virtual 2 Application Network decoupled from physical Intelligence hardware. VMs unrestricted Controller 3 1 CCN placement & mobility. Dynamic (Cloud network policies. Address Space virtualisation (VLAN/MAC/ACL). Centric Compute Instance Data Compute Network Virtual Services APIs Network) Centre Instance NetworkCustomer (OpenFlow-aware) Network Fabric Compute Instance • Network Automation: Network APIs. Integrated Compute / Network Compute Instance orchestration Metering and Billing • WAN Network NLI / (Optical/Ethernet/IP): End-to-end Mod unified network abstraction allowing MSP for true technology layer & vendor integration. NLI: Network Layer Integration 11 Mod MSP: Modular Multi Vendor Carrier Ethernet
    12. 12. DC Application I : • New (Generation 4) DC Fabric based on OpenFlow enabled Fabric switches • The DC Fabric is the network that provides any-to-any connectivity inside the DC. Traditionally it has been divided into two separate networks: LAN (data) and SAN (storage) • For the LAN traffic this has traditionally been an Ethernet switching infrastructure, layered in different tiers, running traditional switching protocols like STP. • A lot of activity in the past 2/3 years by the industry to deliver new DC Fabrics, some proprietary, some standard-based (TRILL, IEEE 802.1aq). Main objective is to enhance traditional Ethernet bridging & enable converge (single network for LAN & SAN) • SDN/OpenFlow is a technology that could be used to build the next generation DC Fabric for Colt, fully separating the data plane (L2/L3) from the control plane (software controller & network applications). • Advantages of SDN/OpenFlow in DC Fabric: network programmability & virtualisation, networking gear cost reduction, rapid innovation in the DC, etc. • The fact that DC Ethernet Fabric is a controlled network environment (typically single vendor/ single technology) allows for easier SDN/OpenFlow development.12
    13. 13. • Cloud Centric Network Application II : CCN • Network Virtualisation & Automation: • The Network today is still very much static in the way bandwidth and connectivity are provisioned for DC customers. • While compute resources are fully virtualised and can be provisioned, upgraded or adapted in a matter of minutes, network resources may be provisioned, upgraded or adapted in a matter of days, in the best case scenario. • SDN/OpenFlow could provide: – Network Virtualisation: abstraction of the underlying physical network as a generalised pool of switching capacity – Network Automation: true end-to-end bandwidth on demand, dynamic network policies that follow the compute instances across the network and network orchestration integrated with the compute orchestration • A centralised control function “programs” the logical network model to deliver the requested network virtualised services as per the cloud computing requirements • The network in scope of CCN is end-to-end, covering not only Intra-DC (DC Fabric) but also the inter-DC WAN connectivity (Optical transport & L2/L3 packet networks) • An SDN/Overlay is best suited at this point of time as can be deployed over any IP transport network13
    14. 14. NLI / • End-to-end unified network Application III : Mod abstraction allowing for true technology layer & vendor MSP integration. • Colt is currently working on several projects driving integration in the WAN , both at the technology layer (NLI) as well as at multi-vendor layer (Modular MSP) • Probably the biggest challenge for both is end-to-end interoperability due to: – The high degree of complexity in today’s network control plane, leads vendors to having to develop proprietary solutions to deliver demanding applications like Carrier Ethernet – Control plane across different technologies (Ethernet and MPLS for instance) can be different; end-to-end control functionality sometimes not standard, leading to the same result of having proprietary implementations • SDN will bring (long term!) full end-to-end unified network abstraction allowing for true technology layer as well as vendor integration … and delivering much greater innovation rate for the future! • The same SDN/OpenFlow benefits identified for the CCN will be targeted for the WAN:14 – Network Virtualisation & Automation
    15. 15. Summary • SDN/OpenFlow is in its very early days. Mainly a research topic, with some limited commercial implementations in the form of basic OpenFlow switches • Network Programmability (in the form of SDN/OpenFlow or others like IETF) fits extremely well within Colt’s strategy to integrate IT & Network – SDN isnt purely about network & technology but also about re-inventing OSS and orchestration/automation • Colt initially foresees applicability in the DC space (DC Fabric & network virtualisation for cloud services) – SDN & Network Programmability will be a key requirement in Colt’s CCN project delivering the Next Generation DC Architecture for Colt • But, Network Programmability/SDN will eventually move to the WAN as well (see what Google did!) – Colt has already started to analyse use cases for the WAN (Optical/Ethernet/IP): NLI & Mod MSP15
    16. 16. Questions? Thanks Javier Benitez, Download this presentation or view the video© 2010 Colt Technology Services Group rights reserved. reserved. Telecom Group Limited. All Limited. All rights