Saturday, November 1, 2014

Internet2 Launches Full-Production OpenFlow Capability

The Internet2 last week marked a major milestone in its network architecture by demonstrating the first nationwide, multi-tenant SDN-powered virtualized network capability.

The announcement was made at the 2014 Technology Exchange held last week in Indianapolis.

Conceptually, the virtualization enables the physical Internet2 Network to operate in isolated “slices” by leveraging innovations native to the Internet2 Network, including its 100G interfaces. The new SDN capability is driven by “FlowSpace Firewall” software installed in the Internet2 production network.  This allows slices of OpenFlow capabilities to be partitioned across nearly forty 100G-attached access nodes throughout the country. The software protects each network slice from overconsumption of resources by other slices.

The Internet2 says this first-in-class capability is now available to support the important work of the research and education (R&E) community’s data-intensive science and academic operations.

During the 2014 Technology Exchange conference, several initiatives were announced to build large-scale production cloud computing, next-generation IP and peering fabrics in virtual slices of the Internet2 Network.

These include two $10 million projects, called Chameleon and CloudLab, underwritten by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

“By connecting CloudLab to Internet2's nationwide SDN network, we can give researchers a level of end-to-end network programmability that is unprecedented in a cloud platform, said Robert Ricci, a research assistant professor of computer science at the University of Utah and principal investigator of CloudLab. Having this level of control, programmability, and visibility into the network will enable the research community to push the boundaries of cloud networking and explore the future of network architectures for the cloud.

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