Pacnet: SDN and Creating a Fat Network Pipe with OpenStack and the Click of a Switch

Nick Chase and Jason Venner - November 21, 2013 -

When we think about clouds, and specifically OpenStack, we think about provisioning virtual machines. To reliably run our business, these virtual machines must interact with other services, which may not be in other data centers or other regions. The next frontier for the cloud is enabling connectivity on demand.

While telcos don’t normally provide computing power to their customers, providing network bandwidth is a big part of their business. Last week in Hong Kong, Pacnet Managed Services President Jim Fagan and VP of Product Architecture Jon Vestal demonstrated the PacNet Enabled Network, their SDN architecture that lets customers self-provision bandwidth.

Jon Vestal gave the example of creating a trunk between two data centers, one in Hong Kong and one in Singapore. In the demo, he showed a cluster (managed by Mirantis OpenStack’s Fuel Control Panel) that included some servers that were online and some that were offline. The difference was that the offline servers were in Singapore, and unreachable.

With just a few clicks, Vestal was able to self-provision a trunk line between the two cities, and within moments, Mirantis OpenStack’s Fuel control panel indicated an online status for the previously offline servers and the servers were available for use.  He was even able to adjust the speed of the line on the fly.

Mirantis OpenStack is the power behind this leap forward in cloud agility, extending the cloud and automation from provisioning applications in a single location to real time orchestration for multiregion application services.

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