Ciena's Virtual WANs Offer Bandwidth For Cloud Apps

Ciena at EMC World 2012 demonstrates simulated hybrid cloud designed to provide bandwidth-on-demand services for data-intensive cloud applications.
Amazon's 7 Cloud Advantages: Hype Vs. Reality
Amazon's 7 Cloud Advantages: Hype Vs. Reality
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Virtualization and cloud computing are hot topics at EMC World--but how do you deliver speed and data center resiliency, as well as scalability, in virtual and cloud environments? Ciena is focusing on tackling all three issues with its demonstrations at this week's conference in Las Vegas.

Jim Morin, product line director of managed services and enterprise at Ciena, said the company's technology platform for a virtual WAN will facilitate the deployment of ultra-low latency stock market applications and ease the distribution of synchronous virtual machine architectures. In the long run, it will allow the development of bandwidth-on-demand services for data-intensive cloud applications.

Ciena is showcasing at EMC World its "Data Center Without Walls": a live vMotion application operating over a distance of 100 km, and distributed storage between VPLEX clusters in a simulated cloud environment. The system allows for dynamic network scalability for the optical networks used in WANs, to create a more reliable, flexible and affordable shared networking infrastructure. "The transportation through Ciena's system and the protection and resiliency built into the network allow organizations to extend the full latency tolerance and synchronous replication of a system like EMC VPLEX," said Morin, who also is deputy commissioner of the TechAmerica Foundation's CLOUD2 group.

The virtual machine concept has simplified the development and deployment of new applications by abstracting many of the complexities in modern software systems. Likewise, virtual storage systems have simplified the management of distributed databases and file systems. However, the management of network resources has typically operated in a separate domain outside the purview or control of application developers. In traditional network systems, a developer has to wait hours, or even days, to provision the bandwidth for a new application. These changes can be further complicated by security requirements such as those from the Payment Card Industry or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Virtual LAN technology can help overcome many of these challenges within an organization and, to some extent, over larger networks. However, over larger distances there are important distinctions between the ways that optical and electrical networks are routed and provisioned. This creates limits on the pricing structures and dynamic flexibility that carriers can offer. Consequently, organizations need to buy enough bandwidth to satisfy peak demand.

Read the rest of this article on Network Computing.

The pay-as-you go nature of the cloud makes ROI calculation seem easy. It’s not. Also in the new, all-digital Cloud Calculations InformationWeek supplement: Why infrastructure-as-a-service is a bad deal. (Free registration required.)