This week Rackspace announced Layer 2 network isolation availability via Openstack and vSwitch technology. No doubt, cloud computing is maturing to a level where mass adoption begins to accelerate.
When ProfitBricks set out to revolutionize IaaS, the network was at the core of our innovation. Our guiding principle was “if you can do it in a network patch panel in your own data center, you can replicate it in a ProfitBricks Virtual Data Center. Our software defined network technology allows customers to set-up multiple private networks for security domains, etc., all running on top of our 80GB/s InfiniBand network.
Because network designs can be very complex; we designed our Data Center Designer (DCD) to make it easy to visually build and manage your ProfitBricks virtual data center. The DCD is a virtual “whiteboard” where you can design your Virtual Data Center with servers, storage, load balancers, firewalls and associated network connections. Once satisfied with the structure, the virtual data center is activated with a simple mouse-click — without any complicated forms and tables.
If you subscribe to the definition of the cloud is that of a loosely structured, great expanse of infrastructure without the need for significant hierarchy or organization, you will, however, risk ending up with a “jumbled” combination of different applications and data stores all “mish-mashed” together; making it even more difficult to ensure factors like security and reliability, and undercutting many of the clouds advantages.
Networks in the Cloud
Recognizing the need for stronger organization and separation of different units inside the cloud, software-defined networks combine second-generation cloud technology with software-based network switching in a way that allows customers to isolate cloud applications and resources from one another in a scalable, flexible way.
The benefits of software-defined networks include:
• Enhancing network security by running web application and database servers on an isolated networks allowing you to filter illegitimate traffic from web server(s)
• Increasing the agility of complex applications by controlling and managing application tiers, cloud-focused applications can control both compute and storage resources
• Creating and customizing individual networks, adding network specific resources on an as needed basis
• Improving scalability and ensuring higher server availability
The end-result is that Software-Defined Networks offers a customer the ability to customize their cloud network configuration so that it looks and behaves exactly like a physical network.
ProfitBricks has been offering this feature since day 1 and is not held back by slow vSwitch technology or legacy infrastructure.. While the momentum within the cloud computing world typically has focused on making it easier for customers to access and deploy virtual servers, the priority for development needs to focus on improving the cloud’s organizational flexibility and security.
Achim Weiss, ProfitBricks CEO