Intune Networks demos VM migration using SDN-based optical switch

Irish optical burst switch developer Intune Networks Ltd. says it has created a proof-of-concept demonstration that uses its software-defined network (SDN) application programming interface (API) working with its distributed optical packet switching fabric to create a distributed cloud infrastructure for the migration of virtual machines (VMs). The company claims this technology represents the next generation of private cloud networks and services that will securely and dynamically connect Enterprise users to cloud infrastructure.

Sep 9th, 2013

Irish optical burst switch developer Intune Networks Ltd. says it has created a proof-of-concept demonstration that uses its software-defined network (SDN) application programming interface (API) working with its distributed optical packet switching fabric to create a distributed cloud infrastructure for the migration of virtual machines (VMs). The company claims this technology represents the next generation of private cloud networks and services that will securely and dynamically connect Enterprise users to cloud infrastructure.

The demonstration includes the migration of multiple virtual machines under the control of VMware's vSphere system, with support for OpenStack-controlled migrations (and its Open vSwitch software suite) to be delivered shortly afterward. The demonstration shows how both VMware and OpenStack virtual machines can migrate in parallel across the same Intune network. The VMs are seamlessly moved between different physical servers either with or independently of their associated storage, according to Intune. The servers are located at sites spread over a 50-km radius.

Intune says that seamless and rapid migration of VMs is important for large organizations that are looking to consolidate their data center infrastructure in co-located facilities and need to easily migrate their VMs. In addition, real-time data driven decision making requires applications to be run as close to the location of the relevant data generation as possible, due to the massive quantities of data, and the costs involved in moving it around. Moving the VM to the data is a more cost-effective approach, the company asserts.

Intune says its demonstration shows how the highly dynamic flows created by the movement of VMs between locations can be delivered on demand and how they are unaffected by other traffic flows crossing Intune’s cloud infrastructure.

John Dunne, Intune's CTO, explained, “Intune's system is unique, because it creates a single pool of connectivity that any traffic flow can use. As well as virtualizing the compute and storage, for the first time we've now virtualized the network, completing the puzzle of how to effectively deliver cloud services. This is the perfect way to build secure private cloud networks.”

Even though the physical servers can be separated by hundreds of miles, Intune says its approach enables them to be connected to the same distributed switch, as though they were all in the same location. This simplifies the challenge of managing and controlling the dynamic traffic flows that VM's and cloud services will require from the wide area network, the company claims.

“We're demonstrating how our system can support VM migration using de facto industry applications such as VMware, but also how it will work with new emerging open standards such as OpenStack and OvS,” Dunne continued. “In essence, what we've built is the world's first programmable distributed forwarding fabric for cloud compute.”

Intune plans to make the demonstration available to prospective clients in North America and the rest of the world between now and the end of the year.

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