Intelligent Cloud Connect from BTI Systems targets SDN-enabled cloud services

BTI Systems has introduced a new type of platform targeted at enabling cloud-based services in a more streamlined fashion. The Intelligent Cloud Connect platform integrates label-switch routing (LSR), packet-optical transport, and application server functions into a single, software-defined network (SDN) friendly system.

Feb 25th, 2013

BTI Systems has introduced a new type of platform targeted at enabling cloud-based services in a more streamlined fashion. The Intelligent Cloud Connect platform integrates label-switch routing (LSR), packet-optical transport, and application server functions into a single, software-defined network (SDN) friendly system.

While many SDN and cloud-focused platforms target requirements within the data center, BTI Systems says, the Intelligent Cloud Connect system addresses communications and service requirements between data centers and from data centers to peering points and partners. The system should prove particularly appealing to both service and content providers, according to Sally Bament, senior vice president, global marketing at BTI Systems. Integrating optical transport, routing, and applications servers into a single platform provides significant cost, footprint, and power savings over using discrete platforms, she adds. In fact, the company asserts that the Intelligent Cloud Connect platform can provide 4X the capacity and scalability (the 14 RU system has a capacity of 3.36 Tbps) of a typical discrete approach, while saving more than 50% on capex and opex and providing lower latency.

The Intelligent Cloud Connect platform uses a series of “Universal Forwarding Module” and “Applications Server Module” blades that can be mixed and matched within the platform as requirements dictate, explained Paul Crann, senior vice president, product management and business development. The forwarding modules support data rates from 10 Gbps to 100 Gbps. The application blades can support applications developed by BTI Systems, the customer, or third parties via open APIs. Crann says BTI Systems is working with application developers to create applications for the system.

The system is managed via BTI Intelligent Cloud Connect software platform, which itself has open APIs to integrate with customers’ back office systems, including those that use network analytics, as well as SDN software platforms.

The market analysis community appears to like what it sees from the Intelligent Cloud Connect announcement. "Data centers are becoming major confluence points for high rates of traffic growth: interconnecting data centers, and connecting data centers to access networks or peering points," said Ovum Vice President and Practice Leader Dana Cooperson via a BTI Systems press release. "As data centers are becoming much more critical in support of public and private cloud services, they are becoming both larger and more widely distributed, adding pressure on the connecting networks to scale, deliver higher-performance and differentiated services, and improve economics. BTI's Intelligent Cloud Connect, with its focus on high-availability, high-capacity, open, application-aware, and even applications-based networking, supports these goals."

"Content providers want to get closer to their customers, which is propelling a growth in distributed data centers and creating urgent network requirements for scale, control, and cost reduction," said ACG Research Managing Partner Ray Mota in the same release. "The convergence of the optical and LSR layers simplifies operations and enables cost-effective scale over separate optical and router products. Integrating analytics and application awareness increases control, network utilization, and service differentiation. BTI understands these dynamics and what is required in a next-generation cloud infrastructure solution. Their approach with Intelligent Cloud Connect appears to be right on target."

The new offering will roll out in two phases. The platform, its management control software, and an initial set of applications will be available for lab trials in the first half of this year. Crann says the company already has five trials set up. This first release will become generally available in the third quarter of this year. Meanwhile, the LSR software and additional applications will become available in the second half of 2013.

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