With an increasing priority on efficient system operations in datacenters in recent years, network switches are being controlled remotely and externally through software controllers, and such SDN technology that uses virtualized networks has come into use. In addition, there has been a trend toward integrating LANs and SANs to reduce costs and simplify operations.
Existing SDN technologies have been designed for LAN switches and cannot be used to optimize SAN storage traffic. When applied to converged LAN and SAN networks, this has created a barrier to performance improvements for attempting to expand systems.
In the future, this technology will make it possible for systems to expand flexibly in response to loads on converged LAN and SAN networks in vertically integrated platforms for virtualization and cloud computing.
Details of this technology are being presented at Management of Emerging Networks and Services (IEEE MENS 2013), being held jointly with IEEE GLOBECOM 2013, opening
With the growing trend toward virtualizing servers and networks to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) of datacenters, SDN networks, which control virtualized networks in software, are coming into use. At the same time, the application of technology that integrates LANs and SANs, which used to be deployed separately, into a single network is progressing, with the goal of reducing costs and improving the efficiency of operations management work.
Most SDN technologies, as typified by OpenFlow(2), control LAN traffic using Ethernet addresses or IP addresses, but cannot handle storage traffic, which does not use IP addresses. For this reason, storage traffic on converged LAN and SAN networks cannot be controlled, posing an issue for ensuring the efficient use of the network.
The New Technology
Key features of the technology are as follows.
1. Implements storage-flow detection and storage-flow manipulation (packet transformation and packet forwarding) functions in an Ethernet switch
To allow for external control, storage-flow detection and storage-flow manipulation are split off from the functions needed for FCoE data relays and implemented in a prototype converged-fabric switch created by
2. Applies a software-control interface to a centralized controller
Storage-flow detection and storage-flow manipulation can be controlled by an external controller.
3. External controller enables control of storage traffic on multiple switches
Routing of storage traffic can be controlled externally when configured.
Applying this technology to an Ethernet-switch-based system resulted in an approximately twofold increase in throughput. Appropriately distributing data traffic allows for a system that can expand flexibly in response to network loads on a LAN and SAN integrated network.
This technology is expected to improve scalability and enable efficient network utilization in cloud systems, such as vertically integrated platforms for virtualization and cloud computing.
(1) SAN:Storage-area network. A dedicated network that connects multiple servers and storage devices.
(2) OpenFlow:A centralized control technology that separates control and data transport in routers and switches.
(3) Storage flow:A unit of communications traffic that can be controlled by SDN, indicated by a set of information such as sender and recipient addresses, between servers and storage.
(4) FCoE:Fibre Channel over Ethernet. A technology that utilizes the Fibre Channel protocol, which is widely used in SANs, over Ethernet. FCoE enables converged LAN and SAN networks.
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