In support of its efforts to be more open and collaborative, the company that set off the SDN movement is showing off more of how it builds data center networks.

August 20, 2015

2 Min Read
Google Lifting Network Veil

Google says it's "pulling back the curtain" on its global network architecture, providing details of its fifth-generation Jupiter network. It's one company's version of the New IP, capable of supporting more than 1 petabit per second of bandwidth, or 10 gigabit per second connections between any of 100,000 servers that support its services. It's part of what the software giant calls a more open and collaborative approach to working with the networking community.

In a blog found here, posted Tuesday, Google Fellow Amin Vahdat offers a high-level look at how its network has evolved, as well as links to a paper that was previewed at the Open Networking Summit and is being publicly presented at the ACM/SIGCOMM conference. That paper and three other papers released at the same conference highlight both Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s contributions to networking research and the value of its way of working, which makes research part of its production teams and their development processes, Vahdat asserts. (See Google: 'Great' Data Center Networks Essential.)

Among the highlights:

  • Google is "excited about being increasingly open" in sharing the results of its research with the broader networking community and soliciting its feedback, Vahdat says. The company sees this approach as important both to influence the direction that community takes with future technologies and to attract the best talent to its own efforts.

  • The software giant realized ten years ago that configuring and managing traditional switched networks manually was an error-prone process that wouldn't scale to its needs, which led it to adopting the set of network organization principles that became software-defined networking (SDN), now an industry-wide initiative and significant underpinning of the New IP. Core to that transition to SDN was moving from distributed routing to logically centralized routing under the control of "a single dynamically-elected master," he writes.

  • Google's research breakthroughs validate its approach to research, which Vahdat describes as "embedding research within production teams," including doctoral students working as interns and doing extended research with Google engineers. The feedback of the production process informs the direction of the research.

  • Other Google breakthroughs include its Bandwidth Enforcer, a policy-based approach to dynamically allocating wide area network bandwidth among tens of thousands of applications; its Condor data center networking design process; and its TIMELY way of managing bandwidth allocation of many tiny networking flows inside the data center.

— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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