Virtualization Featured Article

Fiber Mountain Introduces Data Center Orchestration System

April 27, 2015

In general terms, the word orchestration means to arrange or manipulate, especially by means of clever or thorough planning or maneuvering. In music it translates into compositions that are carefully constructed to create pleasing and compelling experience.  In the tech world the goal is similar. The ideal is that increasingly through the use of software-controlled automation complex computing, storage and communications resources are manipulated to both optimize the use of assets and their functions to deliver high-performance, reliable and secure services and applications from data centers. In short, “E”verything needs to be invoked and utilized at the right time, in the correct order to maximize value and be cost efficient and effective. 

Indeed, orchestration—particularly as the world becomes more real-time, virtualized, software-centric, mobile, cloud/data center-based—after years of promise has now become truly mission critical. This holds true for enterprise and service providers alike. It is why attention should be paid to the announcement at Interop by Cheshire, Connecticut-based software-defined network (SDN) infrastructure transformation solutions provider Fiber Mountain of its Alpine Orchestration System (AOS) Release 2.0.

As the company explains, “This is the industry’s first centralized orchestration system that is able to manage physical and logical resources in data center networks.”

For those not familiar with Fiber Mountain, its award-winning Glass Core architecture is a comprehensive next-generation means for delivering a simpler network, immensely scalable, core infrastructure for a data center-centric world.  It features fewer network switches, and creates a future-ready operating environment with an optimized layer 2 data plane and lower OPEX.

Orchestrating the complexities to make it simple, agile and powerful

Where the release of AOS 2.0 shows its utility is in the elimination of complexities and restrictions of protocols such as spanning tree while allowing multiple 10, 40 and 100 Gbps connections between two devices without bundling links. As Fiber Mountain describes the functionality, AOS also serves to enhance network configuration and packet handling through new capabilities such as expanded MC-LAG, simplified multicast, VLAN and numerous other features.

“CIOs and network managers have choices when planning an expansion or upgrade to their switch infrastructure,” said Fiber Mountain CEO M. H. Raza. “Those choices have been their incumbent vendor or white box options. Glass Core has to be considered in this decision process.”

AOS helps administrators to establish, optimize and control packet flow across the entire data center network and, at the same time, dynamically change fiber optic connectivity between data center devices via software.

Fiber Mountain’s software defined physical layer is referred to as Connectivity Virtualization. It is able to:

  • Provide direct fiber optic cable connection between any two ports in the data center
  • Change connection speeds between ports for 10, 40 and 100 Gbps transmission without human hands involved or without any cable changes.

In addition on the roadmap for AOS are plans to provide a northbound API making integration possible with other orchestration systems such as OpenStack.

Why is there now so much attention on orchestration?  The simple answer is the optimization delivery of cloud services.

In fact, dynamic orchestration of physical and virtual data center assets has become critical for accelerating cloud adoption. All of those moving parts for the optimized delivery of a defined cloud service must be coordinated to work flawlessly. This includes not just the software and hardware involved but also the work flows and the integration of all of the process associated such as fulfillment assurance and billing.

Fiber Mountain’s centralized orchestration system for managing physical and logical resources in data center networks is correctly touted as an industry first.  It is also likely to be a path the rest of the industry will have to take notice of, as orchestration is the vehicle for assuring data centers deliver in real-time what they are supposed to now, and are prepared for whatever the future holds in store. 

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

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