Businesses of all types are embracing cloud computing, and communications service providers are no exception. Innovative service providers are creating carrier cloud services that then allow them to offer a wide range of cloud services to consumers and enterprises.
Helping service providers develop their carrier cloud is Alcatel-Lucent’s (News - Alert) CloudBand solution.
CloudBand comprises two elements:
- CloudBand Management System delivers orchestration and optimization of services between the communications network and the cloud
- CloudBand Node provides the computing, storage and networking hardware and associated software to host a wide range of cloud services.
One issue service providers face when developing a carrier cloud is ensuring high availability between geographically dispersed data centers. CloudBand tackles this challenge by leveraging Citrix WAN optimization and Citrix CloudBridge, as highlighted in an application note by Alcatel-Lucent.
The legacy ways of providing datacenter interconnect include dark fiber, Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM), Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), Metro Ethernet and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS). But with all of these legacy options, the costs tied with deploying and maintaining a dedicated network is big concern. Additionally, because there is no STP isolation, issues in one data center will affect other data centers, according to the Alcatel-Lucent paper, and a lack of load balancing across redundant paths due to blocked links in the core network also is a problem. CloudBridge helps solve this issue.
Citrix CloudBridge enables secure, optimized connections between the data center and the private or public clouds where enterprises host their cloud virtual storage, servers and other devices. Cloud-hosted applications function as if they were running on one contiguous enterprise network.
As the app note illustrates, using CloudBridge, connections between data centers can go through either level 2 or level 3 and either mode L2 or L3 using Internet Protocol Security (IPSec). Optimization happens through Citrix Branch Repeater, which runs with every CloudBridge instance and offers various optimizations such as block-level data replication and Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) optimizations. In addition, the CloudBridge support for IPSec ensures data integrity, data origin authentication, data confidentiality, and protection against replay attacks.
“An Alcatel-Lucent Application Fluent Network that is integrated with Citrix WAN optimization and Citrix CloudBridge solutions provides a high-speed, low-latency network between data centers,” explains the paper.
The fact of the matter is that for carrier clouds to work optimally, all aspects of their data centers — network, computing and storage—must work seamlessly together to deliver maximum performance and value particularly when it comes to data center interconect. This is why the Citrix CloudBridge is such an important part of the mix.
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Edited by Peter Bernstein