Enterprise Data Networks

Glimmerglass solutions are deployed to greatly improve data network reliability and provide the flexibility to seamlessly handle high growth.

The Challenge

Data centers are undergoing significant architectural changes driven by a shift in traffic behavior. With the convergence of video, mobile services, and cloud technologies, traffic no longer moves simply from the subscriber into the network and then out again. New and emerging services are causing substantial traffic between data centers within the network, in addition to flows to and from the subscriber. Data center operators and service providers are facing the challenge of meeting increasing demands for network bandwidth without excessive increases in infrastructure cost and power, while keeping in mind latency, bandwidth provisioning flexibility and fault tolerance.

The Solution

Software Defined Networking (SDN) has emerged as the solution to these challenges by enabling both packet optical integration and improved transport network applications. The fact is that circuit based optical transport networks need to become more flexible with respect to the bandwidth demands of packet network layers. The capability to orchestrate resources in a highly dynamic environment from end-to-end is required. Such dynamism is the primary cost driver behind operational expense because it usually results in network changes. SDN allows for automated change, thus driving down costs and providing a platform for more interesting services and applications to be introduced.

The HELIOS project at UC San Diego has proposed a hybrid switch architecture using the Glimmerglass Intelligent Optical System and Electrical Packet Switch. This architecture uses the Glimmerglass system to perform Optical Circuit Switching (OCS) for long-lived traffic flows, while other systems handle Optical Packet Switching (OPS) for ‘bursty’ short-lived traffic flows. This hybrid approach uses OCS to flexibly allocate bandwidth across the data center and OPS to handle the burstiness of aggregated traffic. While OPS has a higher switching speed, OCS offers substantially higher and guaranteed bandwidth, guaranteed low-latency, and jitter-free paths. With the centralized Controller constantly monitoring and making appropriate decisions based on flow types and other criteria, congestion is eliminated and network performance is optimized.

Benefits of Glimmerglass Intelligent Optical Systems to the HELIOS hybrid data center:

  • Rearrange one or many optical circuits in milliseconds. Discover and create complex optical circuits across multiple Intelligent Optical Systems using Glimmerglass Element Management System (EMS) 
  • Lower cost, more space efficient, and significantly more power efficient than an equivalent electronic packet switch by avoiding optical-electrical-optical conversion 
  • Simplicity of forwarding path results in low-latency unattainable by equivalent electronic switching elements 
  • Transparency to signal formats, data rates, and wavelengths allows for migration to 100G and WDM without need for hardware or software upgrade 
  • Glimmerglass Intelligent Optical Systems are extremely robust with an MTBF of +30 years
Case Study
AMS-IX needed to manage rapid traffic growth at its data centers while at the same time offer a high-bandwidth service for its customers.
Our Solution
Glimmerglass Intelligent Optical Systems enabled a dynamic optical layer that could make physical topology changes without disrupting customer traffic – the ideal solution for facilitating network upgrades and managing high-bandwidth customer traffic.