Who wins: “Elephants” or “Mice” when using SDN?

Software Defined Networks (SDN) are at the core of the Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise Application Fluent Network (AFN) vision. The Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise fabric enables Enterprises to transform and maximize the network to deliver virtualized network services and provide real world scalable solutions with:

  • Application Intelligent fabric
  • Performance-aware zero-touch Virtualization mobility
  • Service chaining and orchestration (OpenStack & OpenFlow)
  • Convergence enablement  

While at Interop, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise (booth 827) is demonstrating practical SDN analytics use cases on its OmniSwitch platform with support from InMon. With sFlow-RT from InMon, hybrid OpenFlow capabilities enabled on the OmniSwitch platforms, enterprises gain the benefit of deploying practical scalable SDN solutions. (After Interop, you can ping us here for more information on demos.)

So, are there Elephants and Mice running around at Interop? Yes, and no. The following details give a summary of the demos and links to application notes to help explain what we mean.

  • Network convergence creates challenges and different workloads compete for network resources. In particular, large "elephant" flows due to Virtual Machine migrations, storage, backup, replication etc., can interfere with small "mice" flows (web requests, database transactions, social media actions, etc.) that are sensitive to delay. The demonstration shows how Elephant flows can be identified and controlled so that both types of traffic obtain optimal performance. You can read the application note for more details.
  • Security detection and enforcement is an ongoing challenge for Enterprises. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise and InMon solution enables Enterprises to extend the security policies throughout the network with distributed enforcement. This demonstration (and application note) shows how Denial-Of-Service attack can be detected and enforced in a distributed fashion across the network.
  • Most SDN solutions demand a complete infrastructure and services revamp causing IT and business disruption, while Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise presents a scalable solution enabling inherent Application Intelligent SDN capabilities, keeping the CAPEX-OPEX budget under control while meeting the business objectives.

And, the answer to the question in the heading… Who wins: “Elephants” or “Mice” when using SDN?...well, they both live happily ever after in SDN harmony : )

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