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October 2012 Vol 3, No. 5

Software-defined networking could make Network-as-a-Service a reality

Buyers are already sold on Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service, but what about Network-as-a-Service? Despite the fact that the cloud is created in and connected through the network, we hear little or nothing about a new network paradigm for the cloud. Network-as-a-service is not only real, but it is likely to become universal. However, it may take software-defined networking (SDN) in the form of OpenFlow to make that happen. Cloud computing deploys a public pool of resources that can be provisioned on demand. They also must provide connections to its users, storage access, inter-process communications, and resource allocation or management. Typical IP and Ethernet network technologies have shortfalls when it comes to the cloud, due to security, QoS, and operational cost scalability. At the heart of those limitations is the notion of “permissive connectivity.” IP and Ethernet presume that all endpoints can be addressed by others. This presumption of universal connectivity makes it harder ...

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