Software-defined networking (SDN) is emerging as a means to address complexity and quality of data networks and will bring much-needed cohesion and automation, said KEMP Technologies’ Peter Melerud.
Melerud was in Dublin last week to address the Open Tech Ireland gathering on SDN technology, presented in co-operation with the Irish Software Association, Intune Networks, KEMP Technologies, and Sanctum Networks.
Melerud is co-founder and executive vice-president of product management at KEMP Technologies, and has more than 20 years of experience in designing, building and managing data centres for large corporations, financial institutions and small and medium-sized businesses.
His technology expertise covers data centre server and network communications infrastructure, enterprise business intelligence, data management, content security and compliance technologies.
The US company revealed in April that it is to create 50 new jobs in Limerick over the next three years, bringing its Irish workforce to 80 employees.
KEMP Technologies has seven offices worldwide, with Limerick heading up the EMEA region.
The company also intends to invest even more resources to accommodate its rapid expansion in Limerick’s National Technology Park.
KEMP Technologies develops load balancers that enable SMEs and global groups to optimise their e-commerce and online traffic capabilities, such as web, email, online banking, and cloud-based applications.
“Traditionally, load balancers primarily concerned themselves with the performance of applications and the servers that they are running on,” Melerud said.
“The underlining health of the network, what’s happening at Layer 2 or 3 is typically something the application delivery controller (ADC) does not concern themselves with.
“The SDN provides the opportunity to take the whole cohesive stack into account. So all the layers 2 through 7 can now actually be looked at to intelligently determine where to send the user looking for an application and to which server.
“It is looking at the network, it is looking at servers, it is looking at the quality of the various endpoints and making that cohesive decision.
“Without SDN that would not be possible,” Melerud said.
Light at the end of the tunnel
The data network represents the last bastion of computing technology to be virtualised and to make this happen, the creation of SDN standards for hardware manufacturers is crucial.
“It’s going slow but things are evolving and certainly part of what we are doing here in Dublin with the ONF (Open Networking Foundation) folks is make sure that those standards ultimately are applicable in a broad range of deployments.
“There’s a good light at the end of the tunnel there. It would mean that the simplicity of deploying the applications, all the underlining infrastructure and platforms would be automatically provisioned without a lot of work to be done on the data centre management’s part. That would be the ideal situation.”