Google Spreads Its Andromeda SDN Stack to the Cloud
The company is bringing its in-house network virtualization technology to its Compute Engine environments.Google is making its in-house software-defined networking technology available to organizations using its Compute Engine cloud computing platform. Google has been at the forefront of software-defined networking (SDN) for the past couple of years, developing an OpenFlow-based system dubbed Andromeda for internal use. Now the Web giant is bringing that network virtualization technology to Compute Engine, a move that will enable customers to "see major performance gains in throughput over our already fast network connections," Amin Vahdat, a distinguished engineer at Google, wrote in an April 2 post on the company's blog. Andromeda already is available in two Compute Engine zones—us-central1-b and Europe-west1-a. Over the next few months, Google will migrate all of its zones to the SDN platform, wrote Vahdat, who gave a presentation about Andromeda in March at the Open Networking Summit. SDN and network-functions virtualization (NFV) have become the hot topics in a networking market that is seeing growing demand for infrastructures that can scale and are more automated and programmable than the traditional hardware-based environments. SDN essentially removes the network intelligence from the underlying physical infrastructure—such as complex and expensive switches and routers—and houses it in software-based controllers. Virtualized networking functions—from load balancing to firewalls—are available as software applications.
For big Web-based companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon, being able to scale rapidly and adapt to changing business demands is important. In addition, in a business world that is changing due to such trends as cloud computing, big data, virtualization, greater IT mobility and bring-your-own-device (BYOD), organizations are seeing a growing need for networks that are more automated, easier to program and less costly.