Cloudwatt deploys SDN to orchestrate public cloud service

Cloud firm Cloudwatt integrates Juniper OpenContrail SDN, NFV solution to support its public cloud environment

French public cloud provider Cloudwatt has become one of the first European service providers to implement a software-defined networking (SDN) system in support of a major public cloud deployment.

The Paris-based business picked Juniper Networks’ OpenContrail – an open source project initiated by the network supplier in autumn 2013 – to improve network operation efficiency and safeguard data sovereignty and security for its public cloud, which went live at the end of June 2014.

Cloudwatt was seeking a production-ready SDN solution to integrate into its existing network, guaranteeing transparency when it came to regulatory compliance, and reassurance for enterprise customers that their data would be protected in the cloud.

“The OpenContrail solution is simple yet powerful, reflecting the strong cloud and networking genes of the founding engineers at Juniper Networks and the open source community at large. The choice of an open source SDN solution was essential for us from a sovereignty perspective,” said Cloudwatt president and CEO Didier Renard.

The deployment saw a lengthy collaboration between Cloudwatt and the supplier to integrate OpenContrail into its cloud orchestration system.

As a result, Cloudwatt said it was now able to better innovate, adopt and experiment with SDN technology to maintain control of the customisation and optimisation of its cloud infrastructure.

The firm said OpenContrail had already enabled it to exploit capabilities around richer analytics, real-time monitoring, diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Cloudwatt claimed it was already seeing benefits in efficiency and operational expenditure.

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“By integrating OpenContrail with our choice of cloud management platform, OpenStack, we can greatly simplify our cloud network design and operations, seamlessly connect virtual and physical environments and scale out our cloud without compromising security and privacy. Ultimately, OpenContrail makes it possible for us to enhance sovereignty, contain network operation cost and to provide competitive pricing to our customers,” explained Renard.

Ankur Singla, corporate vice-president of cloud software at Juniper, said the partnership was “testament to the business opportunity that can be achieved through an open approach to SDN combined with co-creation between a vendor and an advanced customer”.

“For cloud builders, for whom the cloud is a key business enabler, Juniper believes the path to the cloud should not be disruptive and we provide the best network for that journey.” 

Wider SDN deployments outside the cloud and telecoms service provider sector are expected to begin in earnest next year, according to subject experts.

Others are trialling Juniper’s SDN products, including Italian incumbent Telecom Italia, which is testing the Contrail SDN and network function virtualisation (NFV) controller with OpenStack to help it create more flexible, dynamic and bespoke service chains.

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