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Delivering Secure, Clean Cloud Services

CleanSafeCloud is bringing an Object Storage cloud-based solution to market which must ensure optimal availability and security of customers' data whilst affording dynamic scalability to accommodate growing capacity requirements whenever they arise.

NETWORK SWITCHES CASE STUDY OVERVIEW

CHALLENGE
Guaranteeing availability, security and dynamic scalability to customers
INDUSTRY
Cloud Hosting Infrastructure-as-a-Service
TOOLS DEPLOYED
Big Switch's Big Cloud Fabric 10G & 40G Edgecore Switches

OBJECTIVE

CleanSafeCloud is a privately held Swiss Company. The company name serves as a reminder of their focus to deliver one of the world's most secure and environmentally-friendly cloud-based services. Safety is delivered through their leading security triple-play:

  • Jurisdiction: data is protected under the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act; recognized as one of the best data domiciles in the world.
  • Physical: data is hosted in a data center located in a nuclear bomb blast and disaster-proof bunker, buried underneath a mountain in the heart of Switzerland.
  • Logical: infrastructure is protected by advanced security appliances and systems.

The environmental focus is achieved by careful selection of energy efficient hardware and real-time monitoring of the energy consumption of each individual piece of infrastructure; CleanSafeCloud also aims to utilize renewable energy sources as much as possible. Founded in 2014, the company is rapidly growing, young and enthusiastic with a wealth of expertise.
 
For their initial cloud based service offering, CleanSafeCloud is bringing to market an Object Storage solution based on a carefully engineered infrastructure. Access is provided through industry-standard Amazon S3 and OpenStack Swift APIs as well as a native API for use cases seeking peak performance in custom applications.
 
CleanSafeCloud is designing and building their cloud data center network based on a Software Defined Networking (SDN) fabric architecture. An SDN fabric solution was attractive because of its ease of initial setup and provisioning, native integration with OpenStack, ability to scale as the business expands and centralized management that eliminated box-by-box network management.
 
CleanSafeCloud needed to set up their initial network quickly, without a large team or extensive training and certification in the technology. They also needed a solution that enabled them to deliver the promise of availability, security and dynamic scalability to their customers.

SOLUTION

When the CleanSafeCloud team began evaluating the various approaches to SDN, they were initially interested in white-box switching, particularly switches that ran on Linux-based networking software.

The cost savings inherent in the model were attractive and they favored any approach that would keep the threat of vendor lock-in at bay. In addition, they were looking for a solution that allowed them to quickly bring up their data center networking infrastructure and then manage it as simply as possible.

They considered Big Switch's Big Cloud Fabric (BCF), the industry's first Open Ethernet SDN data center fabric bringing hyperscale data center design principles to cloud environments. CleanSafeCloud also selected 10G and 40G Open Network switches from Edgecore Networks. With Big Switch, they were not only impressed with in the CapEx savings, but also the operational efficiencies achieved through a single pane of glass management. Big Switch ultimately won the deal—in part because of the BCF starter kit, which CleanSafeCloud used to build its initial production network.

The Big Cloud Fabric (BCF) Architecture - Software Defined Networking (SDN) fabric architecture refers to a separation of the network's data and control plane, followed by a centralization of the control plane functionality. In practice, the network's policy plane, management plane and much of control plane are externalized from the hardware device itself, using an SDN controller, with few on-device off-load functions for scale and resiliency. The network state is centralized but hierarchically implemented, instead of being fully distributed on a box-by-box basis across access and aggregation switches.

Controller-based designs, like BCF, not only bring agility via centralized programmability and automation, but they also streamline fabric designs (e.g. leaf-spine L2/L3 Clos).

Big Cloud Fabric also supports both physical and virtual (multi-hypervisor) workloads and choice of orchestration software, including full integration with OpenStack. BCF provides L2 switching, L3 routing and, L4-7 service insertion and chaining while ensuring high bisectional bandwidth. The scalable fabric is fully resilient with no single point of failure and supports head-less mode operations.

Big Cloud Fabric Starter Kits made getting started easy. Starter kits include the switching hardware, software, support and (in some kits) cables. Deployment guides are available for use as a general L2/L3 data center fabric or as an integrated networking system for OpenStack cloud deployments. With Big Cloud Fabric’s Zero Touch Fabric technology and streamlined configuration, a fully functional leaf/spine network can be up and running in minutes.

The starter kit that CleanSafeCloud uses is designed for a production environment, not a lab. The specific kit included four leaf and two spine bare-metal switches from Edgecore Networks, redundant controllers, a three-year Big Cloud Fabric software license, three years of hardware/software support and 40 Gigabit Ethernet leaf-spine cables. The setup comprises two racks of gear, which translates into support for about 2,000 virtual machines on modern servers. Big Switch also sells a single-rack starter kit, geared more toward lab environments; that kit has less redundancy, and it has a one-year support contract and software license.

TAKE ME TO DATA CENTER SWITCHES FROM EDGECORE

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