Intune's distributed optical switching systems can now be used to break through existing data centre boundaries and create huge data centres that span hundreds of kilometres.
Intune Networks has announced a new optical switching architecture for interconnecting multiple data centres. Intune is uniquely able to extend data centres to this scale by using its IVX8000 system, the world's first distributed optical packet switch.
John Dunne, Intune's Chief Technology Officer said, 'Some of our customers are struggling with operational complexity as their data centres scale. So they asked us to design an architecture that could break through the data centre boundaries. They want to unify a single data centre across multiple sites with a full mesh of connectivity between them. Optical switching allows our customers to virtualise functions across several locations and create a single unified data centre spread over multiple locations.'
Intune's architecture also takes advantage of the system's recently announced SDN capability, creating the world's first distributed SDN switch. Dunne added, 'One of the reasons we can implement at such a large scale is because the switches' forwarding fabric can be controlled through an SDN control API, so the entire architecture can be controlled in unison with the IT systems that it is interconnecting.'
Intune's unique system will also significantly reduce the number of conventional switch ports required to interconnect data centres. Traditional architectures require separate transport and switching devices, so they consume switch ports to connect the switches to one another across the transport links. Intune's system delivers packets across an extended optical backplane directly to the destination port, eliminating the need for intermediate switch ports. Every port across the core is reached in a single hop.
Richard Brandon, Intune's Chief Marketing Officer said, 'Currently, the largest electronic switch fabrics might be able to reach a limit of 40-60Tbps, which makes them well-suited to provide local connectivity within data centres. But to reach scales beyond this, and to extend the connectivity across greater distances, we needed to take an entirely new approach.'
Brandon added, 'Of course, not all of our customers require such large systems today, but this architecture scales incrementally, allowing customers to add capacity only as and when they need it. We have customers using the iVX8000 system today, who have already created a full mesh of connectivity between their distributed data centres. Now they know they can grow their infrastructure to vast capacities, with no step-change in costs along the way.'
Intune plans to share this new architecture with selected customers over the next few months.