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Corsa Brings Metering, QoS to SDN Hardware Solution

By Paula Bernier June 16, 2015

Networks have two basic requirements: the ability to deliver the performance to move data quickly, and the flexibility to meet changing demands, according to Carolyn Raab, vice president of product management at Corsa Technology. Software-defined network offerings, she adds, provide the needed flexibility, but just don’t have the horsepower that service providers require.

“For the promise of SDN [to be met] you need scale, flexibility, and performance,” says Raab.

Two-year-old Corsa Technology allows for that with SDN-ready network hardware solutions. Providing specialized hardware to address SDN would seem to go against the industry move toward delivering network functionality as software-only solutions that can run on industry-standard servers. However, Raab explains that the Corsa solution is lean hardware with an open interface, and that it leverages OpenFlow for command and control.

The company today is introducing new functionality to its hardware platform, which by the way can be used for load balancing, switching, routing, or other purposes. New today from Corsa is metering and QoS functionality.

To date, Raab says, SDN metering and QoS have been “kind of lame” using legacy methods. So Corsa is introducing OpenFlow 1.3 QoS, which has meter tables in it. OpenFlow, the open interface between the hardware and all of the software, has specs for metering and QoS, which creates policy awareness and lets network architects have fine granular control over QoS. This enables ISPs and other service providers to assign bandwidth profiles to different customers on the network. It can even be used in scenarios in which customers use a portal to set their own bandwidth requirements on the fly.

Image via Shutterstock

“Dynamic, policy-driven networks [are] what SDN is about, and SDN hardware solutions must be able to respond to these policy changes. SDN metering and QoS functionality is one important area for policy-driven networking – requiring a very capable hardware solution,” said Yatish Kumar, Corsa Technology CTO. “Corsa’s line of performance SDN hardware has deep packet buffers, multi-table data paths, and can support over a million active flows with flow modifications updated at more than 50,000 flow mods per second. Together, these attributes make Corsa SDN metering and QoS a powerful tool for creating granular bandwidth profiles.”

Corsa is now working with a customer with a large campus network that needed help transporting elephant loads, which typically take three to four days to send, which can result in packet loss for other users and applications on the network.

Executive Editor, TMC

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