​SDNsquare Showcase Network Optimisation Solutions

GRID, L-GRID and WARP are said to improve network predictability, reliability and performance, ease network management and reduce costs.

Belgian media IP-networking and storage company SDNsquare is co-exhibiting with Arista and EMG to showcase its solutions for optimising the predictability, performance and management of high traffic IP networks.

Among these is SDNsquare’s GRID software-defined network controller.

“The challenge we’re addressing is how to orchestrate the network so that it meets the exacting needs of broadcasters dealing with a wide range of media workflows, and delivering guaranteed Quality of Service per stream on a single converged network with a scalable architecture,” said Henry Alexander, CEO of SDNsquare. “GRID delivers IP network management for media that is reliable, flexible and cost-effective and it simply works, whatever the use case, whatever the type of workflow.”

The company explains that with GRID, users can set up IP data paths without packet loss, with low latency and with the exact bandwidth they need - even in bursty, high-impact traffic in many-to-many environments. GRID also provides the capability to optimally manage any type of topology, including today’s spine-leaf topology networks.

The numerous advantages of GRID include the fact that it is easy to deploy: it is truly plug and play, with autodiscovery, registration and connection management according to AMWA and device specifications. GRID can be scaled from single studios and events to large and interconnected facilities, events and data centres – both LAN and WAN. With GRID, there is no need for users to duplicate their network, as it enables fully redundant paths to be set up, with automatic failover if links go down.

“In today’s networks, high performance nodes are often equipped with high speed network cards – anything from 10 Gigabits to 100 Gigabits,” said Alexander. “This can reduce the cabling complexity of the nodes - but it creates an end-to-end speed mismatch with lower bandwidth clients. In turn, this leads to oversubscription in the connecting network. L-GRID was created to address that problem.”

L-GRID is a software component that works with selected network cards, and runs on high speed network endpoints (clients/servers) that send data to lower speed endpoints.

The network card is configured by L-GRID to only allow bursts of the configured bandwidth; data flows to the preconfigured destinations are sent out of the network card perfectly shaped to the given bandwidth. As the L-GRID eliminates bursts before they enter the network, no exhaustive buffer space is required from the connected switches.

Also on show is WARP, a scalable, clustered storage and computing platform.

“With traditional solutions, users run into at least four key challenges,” continued Alexander. “Variable, unpredictable performance both for storage and for running client applications; over-provision of hardware to compensate for that unpredictability; the impossibility of predicting future demands and costs; and the inability to calculate the cost per service or user, such that more flexible business and service models cannot be established. WARP has been designed to tackle all of these.”

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