Maximizing enterprise bandwidth by sharing global enterprise-wide network resources


Here is a slightly wild idea of mine

Introduction

Generally in enterprises the network bandwidth available to employees is greatest at the start of the working day and progressively becomes bad as the day progresses. The bandwidth available improves again later in the day. The reason is that the bandwidth demand is highest during the middle portions of the day usually between 10 am – 5pm when the number of employees are the highest. The poor response times during the day are common to many enterprises as the network infrastructure is stretched beyond its designed capacity

Description

This post looks at a novel technique where the increasing bandwidth is ‘outsourced’ to other geographical regions. In other words the increasing bandwidth requirement is ‘borrowed’ from the network infrastructure from other regions.

This idea visualizes the user of a network devoice (Time Zone –Traffic Director Switch) that borrows bandwidth based on the time-of-day and the bandwidth shortage in a particular region. This device effectively borrows the idle network resources (routers, hubs, switches) from other geographical regions thus resolving the bandwidth issue.

In large global organizations, office are spread throughout the world. There will be typical daytimes and night times.  Night time usages will be minimal unless the office works on shifts

Large enterprises typically use leased lines between their various offices spread across the globe. Each of the regional offices will have its own set of routers, Ethernet switches, hubs etc.

 1

The leased lines and the network infrastructure will experience peak usage during the daytime which will subside during the region’s night times. This idea looks at a scheme in which the leased line and the network infrastructure at region B are utilized during the regions’ night times to supplement the bandwidth crunch in region A’s day time

In a typical situation we can view that the enterprise’s region as the center of the network resources (hubs, routers, switches) in its own region. Simplistically we can represent this as shown in Fig 1

 2

This post visualizes the realization of a network device namely the Time Zone-Traffic Director Switch which effectively borrows bandwidth based on the time-of-day and the bandwidth shortage in a particular region.,

This device effectively borrows the idle network resources (routes, hubs switches) from other geographical regions this resolving the bandwidth issue. Such a network device can be implemented using the Open Flow Protocol which can virtualize the network resources

In large cloud computing systems like Facebook, Google, Amazon, which have data centers spread throughout the world, traffic is directed to a data center closest to the user to minimize latency, In this scheme the use of the network resources in other geographical regions may introduce network latencies but will be economically efficient for the enterprises.

In fact this Time Zone-Traffic Director can be realized through the use of the Open Flow Protocol and Software Defined Networks (SDNs)

Detailed Description

This post utilizes a scheme in which the network resources from another are used to supplement the network resources at region during its daytimes. The leased lines and the network resources in other regions during their nights will typically experience low utilization of both the leased line capacity and the network infrastructure capacity. So in this method the bandwidth resources are borrowed from another region where the utilization of the network resources is low. This supplements the bandwidth in the region which is experiencing a bandwidth shortage. This scheme can be realized by the utilization of the Software Defined Network using the Open Flow protocol.

The Open Flow protocol has a Flow Controller which can virtualizes the network resources. This method visualizes virtualizing the network resources of a corporate office that is spread geographically around the world to optimize the corporate’s resources

This is how the scheme will have to be realized

  1. Over dimension the leased line capacity to be at least 30%-40% more than the total capacity of it Ethernet switches gigabit routers etc.  So if the network resource at a region is 16Gbps then the leased line capacity should be of the order of 20Gpbs
  2. When an external site is to be accessed for high speed connection,  after the DNS resolution the packets must be sent to the Time Zone –  Traffic Director Switch
  3. The Time Zone – Traffic Director Switch will determine the bandwidth availability at that time.  Let us assume that the regional network resources are experiencing peak usage It will not decide to use the network resources of another region
  4. The Time Zone – Traffic Director Switch will now check the time of the day.  If it is the ‘regional day’ (e.g. 10 am – 5pm, when the usages is highest) it will hard code the next hop to be a router in another geographical region. SO if the traffic is to originate in Bangalore, the next hop, if there is bandwidth crunch will be in another a router in Europe, or in the US.
  5. The Time Zone – Traffic Director Switch can be realized through th e use of the Open Flow protocol
  6. By artificially redirecting the traffic to another region all packets will be re-routed to use the leased lines & network resources from the other region thus giving the region, Bangalore, in this case, more bandwidth

This can be represented in the following diagram

 3

In the figure below The Time Zone – Traffic Director Switch uses the regions ‘internal’ network resources since it does not face a bandwidth crunch

 3

In the next figure the Time Zone – Traffic Director Switch borrows the network resource from Region B

5

This scheme will introduce additional latency as opposed to the Shorted Path First (SPF) or the Distance Vector Algorithm (DVA) However the enterprise gets to use its network infrastructure more effectively. This will result in the enterprise’s network infrastructure to be used more efficiently and effectively reducing the CAPEX and OPEX for the entire organization.

The entire scheme can be represented by the flow chart below

 6

Conclusion

The tradeoff in this scheme is between the economics of reusing the network and the leased line infrastructure of the enterprise versus the additional latency introduced

However the delay will be more than compensated by the increase in the bandwidth available to the end user. This idea will simultaneously solve the problem of the bandwidth crunch while efficiently and effectively utilizing the network resources across the entire enterprise. This scheme will also reduce the organization CAPEX and OPEX as resources are used more efficiently.

Thoughts?

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