Stratosphere’s New SDN Platform Comes with MPLS Support, Optimized Broadcasting and More

February 18, 2013

By Rajani Baburajan, TMCnet Contributor

Recently, Stratosphere unveiled the latest version of its network virtualization platform with advanced features including MPLS compatibility with data center operators, cloud service operators, telecom operators, service providers, and others.

Stratosphere is a joint venture between ACCESS, a provider of software and solutions for today's multi-screen connected world, and Internet Initiative Japan (News - Alert) (IIJ), one of Japan's biggest Internet-access and comprehensive network solutions providers. The new Stratosphere SDN Platform1.1 (SSP 1.1) will be sold through ACCESS and IIJ sales channels.

Released back on October 31, 2012, SSP is a software stack that virtually builds and controls a network that connects various virtual machines distributed over a wide area. However, the revamped SDN platform boasts MPLS functions that can be used to connect virtual networks between data centers. High-performance networks features that MPLS provides can also be used on an SDN, which enables the virtualization of an entire wide-area network. 

As an extension to LAN, the new SDN Gateway (News - Alert) enables existing corporate LAN environments to be securely connected to a virtual network in the cloud that is managed by SSP via SDN Gateway by using IPSec VPN tunnel. Another enhancement of the new SDN platform is a new two-tiered API that is designed to meet the needs of both the end-user and service providers.

SSP1.1 now also provides an original plug-in for CloudStack, a cloud infrastructure open-source application that manages virtualized machines and networks. The new proprietary plug-in replaces the one designed by Nicira, which was earlier used to connect with CloudStack. It will be used to provide a Stratosphere proprietary function. 

An additional improvement to the SDN solution is the optimized broadcasting feature it possesses, an extension to VXLAN. The service uses an IP multicast method or broadcast engine to optimize the traffic load and reduce the communications overhead of broadcast traffic. This avoids the performance degradation associated with edge overlay SDN. 

Last but not the least, the new SSP offers support for both packet conversion configurations. SSP can be used for a built-in configuration, in which the packet conversion virtual switch processes are performed on a physical server or in a separate configuration, in which a dedicated device performs this function.