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Swiss Abraxas: Blueprint for Cloud Computing

As the largest ICT integrator and Cloud Service Provider (CSP) in Switzerland’s Zurich and St. Gallen states, Abraxas has a strong presence in the country. Offering long-term network interconnection and data center cloud services, as well as network solution consulting and deployment services, Abraxas principally serves the government, education, and finance sectors. Adapting to the fast-paced development of the global cloud technologies market, Abraxas has drafted a future-oriented blueprint that suits its business needs and highlights its unique strengths.

Abraxas’ Cloud Computing Data Center Network Faces Many Challenges

A merger of the ICT departments of the Zurich and St. Gallen states, Abraxas has delivered continuous and effective cloud services to its customers for years; however, recent business growth, increasing data traffic, and the ever-changing needs of its customers have presented Abraxas cloud computing data center network with the following business requirements:

  • A virtual pool of integrated computing, storage, and network resources to provision on-demand services. The data center network must be upgraded to allow the flexible migration and deployment of Virtual Machines (VMs) and other resources to ensure efficient VM migrations and rapid service deployments.
  • Reliable connections between Zurich, St. Gallen, and a planned data center facility in Gretel for rapid service deployments and implementation of disaster recovery across the three data center networks.
  • Building data centers with sufficient processing capacity to survive handling heavy future data traffic loads and planned device capabilities to sustain business development over the coming 10 years.

CloudEngine 12800 Contributes to Abraxas Blueprint

After evaluating proposals from several different vendors, Abraxas selected Huawei to tailor a cloud computing data center network solution for Abraxas’ unique business characteristics and strengths. To meet demand for large capacity, high performance, high reliability, and feature-rich data center equipment, Huawei recommended that Abraxas purchase the CloudEngine Series data center switches.

● Huawei’s Next-Generation Switches

Huawei’s CloudEngine 12800 Series data center core switches include support for In-Service Software Upgrades (ISSU), high-density 40 GE/100 GE cards, and hot-swappable components. To enhance reliability and flexibility, Cluster Switch System (CSS) and Virtual System (VS) can also be deployed on the CloudEngine 12800.

The CloudEngine Series employs an orthogonal switch fabric that supports cell switching, Virtual Output Queuing (VOQ), and super-large buffers — featuring large-capacities and rich functionality designed to scale with demand growth.

Built to anticipate Abraxas’ expansion requirements for up to 10 years, the CSS- and VS-equipped CloudEngine will minimize future equipment investment and network maintenance costs by working with a variety of network virtualization solutions, including Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL), Virtual Extensible LAN (VxLAN), and Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation (NvGRE). The CloudEngine supports four thousand to sixteen million tenants and seamlessly interoperates with Huawei’s Agile Controller and other mainstream cloud platforms. The three data centers are interconnected through a Layer 2 Ethernet Virtual Network (EVN). VMs and applications migrate and deploy freely between data centers. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) deployed on the switches implement access control for isolating enterprise users. The Huawei solution includes design optimizations for Interior Gateway Protocol (IGP) and Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes over the entire network, and Multi-protocol Label Switching (MPLS) on the backbone network.

● WDM

Huawei’s Wave-Division Multiplexing Equipment (WDM) continues to gain a strong global user base due to excellent reputation for technical advancement, including the implementation of physical connections between data centers. Huawei’s WDM products and data center switches are packaged with comprehensive data center network solutions and solution-level features designed to meet changing capacity demands via upgrades and expansions.

Construction of the Abraxas cloud computing data center is near completion. The Abraxas Layer 2 network interconnects three cities and is being built to enable VMs and applications to migrate transparently within the data center fabric, including mechanisms for traffic isolation and access control. The three-city data center solution provides a solid foundation for disaster recovery and deployment of dual-active services, ensuring that Abraxas customers have 24/7 non-stop service for years to come.

By Su Hao

Market Support Engineer, Huawei Switch & Enterprise Communications Product Line