IBM has developed a method for dynamically managing network bandwidth within a cloud, adding another patent to IBM’s already quite impressive patent portfolio. This invention would be ideal for applications such as online systems running within a cloud that experience dramatic or unexpected peaks and valleys in demand for services.
The cloud computing invention – for which IBM received U.S. Patent #8,352,953: Dynamically Provisioning Virtual Machines – provides a method for automatically deciding the best way for users to access a cloud computing system based on availability of network bandwidth.
With cloud instances, even if CPU and memory utilization and optimization are managed effectively, overall system performance can be impeded by restricted network bandwidth. By focusing on the networking aspect of system optimization and virtualization, this invention removes a roadblock to overall system efficiency, allowing processing, memory and networking all to work at optimal levels.
Foundation for Software Defined Networking
Dynamic provisioning of network bandwidth across a cloud computing system provides the foundation for Software Defined Networking (SDN), which is defined as requiring dynamic management of network resources through automated programs.
The invention calls for network resource management to be completed using software to obtain data from the management information database of the network switch to determine the amount of bandwidth being used by each IP address assigned to each VM within the compute node. As network bandwidth rises and becomes constrained in one node, the system will automatically reassign some of the VMs to another node with network bandwidth capacity available.
The IBM invention can be applied run various operating systems, including Linux, Windows, CentOS, and UNIX, and a variety of hardware platforms, including IBM System x racks and BladeCenter, PureFlex, and Power Systems.