Packet Design Awarded Patent for Key SDN Management Technology

Invention expands company’s software defined network analytics and orchestration capabilities across the wide area network 

Packet Design has been awarded a patent for a significant innovation in its route analytics and software defined networking (SDN) management software. Invented by CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu, VP of engineering Satish Kanna, and Distinguished Engineer Hari Ananthakrishnan, the technology is a key enabler for the Packet Design Network Access Broker (NAB). This technology verifies if the wide area network can handle SDN application demands and if so, provisions them optimally.

Specifically, the U.S. patent No. 8,824,331 is for a system and method that identifies the ingress router when traffic flow data (e.g., NetFlow) is collected from non-edge routers. This enables the Packet Design NAB to scale traffic flow collection, calculate traffic paths no matter where flow data collection is done, generate a network-wide traffic matrix, and compute current and predictive traffic profiles.

As a result, the NAB can understand what current commitments have been made in the network and what traffic bandwidth requirements are expected across every link, based on historical patterns. The NAB can then determine in real time whether or not SDN application requests for network resources can be satisfied, and if so, how.

For example, its traffic profiles would allow the NAB to factor into its calculations the predictable increase in market data and trading traffic that occurs when stock markets open, or the additional IPTV bandwidth required for Monday Night Football. Additionally, the NAB calculates the impact that the requested changes will have on other services by determining the resulting network topology and traffic behavior. After computing the required network configurations to allocate the needed resources, such as RSVP-TE tunnels, the NAB automatically provisions them via an SDN controller such as OpenDaylight.

“SDN creates management challenges that traditional methods were not designed to handle,” said Cengiz Alaettinoglu, Packet Design CTO. “Packet Design is uniquely positioned to lead the way with real-time analytics and orchestration capabilities to optimize and manage resources, which will help make SDN viable for the future.

This patent protects another of our inventions that form the foundation of our SDN product roadmap.” This patent award follows one issued to Packet Design in March for an invention by Alaettinoglu and two other senior members of the organization’s engineering team. U.S. patent No. 8,677,016 protects the company’s intellectual property for determining paths in and between Autonomous Systems (AS), which is an important element in real-time SDN analytics.

Whether the network is programmed or configured (or a combination), network performance can degrade under a variety of conditions, including link or node failures. Packet Design’s capabilities, which are valuable in traditional networks, are directly applicable to SDN and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) deployments, providing real-time monitoring, back-in-time forensic analysis, and network event and demand modeling.