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Data center service provider helped develop Cisco OTV

Terremark Worldwide likes what it has seen as an early beta tester of Cisco's Overlay Transport Virtualization feature

By , Network World
February 05, 2010 12:04 AM ET

Network World - Terremark Worldwide plans to use Cisco’s Overlay Transport Virtualization (OTV) feature to eventually connect 12 data centers worldwide for easier resource allocation, workload mobility and cloud-based service provisioning, and disaster recovery (DR). (See related story, Cisco to unleash data center extensions)

The Miami-based provider of managed IT infrastructure services has currently interconnected three of its data centers. Budget constraints are keeping the others at bay for the moment.

But so far, the company likes what it has seen as an early beta tester of OTV and the Nexus 7000 switches it runs on. Interconnecting data centers takes minutes instead of several hours, says Mike Duckett, Terremark’s general manager of network services.

“We interconnected our data centers for years through traditional 2.5G [wavelengths] or 10G [wavelengths],” Duckett says. “We have been working with Cisco for so long that we never really looked at anything else, comparatively speaking. We were involved with helping develop and guide Cisco on how to make this the most effective data center product from a data center service provider’s standpoint.”

Terremark does some MPLS pseudowire tunneling to get the benefits of Layer 2 in a Layer 3 network. But the company is moving away from that to fully embrace OTV, Duckett says.

“Being able to take a virtualized server environment and make it appear as one across a couple of data centers is very important to us and our customers, not just from a resiliency standpoint but as a DR enhancement,” he says. “Long term, we’re hoping it gives us the ability to dynamically move computing load around from one data center to another to take advantage of” optimal compute and environmental conditions.

For instance, it’s much cheaper to power and cool Terremark’s Virginia-based data center in the winter than the one in Miami.

“Long term, that’s where we see the value [of OTV],” Duckett says. “As soon as we can start presenting the data centers almost virtually and have the control to move computing load around where it’s more cost-effective, or closer to where the customer or the user base would be.”

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Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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