Server Tech

IBM’s ODIN – Open Data-center Interoperable Network guidelines

“ODIN (Open Data-center Inter-operable Network) is a set of technical briefs which describe best practices for developing a flat, virtualized, converged data center network based on open industry standards” is what IBM’s FAQ document says about ODIN.

When companies are building large cloud-scale data centers, it is important to consider open-standards and multi-vendor compatibility while designing the network architecture. Even though IBM offers its own line of networking solutions for the data center, I think the ODIN is a good initiative and a number of other networking vendors also seem to think so.

These are some of the objectives of designing a network according to ODIN principles:

  • Scaling of networks to thousands of physical ports without over-subscription
  • Achieving virtual machine mobility using layer-2 domains
  • Achieving an ultra-low latency over WAN
  • Maximizing high-availability, energy efficiency
  • Automated management of network systems
  • Reducing capital and operating expenses

ODIN is not a standard in itself, but it establishes a platform and helps customers to adopt existing open standards in large-scale/data center networks.

The following technical brief documents have been released by IBM. You can download them from here.

  1. Transforming the data center network
  2. ECMP Layer-3 networks
  3. Software Defined Networking and Openflow
  4. Lossless Ethernet
  5. WAN and ultra-low latency applications

I’ll give a short overview of each of them in this blog over the next few days and link those pages above. If you want to read the complete brief, you can download the documents from here and read them.

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