In recent years, the cold climate of the Nordics has been a hothouse for data center growth and innovation.

Businesses across Europe have turned to the Nordics and the Baltics for their data storage and processing needs as the region has proved to have the ideal conditions for IT infrastructure in terms of affordable space, low temperatures, and an abundance of reliable, renewable energy.

But there is now a growing need for data centers to further diversify their offerings in order to meet a broadening range of enterprise demands, such as accessing or building a private cloud. No longer are space and power enough to draw customers north. The market now requires high-speed connectivity, like the C-Lion1 submarine cable between Finland and Germany, that is automatically protected by the most powerful and robust encryption technology. What’s more, this needs to be available across all types of connectivity service and performance assured end-to-end.

Testing the data highway

Together with three key partners, we’ve been developing new approaches to address these needs. Right now, we’re conducting a series of industry-first proof of concept (PoC) trials that will demonstrate highly efficient security and performance across every kind of network.

For these tests we’re collaborating with Ficolo, Finland’s leading cloud delivery and colocation data center; Neos IT Services, the German-based IT service provider specializing in securing high transactional platforms; and Creanord, Finland’s premier network assurance enabler. Our trials involve three types of managed connectivity services, which we’ll be discussing at Data Center Forum in Stockholm on November 29.

At the heart of these trials is our comprehensive ConnectGuard™ security toolbox. As we’re demonstrating through our PoCs, our ConnectGuard™ portfolio consists of three distinct arms that safeguard data in motion across every network layer.

secure connectivity map

Optical connectivity

The first set of PoCs involves our FSP 3000 complete with ConnectGuard™ Optical for high-performance DCI applications. These trials, which are being conducted in Munich using Neos IT Services’ dark fiber between their two data center locations, will prove to be a major step for disaster recovery and business continuity. Although these PoCs don’t involve connectivity to Nordic data centers, this technology can certainly be leveraged with dark fiber or OTN services between northern Europe and customers in the continent’s major cities.

Ethernet connectivity

In the second round of tests, our ConnectGuard™ Ethernet comes into play. These trials utilize the data highway between Finland (Ficolo) and Germany (Neos IT Services), including the undersea fiber optic cable spanning the Baltic Sea. The PoCs use our FSP 150 solution to show how efficiently end-point data protection can be delivered across Layer 2 connectivity. Furthermore, performance guarantees are managed using the FSP 150 and Creanord’s SLA system. The experiments will demonstrate how overheads can be minimized while providing maximum security and performance for virtual private networks.

Cloud connectivity

Our ConnectGuard™ Cloud solution is at the heart of the third set of test scenarios, which harness the power of network functions virtualization. These feature a unique combination of virtual encryption and our Ensemble Connector being applied to standard internet connectivity between Munich and Ficolo’s Finnish facility. This means that security functions previously deployed as hardware can be virtualized and hosted at data centers. With this solution, customers can integrate the public cloud via an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) environment, with a white box solution or by supporting a customer-specific server solution.

With this PoC, we’re using Creanord’s vProbe for SLA and live performance monitoring. Together with our award-winning Ensemble Connector software, this runs on our FSP 150 ProVMi, enabling precise measurement of latency, throughput and packet drops.

Through these tests, we’ll demonstrate how all three of these solutions built on ADVA’s ConnectGuard™ Toolbox, when compared to today’s traditional IPSec security methods, deliver lower latency, better throughput, improved security and real-time monitoring of quality of service.

What’s more, our ConnectGuard™ Cloud technology can provide zero touch provisioning and support software-defined architectures in the data center. This further simplifies operations – a key benefit for customers with an enormous number of end points.

Secure connectivity across all networks

It’s all about helping customers to meet diverse demands and offering packaged solutions tailored to differing requirements – highly efficient security whether connecting to the cloud, to data centers or to any IT resource.

We’re excited about revealing the results of these pioneering trials. One thing is already certain though: this type of security offered as a complete package will dominate the market in the near future. It’s going to be the key enabler of growth as more of Northern Europe’s cold-weather facilities attract a wider range of off-shore customers through improved performance, security and cost. The next couple of years will see secure connectivity at every layer being the number 1 advantage in the Nordic data race.