At the Open Networking Summit in Santa Clara, CA, Google gave a keynote speech about Espresso, the latest offering in the company’s Software-Defined Networking (SDN) strategy.
Espresso was created to manage peering-edge connectivity, where the Google network is connected to other internet service providers. With one of the largest peering edge networks in the world, generating over 25% of total internet traffic, the company decided that existing protocols did not take advantage of connectivity options that could improve service to users.
Espresso leverages the Google Cloud to create dynamic connection points for customers, resolved in real time, based on constantly updated evaluations of current network conditions. Using changeable connection points rather than static connections, such as an IP address, creates an optimized experience for the end user with faster connections and better traffic flow. Dynamic user connections managed by Espresso allow Google to make real-time user connection adjustments to avoid service interruptions and congestion in its own network as well as the public internet.
Google also created Espresso to take traffic management functionality away from physical routers, instead using applications active in Google’s cloud computing infrastructure to manage packet streams and maximize flow.
Espresso comprises the fourth pillar of Google’s SDN strategy, combining forces with the Jupiter and B4 data center interconnects, as well as the Andromeda Network Virtualization stack.
In the blog post describing Espresso, Google Fellow Amin Vahdat explained that the Google network is a critical component of the company’s infrastructure, processing enormous amounts of information and delivering content to a global population.
“Our network continues to be a key opportunity and differentiator for Google, ensuring that Google Cloud services and customers enjoy the same levels of availability, performance, and efficiency available to ‘Google native’ services such as Google Search, YouTube, Gmail and more.”
Google has been testing Espresso for over two years, and currently uses it to manage 20% of the company’s internet traffic routing.
Using the cloud to redesign internet connectivity from the previous, router-dependent view allows for dynamic responses to changes in demand and availability of connections in a fast-moving environment. The company believes that using Espresso “translates to higher availability and better performance through Google Cloud than is available through the internet at large.”