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DCD Intelligence takes a look at some of the key developments that have taken place in the software-defined networking (SDN) industry over the last few months
15 February 2013 by Sacha Kavanagh
Juniper acquires Contrail, outlines SDN strategy
Juniper Networks revealed an agreement to acquire SDN start-up Contrail Systems for US$176mn comprising US$57.5mn in cash and 5.82mn Juniper shares.
It had been speculated that Contrail had been designed as a Juniper spin-in since its foundation earlier in 2012, with Juniper as a strategic investor and a number of Juniper staff decamping to the vendor – including Contrail CTO Kireeti Kompella.
Contrail had been operating in stealth mode but was understood to have been working on an enterprise SDN software controller to compete with VMware’s Nicira.
The deal was announced via a brief blog by Bob Muglia, Juniper’s Executive VP Software Solutions Division, and an SEC filing.
At its global partner conference, Juniper outlined a multi-year SDN strategy and a flexible pricing structure. Instead of selling hardware with built-in software at an upfront price, Juniper said it will sell the hardware first and the software will be sold in a separate transaction as a recurring licence fee.
The company also announced a new Junos stack that will separate the networking software into four layers: management, services, control and forwarding. A new centralized controller based on Contrail technology will be part of this stack.
Juniper indicated its SDN approach would be mature in the 2014/2015 timeframe.
NEC and Microsoft – and the new NEC OpenFlow switch
NEC announced its ProgrammableFlow 1000 (PF1000) virtual switch that has an OpenFlow 1.0 agent to support Microsoft’s Hyper-V application.
Designed for deployment with NEC’s ProgrammableFlow Controller (PFC) and physical ProgrammableFlow Switches, the PF1000 can support 256 virtual switches per server and 1,280 ports per virtual switch. It is available as a download from the NEC and Microsoft websites.
NEC also added IPv6 support and OpenStack Quantum integration to its PFC, which it claims is the first OpenFlow controller to support IPv6.
Plexxi launches first commercial products
Plexxi came out of stealth mode and launched its first commercial products, which it said had been installed with pilot customers since September.
Plexxi’s Affinity Network SDN solution uses wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology between switches in a data center to dynamically allocate bandwidth to enable applications to demand the network resources they need, using different spectrums of light.
The Plexxi Control tiered SDN controller uses Plexxi’s own technology rather than OpenFlow and controls the Plexxi Switch SDN-based Ethernet switch, which has 32x10 GbE ports and 4x40GbE ports.
From 2013, Plexxi will offer two Affinity APIs: the Workload Affinity API and Network Orchestration API. The list price for the Plexxi Switch 1 is US$64,000 and a Plexxi Control licence costs US$5,000 per switch.
Anuta Networks launches nCloudX
Anuta Networks, founded in 2010 by Chandu Guntakala, Srini Beereddy and Praveen Vengalam, came out of stealth mode.
The trio previously co-founded Jahi Networks, which was acquired by Cisco in 2004, and worked for Cisco.
Anuta partners with Cisco, VMware and other vendors and claims its nCloudX solution leverages capabilities already present in deployed networks to enable SDN service orchestration without OpenFlow.
According to the company, the technology is able to abstract the existing networking equipment to deliver SDN functionality.
NoviFlow launches high-speed SDN solution
NoviFlow, which is based in Canada and came out of stealth in early-2012, announced availability of its NoviWare 100 OpenFlow 1.1-compliant intelligent switching software. The software runs on EZchip Semiconductor’s NP-4 network processor.
The company claims the solution, which is available for licence to network equipment manufacturers and can be customised to meet specific partner requirements, can deliver speeds of 100Gbps.
Pic8 introduces open SDN reference architecture for cloud developers
Pica8, which claims to provide the world’s first open, hardware-independent switching system, announced what it said was the industry’s first open SDN reference architecture.
According to the company, the architecture has been designed specifically as a network development platform for cloud providers. It combines the OpenvSwitch virtual switch with OpenFlow 1.2 implemented in Pica8’s PicOS operating system, and integrates with the Ryu 1.4 OpenFlow controller designed by NTT Laboratories.
Previously known as Pronto Networks, Pica8 launched a range of OpenFlow-enabled Ethernet switches manufactured by Chinese ODM Quanta in August 2009 and claims nearly 100 customers globally.
Pluribus secure Series C funding
Pluribus Networks closed a US$23m round of Series C funding led by Menlo Ventures and joined by existing investors including New Enterprise Associates and Mohr Davidow.
The funding will be used to meet customer demand for its products. The Pluribus Networks Netvisor programmable distributed network OS is available to select customers on the F64 Series platform.
Read more information on software-defined networks and virtualization with DCD Intelligence's in-depth report here.