As part of the consulting and advisory work we do at both Wiretap Ventures and SDNCentral, we work closely with enterprises and service providers on their software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) initiatives. Network virtualization, regardless of whether you deem it part of SDN or not, is certainly one of the more common projects that our clients look for assistance on, usually in the context of building or improving a private cloud deployment.
Early this year, we provided guidance to both a financial institution and a service provider on their network virtualization projects. Both had very specific constraints: The financial institution needed to maintain corporate and regulatory compliance within their private cloud environment; the service provider required the use of existing physical L4-7 devices which had been certified by their security teams. In addition, both had the added requirement to connect to a WAN, allowing external groups to connect seamlessly access the virtual networks. At that time, we evaluated the available offerings from numerous vendors, ranging from pure overlays to direct fabric programming using OpenFlow. After much analysis, prototyping and discussions, we all felt that the state-of-the-art at that time did not meet their specific needs and decided to defer their network virtualization projects till later.
Since that time, I have seen maturation in the solutions from multiple vendors along with an explosion in the number of network virtualization offerings in the marketplace. There is definitely significant confusion in the market, and many infrastructure and networking teams don’t even have a handle on all the relevant players. As a result, I’ve been bombarded in the past few months by many of our readers and clients to provide a comprehensive overview of NV offerings and vendors, but it wasn’t until Nico Fischbach of Colt pushed us to publish our research on the various network virtualization approaches and vendors that we embarked on the project. With the help of the leading vendors and our research team, we put together a comprehensive report on the major NV solutions and launched it earlier this week.
One of those vendors, Nuage Networks, will be doing a demonstration this coming Friday, Oct. 25, on our DemoFridays™ series. Nuage launched earlier this year with good market traction, and I’m definitely looking forward to their demonstration. The Nuage solution addresses many of challenges we encountered at the financial institution and the service provider early in the year. Specifically, Nuage has a nice abstraction and networking model that simplifies the creation and deployment of virtual networks. Nuage’s Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) also provides a nice policy-driven approach that reduces the amount of configuration needed to create complex networking topologies while maintain regulatory and organizational compliance. Finally, to address integration with physical networks and L4-7 devices, Nuage has a high-speed gateway (the 7850 Virtualized Services Gateway) that bridges physical and virtual networks and supports distributed routing for more efficient deployments.
Perhaps if Nuage had launched and had product in the marketplace earlier this year, the outcome of both NV projects would have been different. Regardless, I’m looking forward to hosting the Nuage demo this coming Friday and hope that you will join me for what promises to be an educational and exciting event. I’ve seen a sneak peek of their user interface and I’m sure you’ll be impressed as well. Join us online!
Check out more about Nuage Networks on SDNCentral: