SDN Start-Ups You Will Hear About In 2013 – Snapshots of Plexxi, Plumgrid, Pluribus and Vello

Hot SDN Startups You Will Hear About in 2013

This is the 2nd part in multi-part series of posts on the leading SDN Startups. If you missed the rest, you can find them here:
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 3 – Midokura, Pertino, and Pica8
Part 4 – Big Switch, Contrail, Embrane and Lyatiss


SDN Start-Ups Reference Plexxi

Figure 14 – Plexxi Architecture


Plexxi delivers network orchestration and control in the form of software distributed on switches and centralized on servers. The network orchestration dynamically modifies the Plexxi network configuration based on workload affinity requirements received via APIs from applications or cloud orchestration systems. Their switches offer traditional Ethernet and Optical ports with the latter used to interconnect Plexxi switches. A Northbound API allows workload affinities to be exchanged with business applications, networks services, cloud orchestration or network virtualization applications as well as with other SDN controllers or traditional networks.

It is worth nothing that Plexxi offers an SDN solution for Plexxi networks and could be enhanced to potentially other non-Plexxi physical switches or virtual switches via other SDN controllers.



 SDN Start-Ups Reference Plumgrid

Figure 15 – Plumgrid Architecture


Little can be said with certitude on PLUMgrid solution as they are still in stealth mode and more secretive than average. I will share my personal expectations about their offering based on readings and discussions within the SDN community and with them.

PLUMgrid solution is entirely software and includes network virtualization. OpenFlow will not be supported day one but as the standard evolves and becomes more complete there could be a convergence. Based on the background of the team I suspect that even with a software solution,tight integration will be done at the chip level and thus I expect PLUMgrid to support both virtual and physical infrastructure.


SDN Start-Ups Reference Pluribus

Figure 16 – Pluribus Architecture


Pluribus delivers a physical switch called server-switch that runs Netvisor, their distributed network operating system as well as SDN controller capabilities and network services. Pluribus offers services such as load balancing, DHCP, DNS, Firewall etc. Their integrated SDN controller also supports OpenFlow to interface with OVS for the virtual infrastructure and potentially other physical switches as well.

A few facts are worth noting. Pluribus solution is entirely distributed across its physical switches. Pluribus is also part of Oracle Partner Network as their solution is based on Linux and their Northbound API is actually the Linux API.


SDN Start-Ups Reference Vello

Figure 17 – Vello Architecture


Vello offers OpenFlow-enabled physical Ethernet and optical switches and virtual switches (OVS) as well as SDN controller functionalities, network services and network virtualization. Vello has several applications running on top of their network virtualization such as storage replication and disaster recovery. Through the OpenFlow support, their solution can handle both physical and virtual infrastructure as well as any OpenFlow-capable switch from other vendors. Vello has very specific use cases and applications that facilitate the access and management of storage devices.

How to read the reference diagram

  • Colored components are the components offered by the vendor.
  • Grey components are components offered by partners via the vendor’s open API.
  • Absence of components compared to the reference diagram means that they are not part of this vendor’s solution or do not require an interface (i.e. API).
  • OpenFlow support is indicated by the OpenFlow logo on the southbound interface between the controller and the associated networking device.

This is the 2nd part in multi-part series of posts on the leading SDN Startups. If you missed the rest, you can find them here:
Part 1 – Introduction
Part 3 – Midokura, Pertino, and Pica8
Part 4 – Big Switch, Contrail, Embrane and Lyatiss


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