Avaya has been pitching its Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture (VENA) since 2011. But the company’s focus had been less on SDN and more on Fabric Connect, which is Avaya’s spin on an Ethernet fabric standard called Shortest Path Bridging (SPB).
It’s part of an architecture called Avaya SDN Fx, which the company announced today. Fx includes Fabric Extend (an encapsulation technology that lets Fabric Connect reach across a Layer 3 network) and the Open Networking Adapter (ONA), a hardware device the size of a deck of cards that connects an arbitrary machine into the SDN-controlled network.
The ONA is meant for non-networking machines that have Ethernet ports but don’t have the CPU power to talk with an SDN controller. Medical equipment is one area where Avaya sees a need for this.
Avaya’s Fabric Connect still underlies all of these SDN frills. In fact, part of Avaya’s announcement is an emphasis that SDN has to rely on an automated core network, one with a fabric that doesn’t need to be configured manually. Avaya envisions Fabric Connect serving as that foundation, of course.
A lightweight version of Fabric Orchestrator is due out in June, with the full version slated for the fourth quarter. The ONA is due to come out in June. Finally, a software developer kit (SDK) for Fabric Orchestrator, giving software developers a chance to build on the combination of Fabric Connect and OpenDaylight, is set to be released in the first quarter of 2016.