While the SDN controller field is crowded with offerings from vendors such as Cisco, Juniper Networks, and HP, Brocade is betting its chips on being a pure OpenDaylight play. Kevin Woods, a Brocade director of product management, says the Brocade SDN Controller 2.0 started shipping Aug. 17 with several new open source features, such as Open vSwitch database (OVSDB) support.
“The OVSDB interface is a control interface that has been defined by the IETF for controlling virtual switches, and it’s present in Lithium,” he says. “Our engineers did the upstream work in Lithium, and we’ve introduced it into our distribution.”
The updated SDN controller also includes OpenStack Neutron‘s Modular Layer 2 (ML2) plug-in, which lets OpenStack and OpenDaylight work together when configuring networks between virtual machines. The plug-in is certified in Red Hat’s OpenStack Juno distribution.
“Another area that we worked on in the upstream was around clustering, scalability, and stability improvements,” Woods explains. “OpenDaylight has a clustering architecture that was introduced in Helium, and we’ve made significant enhancements to that.”
The Brocade Topology Manager, which is free (as in beer), displays network topology, which allows administrators to create a list of nodes that are present. Flow Manager extends the reach of Topology Manager by allowing users to view and manage traffic flows between nodes. The Brocade Flow Manager is priced at $40 per attached node per year, including support.
“These two new applications share a common UX, which is ReactJS, that was developed specifically for this release,” Woods says. “In the future, all of the applications developed for the controller, or ultimately developed by our third-party partners, can have a common look and feel.”
Brocade’s new SDN controller also supports the recently announced Brocade Flow Optimizer, which sets policies and user-defined rules to optimize traffic flows in order to load balance across multiple switches to clear up congested traffic.
The first version of the Brocade SDN Controller, which was formerly called the Brocade Vyatta Controller, was announced a year ago. It went into proof-of-concept trials near the end of last year and reached general availability in June.