Interop last week saw a number of announcements from both major vendors and startups, many focused on SDN, or at least had SDN in their bylines. With all the news flying around, we decided to put together a short round-up on some key announcements that caught our attention:
- Arista showed off its recently-announced 7500E switch, with strong support for VXLAN overlays, plus staggering scalability, low latency and low power consumption. It proceeded to win the Best of Interop prize Networking category as well as the Grand Award. No surprise given the significant impact the 7500E will bring to cloud data centers.
- Cisco was demonstrating its Cisco ONE controller and showing off SDN applications such as network visibility that will run on switches supporting OnePK (including the Nexus 3000).
- Dell showed off their recently announced Active Fabric Manager (which they successfully demoed at ONS 2013), as well as their converged S5000 modular top-of-rack switch.
- Cyan saw a relatively successful IPO during Interop week, and continues to push its optical and SDN product portfolio into service provider customers, including GlobalConnect, a Danish alternative provider of network and hosting services. They just announced a deployment of a 400G network employing the Cyan Blue Planet software-defined networking (SDN) system and Z-Series packet-optical platform throughout Denmark.
- F5 announced BIG-IQ Cloud, a software orchestration system that allows cross-cloud management of F5’s products, such as BIG-IP. BIG-IQ works across disparate private, public and hybrid clouds including Amazon EC2 as well as VMware. It supports F5’s iApps, by handling provisioning, configuration, management as well as monitoring across multi-tenant deployments. This is probably a big step in F5’s own SDN strategy.
- Juniper announced wide beta availability of its controller based on Contrail’s technology, and indicated general availability in the latter half of this year, which is earlier than the date mentioned during their Global Partners Conference. The new JunosV Contrail Controller provides an overlay-based (VXLAN) solution that also leverages BGP and MPLS to do its magic of providing network virtualization and service chaining.
- NEC announced a northbound API to their controller, showing off integration with Radware, Real Status, vArmour, A10, Silver Peak and Red Hat. It was definitely an impressive suite of partners with live demonstrations on-hand to show that the announcement was more than intent, and involved real productsshipping later this year.
- Riverbed announced their Stingray Services Controller in an application delivery controller-as-a-Service package. Designed to allow ADC instances on cloud infrastructures for elastic scaling, Stingray is also priced and licensed on a SaaS model. This continues the trend of networking vendors looking to enterprise licensing (Juniper) and now SaaS pricing models to better meet the dynamic needs of their customers.
In addition, for the attendees that attended the SDN workshops and keynotes, some highlights included a discussion from Martin Casado from VMware (Nicira); Rajiv Ramaswami at Broadcom and Rajeev Nagar, group program manager for Windows core networking at Microsoft. There was back-and-forth on the level of network visibility needed by applications, as well as whether SDN is an evolution or a revolutionary threat. Martin’s view was that the less interaction, the better while his co-panelists took a contrary view, asserting that applications could benefit from network awareness.
Clearly, the debate around SDN continues to rage, even among the most influential thinkers in networking, but the fact that networking vendors are now shipping real products with SDN capabilities will allow end-customers to vote with their dollars. What is real SDN? It’s what customers are willing to pay for.