Meru Networks is announcing today that its gear has been certified by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), the second certification the ONF has handed out since launching its Conformance Testing Program in July.
It was no surprise that OpenFlow-happy NEC got the first certification, but it’s rather novel that the second one is going to wireless LAN company, and one that hadn’t talked about SDN much before this year.
“We announced our SDN strategy back in March, and this is a continuation,” said Manish Rai, vice president of marketing at Meru. “What conformance means is that we are signaling to the market that we are ready and compatible with any switch that is SDN-enabled.”
While some costly and closed existing unified access management platforms can offer visibility and control of LAN switching and WLAN controllers and access points, this is often only offered when a single vendor provides the entire product, says Ajay Malik, vice president of engineering at Meru. Instead, Meru suggests allowing full visibility and control over networks from the LAN switch and through the WLAN controller to the access points themselves, which will then allow WLAN vendors to make good on their promise of software-defined networking (SDN).
“To add value to IT and their end users, WLAN vendors must provide APIs that are not vendor-specific. This gives IT organizations the ability to integrate third-party or even home-grown management applications that meet their specific needs,” Malik says.
Meru’s strategy for SDN says an effective, integrated, and wireless product would provide IT with:
- End-to-end application quality-of-service (QoS) enabling enforceable service-level agreements (SLAs)
- Single-pane-of glass management of the unified wired and wireless network, with policy automation
- The ability to mix solutions from different vendors.
Devoted to fast-tracking the adoption of SDN, the ONF’s conformance testing gives networking vendors the opportunity to validate compliance within the OpenFlow specification. Using Criterion Network Labs (CNLabs) — one of the four labs the ONF is using for conformance testing — the ONF was able to validate Meru’s honor and say that yes, its mobility controllers accurately comply with the OpenFlow standards.