Netsocket today unveiled a completely virtualized, end-to-end SDN solution. The network assurance solutions provider is entering the SDN marketplace by launching a flagship suite of products, Netsocket Virtual Network (NVN), which provides centralized orchestration and automation applications that run on a software-based network infrastructure. Perhaps even more compellingly, the company is giving away its virtualized infrastructure and offering a free version of its SDN solution.
Prior to today, Netsocket was primarily in the network assurance business, playing in the unified communications area with close partners Microsoft and Cisco. Netsocket is venture-funded and backed by Venture Investors LLC, Sevin Rosen Funds, Silver Creek Ventures and Trailblazer Capital.
With this launch, Netsocket is now declaring itself a virtualized, software-defined networking company. Their new product line, NVN, comprises a three-tier SDN architecture designed for use on commodity x86 virtual server platforms–support for Hyper-V today, with a promise to support other hypervisors in the future. The solution virtualizes all three layers of the network: infrastructure, control, and applications to provide advanced automation and optimization capabilities. NVN also promises seamless legacy network interoperability and significant savings in lifecycle costs.
At the infrastructure layer is vFlowSwitch, a virtual Layer 3 switch that offers port-by-port management and integrates with industry virtual Layer 2 switches, including Microsoft vSwitch. vFlowSwitch also has interoperability with OpenFlow-enabled switches.
The controller layer, vFlowController, provides intrinsic carrier-class Layer 2-4 forwarding control and has the ability to natively interoperate with legacy networks. The layer is home to embedded components vRouter, vFirewall, and vTunnel that act as services to the cloud and enable the interoperability, giving IT administrators the opportunity to implement SDN in stages. NVN’s L3 technology comes from its acquisition of optical startup Chiaro’s intellectual property (a number of Netsocket’s executive and development team hail from the startup which raised $130M in the optical heyday in the early 2000s but like many optical companies, did not see any return on that investment).
NVN’s application layer comes with two applications: vNetOptimizer, which provides real-time network service analytics, automation and optimization of the network; and vNetCommander, NVN’s centralized management system that handles automated installation, provisioning and orchestration of the network. It comes in a basic version, which provides everything needed to install and provision upgrades to vFlowController, and an enterprise version focused on full network deployments at scale. It also provides a web-based GUI for enterprise-wide visibility of virtual and physical networks.
While Netsocket offers all the components needed for a virtualized end-to-end solution, it sees switching functions as commodities. The application layer, on the other hand, holds the power to revolutionize the data center and transform it into an important business asset. Netsocket believes so strongly in the value of its SDN applications, it is literally giving away its virtual networking infrastructure and selling the more powerful applications that offer robust orchestration, automated applications, and dynamic network policy management.
An Early Experience Edition of NVN is available now for free and includes the infrastructure and controller components, as well as the basic version of vNetCommander. IT administrators can use the Early Experience Edition to create a small, distributed router with distributed switching of up to five locations, or they can network together five different actual servers. The offer gives IT departments a chance to evaluate and implement SDN in real life scenarios, and Netsocket will incorporate new features to the edition throughout the quarter.
Netsocket envisions NVN can help companies cap their purchases of expensive proprietary routers and Layer 3 switches. Instead, they now can migrate toward a software-based network infrastructure that relies on commodity servers and inexpensive Layer 2 switches. Combined with savings from increased efficiency and capabilities, Netsocket expects organizations can reap up to 10:1 capital and operational expense savings over time.
SDNCentral’s key takeaways:
- Commoditization of the infrastructure layer continues – recently with OpenDaylight pushing their open-source controller and applications, and now with another free infrastructure layer consisting of a virtual switch on Hyper-V, along with routing, tunneling and firewalling application capabilities.
- While Netsocket’s offering today is primarily focused on Microsoft Hyper-V environments, their plans to expand their reach will be worth watching. Likewise their network virtualization encapsulation approach today is IPsec based, but they claim they can expand into NVGRE, VXLAN and other encapsulations as well.
- This is one of the first moves from an assurance and orchestration vendor jumping into the fray by attempting to commoditize network virtualization. We don’t expect this to be the last–vendors with value-add in orchestration and automation, as well as in network applications will want to commoditize L2/L3 infrastructure elements to bring the battle to their layer. SDN seems to be evolving (devolving?) into an orchestration and automation game. While potentially great for end-users, we expect some level of fragmentation as well–as we are already seeing in virtual switches today.
Original press release is below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Netsocket Unveils Industry’s First End-to-End Completely Virtualized SDN Solution
With seamless legacy network interoperability through intrinsic carrier-class routing, Netsocket Virtual Network delivers network flexibility, automated network intelligence, unified management, and significant savings in lifecycle costs
PLANO, Texas — July 08, 2013 — Netsocket, a technology leader in virtualized, software-defined networking, today announced its flagship Netsocket Virtual Network (NVN) product suite, delivering on the promise of software-defined networking (SDN) with powerful, robust orchestration and automation applications running on a completely virtualized network infrastructure. Additionally, Netsocket is announcing the availability of Netsocket Virtual Network Early Experience Edition, which is downloadable today for free.
The Netsocket Virtual Network is an SDN framework for network virtualization and advanced automation. A fully optimized, automated and cost-effective network, the NVN solution is comprised of a complete, three-tier SDN architecture – providing end-to-end virtual networking, centralized orchestration and automation, and superior interoperability and integration with legacy routed networks as well as higher level management systems such as Microsoft System Center.
The Netsocket Virtual Network delivers:
- Flexibility of configuration and management, enabling the adoption of automated orchestration and next generation management user interfaces and APIs;
- Seamless legacy network interoperability, achieved through intrinsic routing capability in the controller, allowing an ‘at-your-pace’ network migration path;
- Commoditization of switching functions, eliminating the need for any network hardware other than commodity layer 2 switches and off-the-shelf x86 servers; and
- Automated networking through NVN applications that are network configuration and operational state ‘aware,’ and capable of adaptively monitoring and controlling underlying network services.
The NVN suite is completely software-based, targeting commodity x86 virtual server platforms. Netsocket’s vision enables enterprises to cap their purchases of expensive and complicated proprietary routers and layer 3 switches and begin to migrate towards an agile software-based network infrastructure that relies only on commodity servers and inexpensive layer 2 switches. Although capital expenditure and operating expenditure cost savings are substantial, what’s more significant is that the NVN solution provides considerable new agility to meet the needs of the cloud and virtual datacenter through advanced automation and optimization, as well as the ability to offer new responsive services based on the capability to create networks in just minutes.
“The NVN portfolio is the culmination of Netsocket’s vision to provide application aware, rich network visibility and the virtualized network resources required to automatically anticipate, isolate and remediate problems in the network,” said John White, President and CEO of Netsocket. “The NVN portfolio provides customers with an SDN migration strategy that has practical use cases as well as enterprise-wide deployability”
The networking elements of NVN include the vFlowController™ and vFlowSwitch™. The vFlowController is an industry first with an intrinsic ability to natively interoperate with legacy networks through vRouter, vTunnel and vFirewall components. To encourage the adoption of virtual networking and expedite the path to advanced centralized management, orchestration and automation capabilities, Netsocket provides these components at no cost.
NVN also includes two applications. vNetCommander™ is the centralized management system for NVN and handles automated installation, provisioning and orchestration of the network. vNetOptimizer™ is a next generation virtualized version of Netsocket’s Cloud Experience Manager™ service assurance product, and will provide for real-time network service analytics, automation and optimization of the network.
With this unique approach to network virtualization and SDN, Netsocket is redefining the way in which networks are installed, deployed, managed, and maintained – transforming the network into a highly competitive business asset that is radically more responsive to the changing business needs of organizations.
Tom Nolle, president of CIMI Corporation, a strategic consulting firm specializing in telecom and data communications states that “existing SDN solutions haven’t recognized that operationalization of virtual networks cannot be done the same way as in the physical world. The proliferation of virtual devices and endpoints facilitated by virtual networking absolutely demands management automation. The network simply can’t be managed without it. Netsocket’s solution has finally emerged as an architecture for a true virtual network infrastructure with the necessary automation applications to manage it.”
The Early Experience Edition of Netsocket Virtual Network is available today for free, and new features will continue to be incorporated throughout this quarter. The Early Experience version includes the vFlowController, the vFlowSwitch, and the vNetCommander-BASIC application. vNetCommander-BASIC allows for the creation and management of fully functional small networks in just minutes, demonstrating the power of NVN’s orchestration capability.
“We know of no other vendor that has chosen to commoditize the layer 2/3 network components and base its business model entirely on the applications that make managing and scaling the network easy – unifying the network management, centralizing orchestration, performing real-time service analytics and ultimately providing automation and optimization of the network”, commented Sterling Perrin, senior analyst, Heavy Reading.
Users can download the Netsocket Virtual Network Early Experience Edition today at www.virtualnetwork.com.
Netsocket is a technology leader in virtualized, software-defined networking. The company’s flagship Netsocket Virtual Network (NVN) solution fulfills the promise of SDN today with powerful, robust automation applications running on a completely virtualized network infrastructure. NVN delivers a new framework for network virtualization and advanced automation that transforms the network into a highly responsive business asset. To discover how Netsocket can virtualize your world, visit www.netsocket.com.
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