OVH will use Nuage’s Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) as part of an OpenStack-as-a-service offering, adding a range of SDN automation capabilities to OpenStack. OVH’s customer base and expertise enables it to offer OpenStack as a service in a way that will remove networking constraints for users, says Houman Modarres, head of marketing at Nuage.
“In consuming OpenStack networking with Nuage, OVH customers will be able to provision network resources just as easily as compute resources,” Modarres says. “This is exactly in line with the Nuage strategy of removing networking constraints for the cloud while preserving freedom of choice for enterprises and cloud service providers who run heterogeneous environments.”
Modarres says Nuage didn’t set out to do SDN, but instead aimed to offer easily consumable networks. As it turned out, SDN’s tools enabled Nuage to make this possible for customers.
IDC analyst Brad Casemore notes that Nuage’s network virtualization technology is well respected by competitors, and that the company’s early customers — cloud service providers and over-the-top service providers — have been outside of parent company Alcatel-Lucent’s core customer base of large, traditional service providers and carriers.
“I think Nuage is getting invited to participate in lots of RFIs and RFPs [requests for information and requests for proposals] and getting into a lot of opportunities that Alcatel-Lucent would not have been involved in,” Casemore says. “They are often invited in as an alternative or another option to consider relative to Cisco or VMware NSX,” even though Cisco and VMware are the incumbents when it comes to the network compute and hypervisor side of things.
“That doesn’t mean [Nuage] necessarily will win them all. They are a long shot at the outset because they are not the incumbent,” said Casemore. “But I do think that they are doing relatively well for a company that was spun out and formed just a short time ago.”
However, the competition only stands to get more heated as several companies try to get their stake in an OpenStack frame of reference, Casemore adds.
Acknowledging the heavy competition, Modarres says that in order to join industry’s 800-pound gorillas, you have to beat them.
“A part of the reason we’re capable of doing that is the move to SDN also implies, at its heart, a level of openness and a level of freedom of choice that hasn’t been there for the past two decades,” Modarres says. “There has been a lot of vertically integrated solutions where industry giants have essentially locked up a solution. In this case, it’s coming under fire.”
OVH’s decision to deploy Nuage Networks VSP demonstrates that shift in thinking, he says. “Some landmark decisions are being made where the decision for the SDN layer is actually being made independent of other things, like networking gear or hypervisor.”