While we were at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress, there were apparently things happening in other places — things related to software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV), even. Of all the nerve. We’re using this week’s roundup to list a couple of those items, as well as a bit more from the World Congress.
1. Processors and a Call to ARMs
Processor vendor Tilera announced and started shipping a series of PCI Express cards called Intelligent Application Adapters, with models including 9, 16, 36, and 72 cores — all based on the company’s TILE-Gx architecture, of course.
The idea is to offload data-plane work from the server CPU, freeing up cycles for control-plane tasks. Tilera claims the cards handle application offload in capacities from 10 Gb/s to 80 Gb/s.
Tilera is making a few prefab applications available, including an Open vSwitch implementation supporting claimed speeds of 40 Gb/s and deep packet inspection that Tilera says can go to 50 Gb/s on one TILE-Gx processor.
It’s one of a few processor announcements that arose during the The Linley Group‘s Processor Conference 2013 this week. Broadcom trotted out its first ARM architecture for networking gear, as we
wrote earlier. Freescale likewise introduced a new ARM architecture, the QorIQ LS1.
2. Storage Counts As News, Too
Storage Networking World happened last week, so of course, the topic of software-defined storage came up. Jeda Networks put its Fabric Network Controller onto an Ethernet switch from Mellanox to produce a storage switch, the idea being to replace Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) with an Ethernet alternative.
3. Mood Cyan
Cyan added Connectem, Mellanox, Metaswitch, and Red Hat to its Blue Orbit set of SDN/NFV partners. Of the four, Connectem might be the least familiar; it’s developed a virtualized LTE evolved packet core (EPC) for mobile networks. The EPC is considered a prime candidate for NFV, as many vendors discussed at Mobile World Congress in February.
Metaswitch has been getting attention for Project Clearwater, its open-source implementation of IP Multimedia Subsystem infrastructure (IMS). But for Cyan’s demo, Metaswitch contributed something new and unannounced: beta code of a virtualized BGP route reflector.
Cyan also picked up a noteworthy carrier customer, as Colt launched its Carrier Ethernet Multi-Service Platform (MSP), which is based on Cyan’s Z-series equipment and its Blue Planet software. (But you already knew that. And if you want to learn more, Colt and Cyan will discuss it in an SDNCentral DemoFriday™ on Nov. 1.)
It doesn’t appear to be an exclusive deal, as Colt has noted that the underlying Modular Multi-Service Platform is multivendor, to give some options to Colt’s service-provider customers.