Pluribus Networks seems to be stacking up partners as fast as its server switches. Today the Software Defined Networking (SDN) startup announced a deal with Arrow Electronics to co-produce a Pluribus-branded E-68 server switch that combines networking, computing, virtualization, and analytics capabilities for the data center.
Packaged in “white box” fashion, in which Pluribus supplies the SDN software and Arrow ships the hardware, the product will come in a one-rack unit (1RU) form factor featuring Broadcom (BRCM) Trident II switch chips and Intel Xeon multi-core processors, loaded with Pluribus’ Netvisor virtualization software. It’s targeted at “top-of-rack” switching applications in large data centers, where large numbers of servers need to be networked together.
Pluribus Networks now has a big roster of partners and distributors including Arrow, Oracle (ORCL), Super Micro, and Tibco software. The strategy is to leverage the hardware and distribution expertise of partners, while supplying sophisticated software that handles virtualization and application-aware networking.
The result is a new kind of “network aware” server switch that can monitor applications at the same time as conducting networking functions, thereby adapting to changing traffic flows by application.
Jacob Loveless, CEO of Lucera, a spin-off from Cantor Fitzgerald and Pluribus customer, says the Pluribus product is unique in integrating high-end computing with “network-ware” switching and analytics. This, coupled with Facebook’s announcement of a “Wedge” architecture last week, indicates that the SDN movement is gaining converts in the market, said Loveless.
With the Arrow agreement, customers will be able to order directly from Arrow to get a Pluribus’ Netvisor software pre-installed on the server-switches at a “street price” point starting at $100 per 10 GE port.
The move seems fairly straightforward: Combine SDN software with powerful hardware and offer it with an aggressive price in a packaging strategy designed to shake up the larger data-center networking vendors, including Cisco (CSCO) and Arista (ANET).