SDN leadership recognized with Innovation Award from SearchNetworking; Plus ProgrammableFlow 3.0

Summer for the ProgrammableFlow® software defined networking (SDN) team has been anything but dull.  Hard at work to maintain and grow even further our leadership position in SDN and OpenFlow, we released Version 3 of the ProgrammableFlow controller last week, featuring end-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) from a central point of control, and significantly expanding ProgrammableFlow scalability.

SearchNetworking SDN Award NEC OpenFlowSearchNetworking SDN Award NEC OpenFlowAnd clearly our efforts have not gone unnoticed.  SearchNetworking announced last week they had awarded NEC ProgrammableFlow network suite with their first ever Innovation Award for Software Defined Networking.  With all of the buzz around SDN and OpenFlow, it is especially rewarding to read comments from SearchNetworking Executive Editor Rivka Gewirtz Little “..plenty of companies were offering SDN visions, but very few had actual products.   In the past year, many companies have begun to firm up their SDN plans, but one company made the quickest strides in getting innovative OpenFlow products to market – NEC Corporation of America.”

Kudos to the ProgrammableFlow engineering team!  With over 400 person years invested to date in OpenFlow and SDN, ProgrammableFlow’s substantial benefits of a fully virtualized network improving the rate of return across IT investments are increasingly apparent.

Version 3 continues to strengthen our position; with more proof points to support improved resource utilization and increased business agility.  Customer NTT Communications has already deployed the PF6800 ProgrammableFlow Controller as part of their new global “BizHosting Enterprise Cloud” service platform.  BizHosting uses OpenFlow technologies to provide borderless cloud services that enable integrated operations of numerous data centers both domestically and internationally.  This global scale ICT infrastructure is flexibly controlled and takes only a few minutes to remotely complete connections between data centers that traditionally took several days.

NTT is a Board member of the Open Networking Foundation.  As you know, the ONF is the organization responsible for the continued evolution of the OpenFlow standard.  NEC was a founding member, too, of the ONF and continues our active involvement.

NEC_SDN_QoS_Policy_ProgrammableFlowAs I mentioned, Version 3 of NEC’s ProgrammableFlow OpenFlow Fabric features end-to-end Quality of Service design and network management-all from the centralized console or API integrated into the ProgrammableFlow controller. This capability, unique to ProgrammableFlow and illustrated here, was extremely well received when we covered the enhancements with industry watchers.  They instantly recognized the opportunity for significant operational time-savings, as enterprises and data centers offload configuration work to the automation of ProgrammableFlow.  Network administrators can now re-deploy their time and skills to strategic projects, again positioning the network to be more fully responsive to the needs of the business.  And with Version 3 we are deploying a Web API using REST protocol.

We believe an essential element of Software Defined Networking is this open API.  The API provided with our Programmable Network Fabric will enable customers to take advantage of a new ecosystem of network services and applications envisioned in the future – very similar to the way Google’s Android is able to leverage 3rd party applications now that are written to this  standardized interface.  The OpenFlow protocol, standardized today by ONF and backed by dozens of leading customers and networking vendors, provides a platform for this standardization.

Finally, many customers will be happy to hear that Version 3 will enable them to scale based on their need.  With this release, depending on usage, ProgrammableFlow can now control as many as 100 switches, and operators can build networks with more than 4,096 VLAN ID configurations.

And don’t forget we have our new virtual switch available now for early adopters-delivering SDN to Microsoft Windows Server 2012 customers.  If you are interested in piloting this exciting new technology, or Version 3 of ProgrammableFlow, contact your NEC account manager today.  More information is available too at www.necam.com/pflow.

UNIVERGE 3C Client – How it Works

Today is the day! NEC Corporation of America (NEC) has announced the general availability of its UNIVERGE 3C Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) software.  Originally announced in March, NEC's product team has been working diligently to test and deploy the solution so that it is ready for prime time. 

Meanwhile, our sales support team produced a great module overview of the UNIVERGE 3C UC Client, its features, how it works, and overall benefits to end users.

This video module overview is part of NEC's Focus On UC series now available on our YouTube channel (youtube.com/interactivenec).

We hope you'll take a few minutes to check it out!

Excellent Turnout for the 2012 NEC Advantage Executive Conference

Last month, more than 500 NEC channel partners, consultants and representatives gathered at the Saddlebrook Conference Center near Tampa, Florida for the 2012 NEC Advantage Executive Conference. An annual event, the conference is designed to reinforce NEC’s channel-management strategy and introduce the company’s solutions and product roadmap for the current fiscal year.

NEC's Jay Krauser discusses UNIVERGE Cloud Services at the 2012 Advantage Executive Conference.“The Empowered Workforce” was this year’s conference theme, consistent with NEC’s presence earlier in the year at Enterprise Connect 2012 in Orlando. NEC highlighted technologies that respond to today’s evolving workforce, which is highly social, more mobile and accustomed to on-demand communications. Throughout the three-day event, channel partners attended demos, training and breakout sessions for various solutions within the NEC UNIVERGE® family of products, including 3C, the SV8000 platforms, Cloud Services, Unified Communications for Enterprise (UCE) and Unified Communications for Business (UCB).

A few of the opportunities and topics discussed throughout the event included:

  • Communicating and collaborating in the cloud
  • Getting started with UNIVERGE 3C™
  • SV8000 migration strategies
  • SMB & vertical-specific solutions

NEC partner sponsorships help make the Advantage Executive Conference possible.Additionally, the Innovations Showcase included exhibits from other technology partners as well as NEC divisions, including NEC Financial Services, NEC Document Solutions and NEC Corporation of Japan.

“The Advantage Invitational showcases NEC’s direction, products and industry in an engaging, social environment,” says Larry Levenberg, channel sales marketing vice president, NEC Enterprise Communications Technologies.  “The goal is for our channel dealers and consultants to build relationships and hopefully leave with valuable, relevant information that will help make their business more productive throughout the year.”

In addition, 10 channel partners also received the NEC Sales and Marketing Leadership Award during the conference. The annual award has been established to recognize dealer organizations that have made significant achievements in sales, marketing and/or community initiatives. Dealer organizations are nominated by their NEC account managers. This year’s award recipients include:

  • Armstrong Telecom (Binghamton, NY)
  • Parallel Technologies (Dublin, Ohio)
  • TeleCom Business Solutions
  • Matrix Communications (Plymouth, MN)
  • KKWorx, Inc. (Naperville, IL)
  • Digital Telecom, Inc. (Van Nuys, CA)
  • Black Box Network Services (Northwest)
  • NATG (Abbotsford, BC)
  • Empire Communications (Windsor, ON)
  • Scharfstein, S.A.(Santiago, Chile)

While the Advantage conference is designed for both consultants and dealers, NEC hosted a conference for customers a few days later. The 2012 NEC Customer Technology Expo (CTE) was held May 20-23 at the same location.

ProgrammableFlow and Windows Server 2012 deliver Software Defined Networking to Private Cloud

NEC ProgrammableFlow selected as Finalist for Microsoft Best of Tech Ed North America

ProgrammableFlow has been selected as a finalist for The Microsoft Best of TechEd (BOTE) North America Awards, produced by Windows IT Pro, SQL Server Pro, SharePoint Pro and Dev Pro, which recognizes innovative products and services being showcased this week in Orlando at Microsoft TechEd.  More than 300 products were nominated with finalists selected in 15 categories.  ProgrammableFlow is a finalist in the Networking category.

All registered attendees can vote for ProgrammableFlow to win by visiting the Best of TechEd webpage before 2 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday, June 13.

As reported in a previous press release, we demonstrated a ProgrammableFlow Virtual Switch for Windows Server 2012 at Microsoft BUILD last fall.  We are continuing to march forward, in lock-step with Microsoft, leveraging the Hyper-V Extensible Switch application programming interface (API) to deliver the exciting benefits of OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN) to Windows Server 2012 customers.

With ProgrammableFlow, the entire network can be configured and monitored and controlled from a central point, including visualizing end-to-end network flows and drag and drop configuration and network design.  Network performance is also optimized by network level load balancing across multiple paths for more available bandwidth and faster network response.

Best of Microsoft TechEd 2012 FinalistProgrammableFlow leverages OpenFlow to separate the control plane from the data plane, which allows for network-wide virtualization and programming of the network.  With ProgrammableFlow, delivery of network services and benefits are dramatically accelerated.  No longer will the network be a bottleneck for the progress of the business.

This week (June 11-14) we are demonstrating ProgrammableFlow with Hyper-V again in the Microsoft Partner Pavilion (#18) at TechEd 2012 in Orlando.  Our own Su-hun Yun will be taking the stage at 1:30 on Wednesday, June 13, during the Tech Session led by Microsoft Bob Combs in a session called “Get Hands-on with the New Hyper-V Extensible Switch in Windows Server 2012”.  He will repeat the stage demo of ProgrammableFlow with Windows Server 2012 at TechEd in Europe June 29.  And we recently completed a short video on the capabilities, which you can access on the NEC YouTube channel here.  Stop by at TechEd and view this exciting new capability live if you are there!

 

NEC, six partners demonstrate Software Defined Network Interoperability at Interop booth 815

NEC was host to six great partners Tuesday, May 8, as we demoed live a ground-breaking Interoperable OpenFlow Fabric featuring Brocade, Extreme Networks, IBM System Networking, Intel, Microsoft and Radware, all controlled by Best of Interop Grand Prize winner, NEC ProgrammableFlow Controller PF6800 v2.  Press and analysts were invited to our first demo of the morning, where we were joined by knowledgeable representatives from each of the partners.

SDN Partner logosKicking off the day and welcoming our guests was our own Don Clark, soon joined by Samrat Ganguly, Chief Network Architect for ProgrammableFlow.  Samrat   demonstrated the functioning network, showcased the contributions of all six companies in a single, programmable network.  It was the first time an interoperable OpenFlow fabric has been demonstrated.  This new ecosystem is a viable alternative to inflexible, closed and proprietary network infrastructures.

Microsoft’s Ross Ortega, Principle Program Manager, Windows Networking, gave a fascinating perspective of how Microsoft sees the private cloud changing the industry landscape, and how a virtual network controlled by ProgrammableFlow provides the flexibility and time-saving benefits customers seek.   Following Ross was Radware’s VP of Technology, Amir Peles, who shared another first:  a security application built on top of ProgrammableFlow-Radware Attack Mitigation System, announced just this week.

NEC SDN partner demoVice President of Technology, Shehzad Merchant of Extreme Networks, talked about the benefits of an open Software Defined Network spanning enterprise infrastructure from mobility to WAN, providing break-through flexibility.  And Daniel Williams, Director of Product Marketing at Brocade described an open ecosystem that will give customers previously unknown flexibility with their hybrid switches that operate in either an OpenFlow environment or a standard L2/L3 network.

Intel’s Gary Lee, from Intel’s Switch and Router Division Product Marketing, talked of their support for Software Defined Networks, an area they believe shows great promise in the future.  And Rakesh Saha from IBM rounded the session out sharing his perspective on SDN and our ongoing collaboration with IBM System Networking.

To the delight of a standing room only crowd, NEC French Telecom customer, research scientist Christos Kolias, spoke later in the day on the company’s OpenFlow experiences to date.

We look forward to seeing you today in booth 815, our last day at Interop!