NEC teams with Microsoft for flexible, open, standards-based SDN for the cloud

In case you missed it, NEC announced on October 7 the general availability of their integrated compute and network orchestration solution for Microsoft Hyper-V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager customers. The streamlined infrastructure solution, with a REST-based northbound interface to applications from the ProgrammableFlow Software-defined Network and the integration with Virtual Machine Manager, enables application-aware networking and unprecedented levels of control and flexibility.

Mike Schutz, General Manager of Microsoft Product Marketing for the Server and Tools Group, talks about the collaboration between these strategic partners and the benefits customers can expect in a new video entitled NEC and Microsoft: Delivering Open, Standards-based SDN for Cloud. NEC is looking forward to demonstrating the technology at Microsoft TechEd May 12-15 in Houston, TX.

As a re-cap, here are key benefits customers can expect from this award-winning SDN solution:

  • Radically speeds network provisioning and configuration
  • Control data center traffic flow on a granular level, including dynamic, supplication-centric security policy for reduced OpEx and CapEx
  • Apply business policy consistently and automatically across the compute and network infrastructure for greater responsiveness to the business
  • Increase network visibility for greater manageability and accelerated troubleshooting
  • Enable isolated, secure multi-tenant networks for private clouds to meet compliance and service level goals
  • Improve throughput with the server and across the network fabric
  • Reduce power and footprint over traditional networks, with savings up to 80%
  • Scales to thousands of virtual networks, and hundreds of thousands of VMs
  • Provide an open, standards-based architecture for investment protection
  • Add, move or change virtual and physical networks in seconds from Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, shaving days or weeks from traditional deployment models

For more information, go to necam.com/sdn, or customers can contact either NEC or their Microsoft reseller for further information.

Is your company seeking business agility? Uncovering the Business Value of SDN

Gartner, in their research note, Ending the Confusion about Software-Defined Networking: A Taxonomy, published in March of 2013, states that “SDN is a new approach to designing, building and operating networks that support business agility. SDN brings a similar degree of agility to networks that abstraction, virtualization and orchestration have brought to server infrastructure.” If your company or organization is seeking agility, if competitors are nipping at your heels and the management team is constantly trying to move faster, more efficiently and innovatively, you will want to explore the benefits provided by this transformational technology: Software-defined Networking.

joe skorupa play image

Hear first-hand SDN thought leaders from NEC, IBM and featured analyst firm Gartner Research, talk about the business benefits of software-defined networking.

In a new interactive video, available from NEC and featuring SDN thought leaders from NEC, IBM, and Featured Analyst Firm Gartner, key questions are explored:

  • What is SDN and what are the key characteristics?
  • What business issues are propelling this technology?
  • What is the role of OpenFlow in SDN?
  • What are key SDN Use Cases?
  • How can a customer get started with SDN?

NEC has seen real benefits unfold for customers operating with ProgrammableFlow SDN in production today – some customers now with the PF6800 controller and OpenFlow-based switches have been functioning effectively for 2 years (including NEC’s own software development organization)! Examples of these key benefits have included:

  • Elimination of outsourced network engineers no longer necessary for network configuration assignments, saving one company over $70K annually
  • Reduction of resource usage, including power and square footage, by as much as 80% for another global Supply Chain leader
  • Indefinite delay of server purchases saving capital expenses at NEC itself
  • Operating expense savings at yet another customer in the area of 80% annually.
  • And at a service provider implemented in 2013, the new virtual hosting design and configuration enables the company to establish new customers on the day the order is placed, rather than 2-3 days later
  • This same customer has experienced decreases of 40% in the time spent on network maintenance, and a reduction of 90%+ in the time it takes to troubleshoot network issues, enabling the company to meet and exceed their Service Level Agreements

Learn more about the transformative benefits you can expect with this break-through technology. Watch the video today, and contact NEC to arrange your SDN pilot in 2014.

ONF Honors NEC as First Vendor to Certify for OpenFlow 1.0 Conformance

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), a user-driven organization focused on the promotion and adoption of Software-defined Networking (SDN) through open standards development, has awarded NEC Corporation (NEC) with the first Certificate of Conformance offered through the ONF’s OpenFlow Conformance Testing Program. A Certificate of Conformance from ONF is the highest level of assurance available in the market today to confirm OpenFlow specification compliance.

dan pitt, don clark, and fabian-schneider with the nec openflow certificate of conformance

Dan Pitt, ONF Executive Director, presents Don Clark, Director of Business Strategy, NEC Corporation, and Fabian Schneider, Vice Chair of the ONF Architecture Working Group, and Senior Researcher at NEC Labs, with the Certificate of Conformance

NEC’s ProgrammableFlow® Switches PF5240 and the PF5248 both earned the OpenFlow Switch Specification 1.0.1 certificate. Testing of NEC’s switches was conducted by the Indiana Center for Translational Research and Education (InCNTRE). The ONF OpenFlow Conformance Testing program was introduced in July 2013, and works with independent labs approved for ONF testing. Once the test specification requirements are met, the certificate of conformance is issued, validating that a company is using current technology and is guaranteed to accurately implement the OpenFlow specification.

OpenFlow ConformantWhen the program was first rolled out, Rick Bauer, technical program manager at ONF, commented: “the ONF OpenFlow Conformance Program underscores an organization’s dedication to end users. The program assures that the products purchased and implemented are deployment-ready for end users’ networking environments, as well as future-looking for compatibility with the increasing number of SDN solutions built on an OpenFlow foundation.” He concluded that “the certified products deliver predictable results, reinforcing the end users’ overall confidence in the vendor.”

This certification from ONF underlines NEC’s commitment to OpenFlow standards and to innovative network solutions. Vendors with certified products assert their commitment to both the OpenFlow specification and the benefits it provides customers, including interoperability and best-of-breed network solutions resulting in cost-effective networks delivering business agility.

It is interesting to note that Red Hat previously certified NEC ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite for the OpenStack Neutron plug-in. And earlier this year the ProgrammableFlow virtual switch for Hyper-V, the PF1000, was certified by the Microsoft Server 2012 team.

To pilot NEC’s ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite and the certified switches, please contact your NEC account manager or your local NEC reseller. More information on NEC’s award-winning SDN solutions can also be found at www.necam.com/sdn.

NEC collaborates with Microsoft to transform the data center with Software-defined Networking

ProgrammableFlow® PF1000 Virtual Switch, now Microsoft certified and integrated with System Center Virtual Machine Manager, goes live

Integrated network and compute orchestration will soon be generally available for all Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V customers using R2, System Center Virtual Machine Manager , and NEC ProgrammableFlow® Networking Suite. We first demonstrated this unified, intelligent, and open virtualization solution at TechEd in June, documented here on NEC Today for our followers. As of Nov. 1, 2013, Microsoft and NEC joint customers will command new levels of IT flexibility and automation with dynamic management and allocation of pooled network resources, as well as their compute and storage pools, all from a central point of control.

Up to now, even as virtual machines and storage have been readily migrated and allocated to applications, the associated networks have presented a bottleneck to delivery of services. The manual processes and complexity of conventional networks have limited the agility of network services. Furthermore, traditional network designs have limited performance and throughput.

Combining both System Center Virtual Machine Manager and ProgrammableFlow Networking delivers real benefits and provides the platform to achieve new levels of agility:

  • Add, move or change virtual and physical networks in seconds from Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager, shaving days or even weeks from traditional deployment models
  • Control data center traffic flow on a granular level, including dynamic, application-centric security policy for reduced OpEx and CapEx
  • Dramatically improve throughput within the server and across the network fabric
  • Apply business policy consistently across the network and compute infrastructure, enabling a more cost-effective and flexible network that responds to the needs of the business
  • Enable isolated, secure multi-tenant networks for private clouds to meet compliance and Service Level goals
  • Scale to thousands of virtual networks, and hundreds of thousands of VMs
  • Obtain network visibility and end-to-end QoS for better management of Service Level Agreements and accelerated troubleshooting
  • Reduce power and footprint over traditional networks, with savings up to 80%
  • Simplify multi-data center deployment

Generally Available Nov. 1: ProgrammableFlow Networking with System Center Virtual Machine Manager

The NEC ProgrammableFlow Network Suite integrates OpenFlow-based Software-Defined Networking (SDN) with Server Virtualization Management (VM), provisioned and orchestrated by System Center Virtual Machine Manager. This integration simplifies additions, deletions and changes to large-scale Hyper-V environments. When administrators create a virtual network in the System Center Virtual Machine Manager workflow, ProgrammableFlow SDN dynamically provisions network services. The virtual and physical network policy is deployed automatically. Because the ProgrammableFlow Networking suite uses the OpenFlow protocol, both the physical switch and Hyper-V extensible vSwitch (together with the PF1000) are dynamically provisioned and controlled, enabling complete integration of network and workload policy. These settings can also be done remotely in the Hyper-V host, enabling lower operational costs by automating network management settings such as VLAN settings for VM.

As depicted here, when a VM is created in System Center Virtual Machine Manager and is connected to a ProgrammableFlow network, the workflow will be automatically mapped to the network – without the administrator knowing ProgrammableFlow-specific operations.

ProgrammableFlow PF1000 OpenFlow virtual switch Windows Server 2012 R2 certified

microsoft windows server 2012 certifiedNEC is also pleased to announce that the ProgrammableFlow PF1000 vSwitch has been certified under the Windows Server 2012 R2 program. This program identifies hardware and software solutions that meet Microsoft standards for compatibility and recommended practices with the respective Windows Server operating systems. NEC’s ProgrammableFlow PF1000 is the first OpenFlow-based vSwitch certified under the Windows Server 2012 program. The ProgrammableFlow PF1000 is available for download free from NEC.

For information on the ProgrammableFlow PF6800 controller, integrated with System Center Virtual Machine Manager, see your Microsoft or NEC reseller, or visit http://www.necam.com/sdn today.

NEC unveils Version 5 of ProgrammableFlow® Networking Suite, featuring OpenFlow 1.3

NEC unveils Version 5 of ProgrammableFlow® Networking Suite, featuring OpenFlow 1.3
Plans to demonstrate SDN technology and SDN ecosystem at Interop New York September 30-October 4

The ProgrammableFlow Networking team rolled out another market-leading version of its high performance OpenFlow Network Fabric last week.  First to support the OpenFlow 1.3 standard with a generally available SDN controller, NEC also announced new levels of scalability, up to 200 switches per controller, advanced performance and reliability characteristics-including Ether OAM and IP Multi-cast capabilities, important for the big content providers.  NEC has also expanded its network visualization capabilities, which of course have been integrated with the controller from inception, and include the ability to monitor end-to-end network flows from a central point.

NEC SDN ProgrammableFlow Suite

Johns Hopkins Physics Lab has implemented Version 5 to leverage the new OpenStack Grizzly interface.  OpenStack Grizzly delivers new levels of stability, and coupled with ProgrammableFlow SDN, enables integrated orchestration of compute and network resources.

NEC SDN Interop 2013

Version 5 will be featured by NEC at Interop New York this week at the Javits Center:

  • Version 5 of NEC’s ProgrammableFlow Software-defined Networking (SDN) solution will be showcased on the Expo floor, Booth 437.  Version 5 features the most advanced SDN controller on the market today, now scaling to 200 switches, with advanced performance characteristics including Ether OAM and Multi-cast capabilities
  • Demos will also feature the ProgrammableFlow northbound API, helping organizations proactively and automatically manage, secure and optimize their networks through SDN.  Applications leveraging this interface on the show floor will be:
    • SDN Management:  Red Hat’s Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform
    • SDN Security:  Radware’s DefenseFlow attack detection framework, ISC8’s Cyber Adapt and Armor5 Enterprise Mobile Security
    • SDN Optimization:  A10 AX Series Application Delivery Controller

These services build on the open ecosystem represented by the NEC SDN Application Center first announced in May at Interop, Las Vegas.

Also at Interop, customers and NEC leaders will be discussing the business and technical impact of SDN:

  • Customer Rob Cannistra, of Marist College, NY.  Marist is an early adopter of SDN both from an enterprise and a research perspective.  He is speaking of his experience on the “End User Perspective” on Tuesday, October 1, from 3:45pm-4:30, moderated by Jim Metzler of Ashton, Metzler and Associates.
  • Thursday’s keynote at 10 a.m. will feature Kevin Hooper,  SVP at NEC Corporation of America, appearing on an SDN panel with representatives from HP, Cisco and Facebook
  • Samrat Ganguly, Chief Network Architect for NEC Corporation of America, will also participate on an SDN Workshop panel from 2:15-3pm Tuesday.

If you are in the New York area or attending Interop, please visit us on the show floor, Booth  437, to see working SDN today!

Later in the month in NYC, NEC will attend the Open User Network Group (ONUG) hosted by JP Morgan and Lippis Consulting.  ONUG will feature early adopters of SDN networking speaking on their experiences.  NEC will be demonstrating ProgrammableFlow Version 5 and integration with other switch vendors and third-party network and orchestration applications.

Watch this video to learn more about SDN.