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.

NEC featured at Software-Defined Data Center Symposium Tuesday, September 10

We are getting ready for an exciting event next Tuesday, September 10, at the Tech Mart in Silicon Valley (Santa Clara). NEC Today followers who are unable to attend can view it live on this web site The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) Symposium, which will be produced by Packet Pushers, SDN Central and Tech Field Day, and sponsored by NEC. This event was sold out shortly after being announced a month ago, and promises to be a real winner with a keynote appearance by Alan Boeheme, Chief of Enterprise Architecture at Coca-Cola Company, talking about how Coca-Cola is building SDDCs.

sdncentral sddc13

Hosting panels on a variety of topics in the afternoon will be Jim Duffy, editor-in-chief of Network World, Greg Ferro of Packet Pusher fame, Ivan Peplnjak of iosHints (leading the panel on SDDC Architecture), and Tom Hollingsworth of Network Field Day and Gestalt Media. We are looking forward to hearing what all of these luminaries have to share!

Presenting from NEC will be Don Clark, director of business development, who will speak beginning at 9:30 a.m. PST. Don will describe the role of openness, visibility and programmability in the Software Defined Data Center and how business that embrace SDDC are driving higher levels of agility and efficiency. Since the event is sold out, NEC has chosen to stream it live from this NEC Today page. So come back here next Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. PST to view Don’s presentation!

Also featured on the agenda is Samrat Ganguly, NEC’s chief architect for ProgrammableFlow, joining a panel moderated by Ivan Peplnjak at 2 p.m. PST and discussing next-generation Software-defined Data Center Architecture. Finally, you won’t want to miss David Cheperdak, NEC ProgrammableFlow systems engineer, on a panel from 4:15-5p.m. PST as he discusses with colleagues, including Tom Hollingsworth, how applications are changing the way a typical SDDC is designed and implemented.

NEC is pleased to invite you to the “Symposium after the Symposium” beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Tech Mart. Join us for a discussion of the day’s events and findings. And be sure to check back here on Tuesday for all of the presentations streamed via live video feed!

NEC to demonstrate integrated server and network virtualization orchestration at TechEd

After delivering the first Windows 2012 extensible vSwitch for Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, the ProgrammableFlow PF1000, NEC is continuing to collaborate with Microsoft for the benefit of Windows Server 2012 customers. For the first time at TechEd, beginning Sunday, June 2, in New Orleans, attendees will view a demonstration of a completely integrated NEC Software-Defined Network with Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager, providing a single point of orchestration for both virtualized server and network environments.

Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager with NEC’s OpenFlow-based ProgrammableFlow solution

Microsoft’s System Center Virtual Machine Manager with NEC’s OpenFlow-based ProgrammableFlow solution provides streamlined network deployment and configuration, dramatically decreases operational costs and extends flexibility, control and automation across the network.

NEC will be leveraging its award-winning ProgrammableFlow® networking suite, including the PF6800 SDN OpenFlow-based controller, and the new PF1000 vSwitch, to enable complete network virtualization and automated, dynamic network management.

NEC’s ProgrammableFlow networking suite adapts to changing workload needs by abstracting from the physical network, controlling data center traffic flows, and enabling integrated policies that span both the physical and virtual networks. The Virtual Tenant Network (VTN) function enables ProgrammableFlow customers to easily configure and manage isolated and secure virtual networks as required by many use cases.

Integrated SDN solution promises flexibility, control, automation and reduced OpEx
The integrated NEC ProgrammableFlow and Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager solution promises benefits in four key areas: increased flexibility, control, automation and operational expense savings. While the integration with System Center Virtual Machine Manager is new, ProgrammableFlow is currently in production in multiple global and North American installations with documented results.

From a flexibility perspective, the virtual network abstraction provides a new level of flexibility similar to what server virtualization delivered. In the past, physical networks could not be easily redeployed or changed. Complete network virtualization allows for virtual networks that can be easily modified and moved. This may be the use case that many seek when looking for Software-Defined Networking (SDN) solutions. Flexibility also results from ProgrammableFlow’s multi-tenant networking. The ability to isolate secure virtual networks to match business requirements is a new and exciting product of ProgrammableFlow’s Virtual Tenant Networking.

New levels of control are enabled with the ability to set policies across the network – all from a centralized point. The ProgrammableFlow networking suite further allows for bandwidth control, and dynamic traffic control with network-wide Quality of Service (QoS) that allows customers to prioritize traffic across the network and mitigate or eliminate bottlenecks on key workloads or designated network flows.

ProgrammableFlow network suite integrated with System Center Virtual Machine Manager delivers unmatched network automation. It enables customers to move VMs between physical hosts with business policy moving with the VM and routing of packets automatically updated – transparent to the administrator and to the user. As a further aid to managers moving virtual machines, end-to-end flows can now be viewed on the management console, providing new insight on network status. Dynamic, policy-driven network configuration and reconfiguration becomes increasingly important when considering the imperative of business agility, and System Center Virtual Machine Manager ties together these benefits when considering the control across hundreds or even thousands of VMs and their supporting networks.

Reducing complexity and eliminating many manual tasks drive operational savings from the integration of System Center Virtual Machine Manager and ProgrammableFlow. Kanazawa University Hospital reported the deployment of software defined networking will produce operational cost savings of as much as 80%. Genesis Hosting Services is on record with a significant drop in network programming. Nippon Express looked at energy savings exceeding 50% over conventional networks, and last week SDN Central reported that NTT expected more than 50% OpEx savings from ProgrammableFlow SDN by the end of 2015.

For more information on Software-defined Networking and NEC’s ProgrammableFlow, please visit our web site at necam.com/sdn. Also, register for TechEd or, to follow the proceedings, go to northamerica.msteched.com.

NEC awarded first Annual Software-Defined Networking Innovation Award from Search Networking

NEC was honored to accept today the Network Innovation Award  from Search Networking.com, the first award ever given to a networking company for its work in the rapidly emerging Software-Defined Networking (SDN) arena.  In annoucing the award, Executive Editor Rivka Little commented“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.  So it is fitting that NEC is the first company to win a SearchNetworking.com Network Innovation Award in the category of Software-Defined Networking.”

Jeremy Hurley presenting award to Don ClarkJeremy Hurley, SearchNetworking.com Publisher, is shown here (left) presenting the Innovation honor to Don Clark, Director of Business Development for  the ProgrammableFlow® Open SDN product suite.  More than 400 engineering person years have been invested by NEC into this ground-breaking Software-Defined Networking solution, a commitment first begun in 2008 when NEC co-founded and helped fund The Clean Slate Lab at Stanford, the birthplace of the OpenFlow protocol.  First to market with a complete programmable networking solution in May of 2011, NEC currently offers a third version of its award-winning OpenFlow-based PF6800 controller.  In addition to the simplified and automated network originally introduced in 2011, Version 3 introduced end-to-end Quality of Service, scalability beyond  4,096 VLANs, advanced network automation and granular network management.  And just last week NEC participated with 20 other vendors at PlugFest, testing and demonstrating interoperability with multiple vendors including Broadcom, Brocade, Extreme, IBM and Juniper.

NEC openflow Networking Innovation AwardSDN marks a major change in the network landscape by moving the intelligence off proprietary routers and switches and into a centralized controller, where software enables you to design, deploy, monitor and manage the network from a single point.   The OpenFlow-based ProgrammableFlow network suite separates the control plane from the data plane, enabling this radical simplification and complete network-wide virtuallization.  Equally important, the  ProgrammableFlow Network Fabric delivers an open, standardized northbound API to enable applications to be readily added to the network and speeding service delivery and business agility.  These qualities were some of the benefits SearchNetworking editors saw in ProgrammableFlow Open SDN when they gave us the Networking Innovation Award.  We are proud to accept this honor.    To learn more about NEC’s ProgrammableFlow solution visit:  http://necam.com/pflow