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 Shines in Enterprise Connect Mock RFP

UNIVERGE 3C™ Unified Communications and Collaboration software platform excels with its mobility and collaboration capabilities.

At a leading industry conference and expo, Enterprise Connect 2012, NEC responded to the mock Unified Communications (UC) Request for Proposal (RFP).  The NEC UNIVERGE 3C Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) software platform received the highest score in the key UC conferencing category and was tied with two other competitors for the top spot in the area of mobility.

NEC participated in two different RFPs focused on UC without a new PBX and UC as part of a new PBX purchase.  The RFPs were developed collectively by UniComm Consulting and Stein Consulting.  The recently announced next generation of NEC’s UC&C software platform, UNIVERGE 3C, scored high overall on both RFP submissions.  During the UC as part of a new PBX session, David Stein, of Stein Consulting congratulated NEC on the significant difference in this next generation product.

NEC UNIVERGE 3C Excels in Mobility and Collaboration CategoriesThe UNIVERGE 3C software platform services enterprises, medium sized businesses, and Cloud operators.  It utilizes a service-oriented architecture and open standards (e.g. SIP, XMPP), to provide the utmost in adaptability.  The UNIVERGE 3C Unified Communications and Collaboration platform integrates a RIA (Rich Internet Applications) framework as a web-oriented architecture (WOA) enabling an entirely new user experience. For IT, this provides a very natural fit into enterprise web architectures, leverages standard security methods (e.g. HTTPS/SSL, certificates), and simplifies delivery of collaborative tools for business end users. For end-users, this offers a very consistent, rich user experience anywhere on virtually any device.

NEC offers a strong migration path for its customers wanting to deploy UC solutions and this was reflected by the ratings received in the RFP created by UniComm Consulting titled “UC without a new PBX”.  Along with seven other competitors NEC submitted a response to this RFP, which concerned a business with 2,000 users and required presence, IM, click-to-communicate functionality along with support for mobile communications and CEBP applications.

In particular, NEC ranked top in the UC conferencing capability with a score of 8.86 on a 10 point scale.  UNIVERGE 3C’s robust collaboration services software enables all users to selectively utilize audio, video, screen sharing, document presentation, file sharing, remote control, co-browsing, voting/polling and more to provide a rich and engaging user experience that promotes collaboration.  It is designed to apply to a wide range of professional areas, enabling enterprises to utilize common software infrastructure across different parts of their organizations, resulting in greater efficiencies from their IT investment.

Nomadic work styles continue to be a growing trend with today’s workforce.  IDC predicts that by 2015 the world’s mobile worker population will reach 1.3 billion people, representing 37.2% of the total workforce.*  In order to be productive these mobile workers need easy access to contacts and key collaboration applications even while away from their offices.  NEC was one of the top rated companies, along with RIM and IBM, in the mobility category.  UNIVERGE 3C optimizes workforce productivity by offering rich clients not only for desktops, but for mobile devices as well and all with a consistent user experience.  Employees can easily connect from any location on virtually any device and initiate a collaboration session with co-workers, customers or partners.

Click here to learn more information on UNIVERGE 3C and Unified Communications

*Source:  IDC Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011-2015 Forecast, December 2011

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!

NEC ProgrammableFlow Version 2 takes home coveted Best of Interop Grand Prize Award

Best_Interop_Award_2012_Winner_BannerIt was a banner Day 1 at Interop in Las Vegas for the ProgrammableFlow team.  Sitting in the expectant audience, listening as each of the eight Best of Interop (BOI) winners were announced, we were gratified to win Best of Interop in Management, Monitoring and Testing.  The competition was tough, against 40 other innovators and applicants in the category, including Riverbed’s Virtual Cascade Shark and Net Optics’ Spyke appliance.  However, according to the lead judge it was hard to beat something as unique as the NEC PF6800 ProgrammableFlow Controller when there’s “nothing comparable on the market today.”

And just as we had settled again into our seats, we were back on our feet in excitement:  the NEC ProgrammableFlow PF6800 Controller had won the Grand Prize—the best of the Best of Interop! According to lead judge Stephen Hill, “the ProgrammableFlow Controller PF6800 from NEC delivered the innovation, insight, and advanced thinking expected of a Best of Interop Grand Prize winner. ”  Read his thoughts in Information Week’s Best of Interop 2012:  Award Winners.  More details can be found in the press release appearing on the NEC Corporation of America website.

We have been working in the OpenFlow arena since the founding of the Clean Slate Lab in 2007 at Stanford University.  Atsushi Iwata, who leads the NEC R&D effort for ProgrammableFlow, understood the promise and the vision, and wrote a proposal that resulted in NEC providing funding for those very first efforts-along with Deutsche Telecom and Stanford itself.  Atsushi spent three years at the University working alongside the brilliant engineers and faculty at Clean Slate who developed the initial OpenFlow protocol.  Then, taking his knowledge back to NEC, Atsushi and his dedicated team have leveraged the protocol to develop the first OpenFlow fabric, providing complete network virtualization:  ProgrammableFlow.

You may remember, we also won 2011 Best of Interop award in the Infrastructure category with the ProgrammableFlow 1/10 GbE switch.  At last year’s show we were the first to announce delivery of a Generally Available OpenFlow product family.  At the time, OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN) were an enigma to most network architects and IT managers.  Now the industry is awakening to the promise of SDN and NEC is proud to be in the forefront of this revolutionary movement.

Congratulations go out to the ProgrammableFlow team – on both sides of the Pacific! Here are a few of our members celebrating the award this afternoon at Interop.

NEC_Best_Interop_Winners

IBM System Networking Supports Industry Standard Open Data Centers with Interoperable Networks

SDN-architecture-openflowThe modern data center is going through an unprecedented transformation, as customers attempt to deploy new applications in a highly virtualized, cloud-based environment.  What is clear is that traditional networks are not suited to handling the traffic patterns and volumes created by these more agile cloud-computing environments.  What we also know is that centralizing network intelligence through software-defined networking (SDN) has emerged as the preferred approach to solving the Big Data / network bottleneck conundrum.

Today the IBM System Networking released a series of technical papers that further support and underline industry standards unfolding around SDN and OpenFlow, a protocol developed at Stanford University offering an open-standards approach to SDN.

Both IBM and NEC are strong supporters of industry standards within the data center network, and we’re pleased to endorse the series of technical briefs known as Open Datacenter Interoperable Network (ODIN).  In addition to OpenFlow, the IBM papers will cover other standards such as IEEE 802.1Qbg and FCoE.

Casimer DeCusatis, Ph.D., an IBM Distinguished Engineer, wrote the ODIN on SDN architecture.  In it, he points to the logical view of the SDN architecture, using a diagram developed by members of the Open Networking Foundation (ONF).  NEC was a founding member at ONF, and participated in developing this view of SDN.  We strongly support IBM in their discussions around this standardized network architecture, depicted here.

You can read the full texts of IBM ODIN papers at on the IBM System Networking website.   You can also follow Casimer DeCusatis on his blog  or on Twitter for further updates.  And, of course, you can read and learn more about ProgrammableFlow at www.necam.com/pflow.  In January, NEC announced its SDN collaboration with IBM.