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 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.
As 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.