NEC adds to OpenFlow / SDN Fabric with 10/40GbE core switch

Today, NEC announced the ProgrammableFlow PF5820 10/40GbE OpenFlow switch, an extension of its Software Defined Network (SDN) architecture. The PF5820 joins the ProgrammableFlow controller, the PF5240 1/10GbE switch, and a visualization monitor which portrays end-to-end network flows at-a-glance.  ProgrammableFlow has been shipping since May and has been in production for a full year in our early adopters’ data center networks, including Nippon Express and Genesis Hosting Solutions.

ProgrammableFlow has grabbed the attention of industry watchers, and a demo of our award-winning technology took the recent Network Field Day 2 two-day event by storm.  Listen in as Network Engineers Greg Ferro, Ivan Peopnjak, Derick Winkworthand Ethan Bankstalk about “Why OpenFlow has Mind-Melting Potential”on their 76th podcast broadcast on November 20, archived at

NEC-UNIVERGE-ProgrammableFlow-OpenFlow-PF5820That said, we are adding to the leadership position NEC has staked out with this new core OpenFlow switch. This energy-efficient hardware provides high throughput, with low latency, delivering 1.28 Terabits of switching performance with a compact footprint.  The PF5820 is designed for building high performance, secure, and programmable networks.

One Software Defined Network using the PF5820 is called The Open Science, Scholarship and Services Exchange (OS3E)Internet2and Indiana University, two of the three partners behind the OS3E (the third partner is Stanford University’s Clean Slate Program) conducted a webinar last week to educate Internet2 members and other interested institutions and enterprises on how they can leverage OS3E to conduct network innovation and support global scientific research.   You can check out their use cases and support for the PF5820 by downloading the webinar presentation here.

A bit more information on the new switch:  the PF5820 provides 48 10GbE SFP+ ports plus 4 QSFP+ ports that operate at 40GbE or as 16 additional 10GbE ports providing a total of 64 10GbE ports in one switch.  Built for reliability, the PF5820 design includes optional front-to-back or back-to-front airflow, redundant, hot-swappable AC power supplies, The PF5240 supports the OpenFlow 1.0 specification today and we currently plan to support future versions as they are approved and deemed suitable for widespread deployment.

Learn more about the PF5820 or ProgrammableFlow by accessing our website at www.necam/pflow, or call the NEC sales team at 866-632-3226 to book an appointment with a NEC account representative today.  We look forward to talking to you directly about ProgrammableFlow and OpenFlow – and why last week even The New York Times was talking about the promise of this new technology.

NEC leverages OpenFlow to reduce transmission overload on cellular networks

NEC-ProgrammableFlow-OpenFlow-AndroidNEC continues to be a leader in the OpenFlow innovation movement.  This week in Tokyo our colleagues in Japan at NEC Corporation are demonstrating another first:  OpenFlow for Android, at iExpo in Tokyo on November 11 and 12.

Atsushi Iwata, NEC’s Senior Manager for System Platforms Research Labs, presented our findings at the Stanford Clean Slate CTO Summit this week.  Just a side note:  for those of you unfamiliar with Clean Slate, this is the interdisciplinary research program out of Stanford that has set the ambitious mission of “reinventing the Internet”.   A number of initiatives and innovations have come from Clean Slate, not the least of which is OpenFlow 1.0.  NEC, Deutsche Telekom and Stanford were the original charter members of Clean Slate, so as you can see we have been working with OpenFlow now for almost four years.

As detailed in an NEC news release recently, the Communication Control Technologies for networks and mobile devices being demoed at iExpo 2011 are designed to help reduce transmission overload for mobile carriers and customers.  Today communication carriers use data offload to deal with increases in cellular network traffic, automatically switching wireless connections from cellular networks to other high-speed wireless networks, like wireless LAN, when they are available.

The problem with this scenario is that wireless LAN connections are frequently lost due to limited coverage (those of you in major US cities surely know about this), and security is weaker than cellular networks.

NEC’s OpenFlow controller can control mobile device communication and select the most appropriate network, for higher quality, more flexible communication services.  The technology also leverages the advantages of different networks simultaneously; for example, the high-speed networking of wireless LAN can be offered at the same time as the connectivity and security of cellular networks.  This OpenFlow demonstration will control mobile device communications and switch functionality for Android.

Business policy and application needs can drive mobile communications and network switching for a more responsive, agile network and improved communications quality.   And Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO), who provide mobile phone services using the infrastructure of other carriers, can select connections from multiple mobile networks with NEC’s OpenFlow controller on the network side, further enhancing their service offering.

One of the big questions coming out of this month’s OpenFlow Symposium in San Jose was around OpenFlow use cases… providing control for networks and mobile devices to reduce transmission overload surely will stir some interest.

For more information on the iExpo demo read the press release here.  Or check out what ProgrammableFlow can do for you today at

ProgrammableFlow at SC11 November 14-17

NEC-Openflow-ProgrammableflowWith SuperComputing 2011 (SC11) around the corner we have an exciting week planned coming up.  NEC will be collaborating with Raid, we demonstrate the interoperability of our ProgrammableFlow solution at SC11 next week, November 14-17 in Seattle, WA.  If you are in the Seattle area, or attending Supercomputing, the OpenFlow ProgrammableFlow virtual demo will be located at the Raid booth 2543.  It will feature a demonstration of how NEC uses OpenFlow to virtualize the network.

Also at SuperComputing will be the SCinet Research Sandbox (SRS), a joint effort with the SC11 Technical Program that will allow network researchers to experimentally test their ideas in the unique environment of the SCinet network.  The SC11 SRS will for the first time feature a 10 Gbps, multi-vendor OpenFlow network testbed, including ProgrammableFlow switches from NEC.


Customers who depend on HPC are typically great matches for a network that is programmable.  This significant innovation will provide them with a programmable network infrastructure for high capacity, low latency, secure networks.

Learn more at the SC11 OpenFlow sessions, showcased as part of the Disruptive Technologies within the technical program.  You can explore these sessions and schedule them at SC11.

Stop by the main NEC booth, 2331, on the show floor to see our other high performance computing solutions.  We will have the ProgrammableFlow literature there for you to check out, and of course you can feel free to circle questions or interest back through the website, or call our Tech Support staff at (877) 632-0064.


OpenFlow Happenings: join us to learn about this transformative technology


Awareness of the benefits of OpenFlow continues to grow, and the ProgrammableFlow team will be making a number of appearances in the next few weeks to participate in the discussion.  We would love to have you join us.

First off, take a moment to follow our new Twitter handle at

Samrat GangulyLive this week from where it all began – the Clean Slate Program, in conjunction with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) hosted the Open Networking Summit 2011, October 17-19 at Stanford.  The sold-out program featured tutorials on OpenFlow/SDN for engineers, and NEC’s Chief Network Architect, Samrat Ganguly, was a featured speaker on Tuesday, from 2 p.m. to 3:30pm, on the topic of “Redefining Network Virtualization for Cloud and Datacenter Networks with OpenFlow”.  NEC and IBM demonstrated how OpenFlow can be used to build high performance, open, data center fabrics.  The ProgrammableFlow switch and controller were featured in a number of other demonstrations.

October 25 is the OpenFlow Symposium, streamed live via Packet Pushers from the Doubletree Hotel in Silicon Valley.  In addition to NEC, panelists include Google, Yahoo, Cisco, Big Switch and Juniper.  From 10 a.m. – 12a.m. will be a business discussion around practical and applied OpenFlow Networks, and then from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. will be a technical deep dive, again with a representative panel including NEC.   Both sessions will be archived at  This event is also sold out.


On October 27th, NEC will be hosting a dozen bloggers at our Santa Clara facility.  We’ll be reporting more later on this, and for sure you will be reading about us in the days to come.   Check out this link for Tech Field Day, which will be filmed live, and tweeted at length—you may want to add some of these Twitter feeds to your Follow list:

Finally, I want to tell you about the Advanced TCA Summit, a free OpenFlow seminar planned for Tuesday, November 1 from 8:30-11:20 a.m., also at the San Jose DoubleTreee.  Register at and use the code OPENFLOW.  Chaired by Craig Matsumoto of Light Reading, this free seminar will feature speakers from BigSwitch Networks, Broadcom, and NEC.  I will be addressing “Network Scale Out Using OpenFlow:  the Rise of the Superswitch” from 10:30 a.m. – 11a.m.


NEC and ESnet Present “OpenFlow with OSCARS” at Joint Techs 2011 Event

NEC and ESnet demonstrated network virtualization across wide-area networks at Joint Techs.Samrat Ganguly, Senior Systems Architect, for NEC Corporation of America (NEC) paired off this week with Inder Monga from ESnetat Joint Techs 2011 in Fairbanks, Alaskato present “OpenFlow with OSCARS:  Bridging the gap between campus, data centers and the WAN.” They were demonstrating for the first time end-to-end network virtualization across both LANs and multiple WANs, with the ability to program the network via ProgrammableFlow.  This has implications for both the researchers attending Internet2 Joint Techs, and their ability to connect and collaborate all the way through their networks, as well as enterprises implementing clouds across multiple data center sites in delivering IT services rapidly to their lines of business.

If you aren’t familiar with ESnet, it stands for the Energy Sciences Network, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.  They provide high bandwidth connections that link scientists at national laboratories, universities and other research institutions, as they work together to solve the world’s biggest scientific problems.  Because of our OpenFlow expertise and capabilities, and dating back to NEC’s initial involvement on the Clean Slateprogram at Stanford University, we were invited to work with ESnet on this exciting virtualization and automation implementation.

Even though science networking uses network virtualization today, mismatches still exist between campus networks, HPC data centers and R&E networks.   These typically require manual intervention and limit network control and flexibility.   The presentation from Ganguly and Monga demonstrated end-to-end network virtualization and flow management, making networks much easier to manage and control.

In my experience, enterprise customers need to reduce the time required for network deployment, reduce operational complexity, and enable network level automation in supporting diverse application requirements.  Now, with the open source toolkit supplied by ESnet’s On-Demand Secure Circuits and Advance Reservation System (OSCARS), and ProgrammableFlow, together they will provide the automation and secure network service provisioning that scientists and industry need to maximize the full potential of cloud computing.

Networking researchers and administrators can access OpenFlow’s capabilities on ESnet’s Advanced Networking Initiative (ANI) testbed, using NEC ProgrammableFlow switches to test out advanced concepts in networking.  More information can be found at   The media advisory about Ganguly’s presentation is at

And for those of you who missed our press release announcing ProgrammableFlowat Interop, learn more about our award-winning Network platform based on OpenFlow at NEC website, or call today 866-632-3226 to set up at test of ProgrammableFlow at your own installation.