IRVING, Texas--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--NEC Corporation of America (NEC), a leading provider and integrator of advanced IT and communications solutions, and a pioneer in OpenFlow-based Software Defined Networking (SDN), today announced the general availability of Version 5 of its award-winning ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite, including the ProgrammableFlow PF6800 Controller, which is the first generally available SDN controller supporting the OpenFlow 1.3 standard.
“OpenFlow 1.3 provides investment protection for customers looking for interoperable, programmable networks. NEC continues to offer best-in-class SDN, aligning Version 5 with the 1.3 open standard”
The OpenFlow 1.3 specification provides broader interoperability and features that give customers more choice when they are designing networks. Added flexibility helps customers avoid vendor lock-in and lets them take advantage of simple, scalable, secure application-aware networking.
“OpenFlow 1.3 is a vendor-neutral, production-quality standard that includes input from a wide range of vendors to define a clean interface between switch and controller functions. This process encourages a single API to drive commercialization,” said Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation.
Working with its service provider and enterprise customers, NEC designed Version 5 of the ProgrammableFlow networking suite to:
- Support more interoperability with other OpenFlow devices, even when both OpenFlow 1.0 and 1.3 versions are present in a network
- Double the scalability of the previous controller, now supporting up to 10,000 ports or 200 physical switches per controller (compared to 100 switches previously)
- Use IP Multicast, for the first time in an OpenFlow environment, to deliver a single stream of information simultaneously to multiple users. This capability reduces network congestion by streamlining traffic and maximizing resource usage.
- Interoperate with the new networking functions in OpenStack’s Grizzly release. The updated ProgrammableFlow OpenStack API brings a scalable, high performance, multi-tenant SDN infrastructure to OpenStack cloud deployments.
Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Lab needed a cloud infrastructure that enables internal clients to work within an isolated and secure virtual network. The combination of NEC’s ProgrammableFlow Version 5 networking suite, integrated with OpenStack Grizzly, provided the performance, network isolation and user-driven service model needed.
“NEC has been involved with OpenFlow-based software-defined networking (SDN) practically from the technology's inception at Stanford. Since then, NEC has played a prominent role in advancing both OpenFlow-based networking and its own ProgrammableFlow technology. With its increased sophistication and maturity, NEC's ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite is making OpenFlow more valuable in customer networks where it already has a presence, and it also is making OpenFlow increasingly attractive and relevant to growing numbers of prospective customers,” said Brad Casemore, analyst with IDC.
The ProgrammableFlow networking suite supports the policy-driven data center by directing network traffic based on business priorities, such as distributing traffic across a variety of switches to use network resources more efficiently. The ProgrammableFlow Controller PF6800 leverages OpenFlow 1.3 to determine the capacity of each link in a network with connection speeds up to 1 terabyte.
“OpenFlow 1.3 provides investment protection for customers looking for interoperable, programmable networks. NEC continues to offer best-in-class SDN, aligning Version 5 with the 1.3 open standard,” said Don Clark, director of Business Development for NEC. “Equally important, new functionality providing greater performance, availability and resiliency reduces risk and adds to the business imperative to move legacy networks to SDN.”
Granular, network-wide visibility and control from a central point
The ProgrammableFlow Controller PF6800 has an integrated network monitoring capability that has been well received by customers currently using the software in production. Version 5 extends the end-to-end network visualization capability with new physical and virtual topology mapping for more granular monitoring of critical activities – all from a central point that provides new levels of control and accelerates troubleshooting for higher network availability.
Availability is further enhanced in this latest version with a millisecond link fault detection, which dramatically decreases the time for failure recovery. This capability contributes to “Carrier-Class SDN” and provides new levels of resiliency to both service providers and large enterprise customers.
Initially launched in 2011, the ProgrammableFlow networking suite was the first commercially available SDN solution to leverage the OpenFlow protocol enabling complete network virtualization, allowing customers to easily deploy, control, monitor, and manage multi-tenant network infrastructure. Endorsed by customers, the ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite provides the first comprehensive suite that includes both physical and virtual switches as well as an SDN controller and applications. Ideally suited for corporate and service provider data centers, the ProgrammableFlow Controller PF6800 provides a cost-effective, high-performance, highly scalable SDN platform.
More information on NEC’s ProgrammableFlow networking suite can be found at www.necam.com/sdn.
© 2013 NEC Corporation of America. NEC and ProgrammableFlow are registered trademarks of NEC Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Other product or service marks mentioned are the trademarks of their respective owners.