News Roundup: SDN, Network Management and Private Clouds
Andrew Conry Murray
December 14, 2012
Startup Pica8 announced the release of a reference architecture for software-defined networks (SDN). Pica8 makes Top-of-Rack (ToR) switches that support OpenFlow 1.2 and Open Virtual Switch. The company is targeting cloud providers with its newly announced reference architecture. This reference architecture has certified that the Ryu OpenFlow-based controller from NTT Laboratories will interoperate with Pica8's switches. Pica8 has four switch models, including the P-3780 that includes 48 10 GigE ports.
Pica8 isn't the only startup with a switch-centric approach to SDN. Earlier this month Plexxi announced its own ToR switch, called Switch 1, along with a two-tier controller architecture, in which some of the controller functions reside in the switch.
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EMC has announced a new version of its Smarts monitoring software. The latest version, 9.1, includes integration with VMware's vCenter Server and EMC's SRM Suite. The company says the new integrations give IT managers a single view that encompasses virtual machines, virtual switches, the physical host and attached storage. Smarts monitors configurations of all these elements, and can roll back to a previous version if a configuration change causes problems. The software can also perform root cause analysis to help IT managers remediate issues.
Smarts also monitors network configuration. In the latest version, EMC has added a toolkit and template that lets customers add new devices so that the Smarts software can connect to, monitor and restore configurations. Previously, customers would have to wait for EMC to certify devices before it could collect and restore configuration information. In addition, EMC has added the ability for Smarts to monitor configuration of wireless access points and controllers from Cisco Systems and Aruba Networks. Smarts starts at $27,000.
ScienceLogic announced a new version of its software for managing private clouds. The company is targeting pre-integrated stacks that bundle compute, networking and storage into a single platform, including VCE Vblocks and FlexPod. VCE is a stand-alone company that grew out of a joint venture between Cisco Systems, EMC and VMware. FlexPods integrate NetApp storage with servers and switches from Cisco.
The ScienceLogic management software incorporates performance and event monitoring, asset management and help desk capabilities in a single product. New features include the ability to visualize individual components of the integrated private cloud stacks.
The management of private and public clouds has gained more attention from vendors this fall, as witnessed by Cisco's November acquisition of Cloupia, which makes the Unified Infrastructure Controller software. Around the same time, Dell announced it would purchase Gale Technologies, which makes management, automation and orchestration software for the data center.