10 Software-Defined Networking Architectures, September 27, 2013 Software-defined networking is a hot topic for debate in the industry. Experts argue about the best way to implement it, the ways it might affect network engineers and administrators, and how it might disrupt the traditional power structure in the networking industry. While there are a lot of opinions about this emerging technology, there's one inescapable fact: SDN has brought new attention and innovation to the network. To get a view into the various approaches to SDN, we asked 10 vendors to supply images and short descriptions of their SDN technology. While there's some marketing fluff in some of the write-ups, the images provide a window into the wide range of technical approaches to SDN.
Plexxi's Affinity-based scale-out networking products build and manage network capacity and functionality directly from data center resident workloads. These products use a top-down approach that starts with application configuration and ends in the connectivity needed to achieve those needs, rather than the other way around. Unlike other Ethernet products, Plexxi has replaced traditional electronics networking with optics, traditionally used in telecom systems. This is intended to boost speed but also reduce costs and power draw. Plexxi's technology builds an abstract and programmable layer on top of the physical networking gear. The Plexxi Switch, which is used with the Plexxi Control software, is designed to carry traffic between racks of servers as fast as possible.