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Verizon, Partners Push OpenFlow, SDN

The telecommunications giant Verizon has joined with other top technology partners to collaborate on a software-defined networking (SDN) demonstration that is based on the OpenFlow protocol. The news of the collaboration was made at an Open Networking Summit being held this week in Silicon Valley.

The demonstration lab will include HP BL460 G7 blades running quad-core Intel Xeon 5600 series processors, HP Networking switches and the HP CloudSystem Matrix, which is HP’s infrastructure-as-a-service platform. HP in February offered a free OpenFlow download for customers to install on their HP switches to enable SDN.

The demonstration at the Open Networking Summit should give more traction to the development of OpenFlow and SDN, says Bob Laliberte, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategies Group: "It will be great to see demonstrations with commercially available products because with any new technology, users are always looking for validation. Who else is doing this? How are they using it? What benefits does it provide?"

Other players in the growing but nascent SDN market include Big Switch Networks and Nicira.

The Open Networking Summit is hosted by the Open Network Foundation, a group of academics, vendors and, more importantly, enterprise IT professionals who run data centers and have to make decisions about investing in OpenFlow and SDN.

Prior to the opening of the summit, NEC announced the establishment of the Open Networking Research Center, to be co-developed by the company along with Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley. Much of the original research on OpenFlow was conducted at the two San Francisco Bay Area schools. Eleven other companies have joined in support of the center, including Cisco, HP, Huawei and Juniper--all rivals in the network equipment space--as well as Google, Ericsson, Texas Instruments and VMware.

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