Network Computing Comparison: SDN Hardware and Software

Presented in conjunction with:
Interop Las Vegas
Building IT Innovation

Comparison: SDN Hardware and Software

SDN is essentially the networking manifestation of what Marc Andreessen terms "software eating the world." IT's yanking proprietary management and control technology and replacing overpriced switches and routers with commodity hardware built from merchant silicon under the direction of centralized controllers running on virtual servers, themselves running on commodity hardware. While the market is still young, we decided to define four product categories, outline what to look for in each and ask vendors to take their best shot at your SDN business. -- Kurt Marko


Guide Last Updated 07/18/13

Vendors may submit products in one or more of four categories:
  • C SDN Controllers
  • A SDN Applications
  • S SDN-Compatible Switching Hardware or Virtual Switching Software
  • O Other SDN-Compatible Hardware


Download Download Our SDN Buyer's Guide Report (Includes significantly more detail than chart below)
Company Product More Coverage
Cisco Systems
Cisco Systems
Cloud ConnectInterOp
BlackHat
C A S
Cisco entered offerings in our controllers, applications and switches categories under the umbrella of its Cisco ONE Portfolio. The Cisco Open Networking Environment SDN controller supports version 1.0 of the OpenFlow standard alongside the Cisco onePK spec. VM support includes ESX, HyperV and KVM via Nexus 1000V. Applications are under the Monitor Manager NSM system. Switches/vswitches are based on onePK and support C, Java and Python APIs. More Detailed Product Information
HP
HP
Cloud ConnectInterOp
BlackHat
C A S
HP offers a complete portfolio of OpenFlow hardware and software, the heart of which is the HP Virtual Application Networks SDN controller. Available as either a software virtual appliance or 2U, quad-core hardware box, it supports OpenFlow versions 1.0 and 1.3 and includes published northbound APIs to enable third-party SDN applications. Four applications are already available: HP Sentinel Security, Virtual Cloud Network portal, Microsoft Lync UC&C and the IMC VAN SDN Manager. HP also has more than 40 OpenFlow-compliant switches, ranging from entry-level products to its just-announced modular 12900 data center core switch, which sports a 36 Tbps switching backplane and up to 16 slots for a maximum of 768 10GbE or 64 100GbE ports. More Detailed Product Information
Juniper
Juniper
InterOpBlackHat
S
Juniper's EX9200 Programmable Switch supports OpenFlow 1.3 and comes in four models. The 6U EX9204 delivers four slots, the EX9208 offers eight slots in an 8U chassis and the 16U EX9214 sports 14 slots. Southbound API support includes Puppet and NetConf; support for the OpenStack Quantum plug-in is planned. The EX9200 can simultaneously handle IP, MPLS, CAPWAP termination, GRE, VPLS, policy/forwarding decisions and new SDN protocols. More Detailed Product Information
Netsocket
Netsocket
Cloud ConnectInterOp
C A S
Netsocket Virtual Network is compatible with OpenFlow 1.0 and Microsoft's vSwitch and Hyper-V, users of which can get started now at no cost. Hardware requirements are straightforward: 64-bit X86, 1 core, 1 GB RAM. The system supports Openstack and RADIUS for user authentication More Detailed Product Information More Detailed Product Information
Nuage Networks (an Alcatel-Lucent venture)
Nuage Networks
Cloud ConnectInterOp
C
Nuage Networks' Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) is based on OpenFlow and is agnostic in terms of physical switches supported. Hypervisor support is likewise broad and includes KVM, Xen, ESXi and Hyper-V. Nuage partners for services support include F5 Networks, Palo Alto More Detailed Product Information
Enterasys
Enterasys
InterOp
C S O
Enterasys has offerings in three of our four catgories. Its OneFabric line lacks OpenFlow support, but the controller sports an integrated GUI for end-to-end network management and an open northbound API. Its entire switch line is SDN-compatible, and support extends to switching, routing and wireless networking gear. More Detailed Product Information
Extreme Networks
Extreme Networks
BlackHat
S
Extreme Summit X440 Series The Summit devices run ExtremeXOS implementations of OpenFlow APIs and come in 10 variants with aggregated bandwidth ranging from 64 Gbps to 134 Gbps. The devices are OpenStack compatible through the Extreme Networks Quantum plug-in. TRILL support is due in Q4. More Detailed Product Information
NEC
NEC
InterOp
C A S
NEC's ProgrammableFlow Controller line is built on OpenFlow 1.0, with OpenFlow 1.3 on the roadmap, and sports a list of compatible software ranging from DoS attack mitigation to QoS to VRRP. NEC has committed code to the open source Open Daylight program and demonstrated interoperability at Interop, PlugFest and ONS with Arista, Brocade, Centec, Dell, Extreme and IBM gear. The PF5240 hybrid switch was named Best of Interop in Infrastructure in 2011 and was the first OpenFlow hybrid switch offered on a commercial basis. More Detailed Product Information
Tail-f Systems
Tail-f Systems
InterOp
C A
Tail-f embraces both top-down and bottom-up approaches to SDN, with support for OpenFlow (1.0 now, 1.3 later this year) and transaction-safe northbound APIs across OpenFlow and legacy devices. More Detailed Product Information
Big Switch Networks
Big Switch Networks
C A S

Big Switch has offerings in three of our four catgories. Its well-known OpenFlow-based controller is available as a physical or virtual appliance that works with a long list of switches from most major hardware vendors. The Big Virtual Switch (network virtualization)and Big Tap (unified network visbility) applications integrate with the controller, and the Switch Light is a software platform for merchant-silicon-based physical and virtual switches within hypervisors. More Detailed Product Information
Embrane
Embrane
A

Embrane heleo is a platform for software-defined network services for load balancing, firewall, VPN termination and SSL offload. Virtual appliances run on any X86 server and can quickly scale up and down to meet demand. Management and provisioning are via the Embrane Elastic Services Manager. Embrane uses REST for communication up and down the stack and between the Elastic Services Manager and virtual appliances. More Detailed Product Information
Pica8
Pica8
A S
Pica8's open switches are white-box devices that run the company's open PicOS NOS. PicOS supports OpenFlow 1.2 and Open vSwitch .1.9. The switches are available in four configurations, with a maximum switching fabric capacity of 176 Gbps for 1 GbE and 1.28 Tbps for 10 GbE platforms. More Detailed Product Information
Plexxi

C A S
Plexxi has entries in three areas with its Switch, Control and API offerings. The Plexxi 1U optical switch comes in two models, the 1 and 1x, with 64 and 72 10 Gbps ports, respectively. The controller runs on Linux and uses the Plexxi Affinities standard REST interface northbound and JMS for southbound control. The Plexxi Affinity Topologies application works as part of Plexxi Control and supports vSphere, vCloudDirector, OpenStack and KVM. More Detailed Product Information
† The sort order of our company listings is based first on how many UBM Tech events a company is exhibiting at, and second on alphabetical order. UBM Tech is the parent to Network Computing. Contact us here for more information on exhibiting at UBM Tech events (and raising your visibility on this chart!).

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