5 Big Influencers in Software DefinedNetworkingSoftware-Defined Networking (SDN) has become a hot topic of late, and with goodreason. This technology has the potential to dramatically improve the configuration ofnetworking solutions. Traditionally, data has been housed in a static fashion, with thedevelopment of network intelligence, focused on individual routers and switches. This isproblematic with today’s vast and ever-expanding data pool, with central automation ofdata management quickly becoming the ideal solution. SDN is an answer to thischallenge, and a good one.Big SwitchBig Switch is a major competitor in the SDN market, targeting larger firms likeCisco.They have been featured by the Economist and recognized by Network World.They are offering the first available open product suites focused on SDN. This suite isbuilt upon Big Network Controller, and as such, it generates a common data model fromwhich to build up. They utilize a three-tier architecture that includes northbound openAPIs for app developers, an open-core controller, and southbound industry-standarddata plan communication protocols. As a company, they are committed to remainingopen-source as well, viewing it as an essential and key component to supporting a solidarchitecture that is responsive and innovative.Brocade
Brocade is also pushing to get ahead of Cisco, something they made a play at mostrecently by purchasing Vyatta, a private company that was focused on networkvisualization and included SDN and cloud computing platforms, which Brocade cancombine with its existing infrastructure. Since Brocade has been a strong and earlysupporter of OpenFlow, this merger has put them in a solid position to be an industryleader in SDN, particularly since the merger gives the company more agility to operateas it lowers costs while developing their products.CiscoCisco isn’t slouching in the race to claim the bigger prize in the SDN market. Theyrecently spent $141 million to acquire Cariden, a company that focuses on networkplanning and optimization software for ISPs. This purchase lets Cisco gain access to arespected company that is well-versed in SDN, which allows Cisco to provide SDN totheir core ISP customers. Overall, Cisco is downplaying their focus on SDN whilecarefully aligning themselves to be competitive as the technology spreads.HP
HP is coming out swinging while developing their own SDN portfolio that they claim isthe most complete package out of any vendor offering on the market. They have theirown controller, 25 open-flow-enabled switches, and an assortment of applications. HBOand CERN are already established as beta customers for their SDN package. Futureplans include allowing their clients to create their own isolated cloud networks withinpublic clouds and additional applications developed specifically for its controller.JuniperWhile Cisco and HP focus on larger clientele, Juniper is gunning for an alternative nichewithin the SDN market. They are positioning themselves to be a cornerstone within theopen source SDN community, with the hopes of becoming equivalent to Linux andApache within open source operating systems. To this end, they have partnered withother industry players in their production of an alternative SDN controller that cancompete with Cisco and others. Their plan is to create a solid open source controller thatbecomes the standard, with a strategy that includes adding support for OpenFlow tosome of their product line as the year advances. Juniper has also recently released their“four-step roadmap” to SDN with new software and servicesStrategic Brilliance Bonus Mention:VMwareThis company is a clear leader in the field, and recent acquisitions have put them downas a strong contender against Cisco. With the purchase of Nicira, a company whosefounders developed OpenFlow, VMware has gained powerful hardware that virtualizes
data to split workload from hardware resources. This, combined with the previousacquisition of DynamicOps, puts them in a powerful position within the industry, runninga knockout package of exceptional software and hardware, all whilst maintaining theiralready stellar reputation for high quality.The bottom line is that SDN promises to be a disruptive force to the network market.Many hands are making a grab at market share by attempting to out-innovate andprovide more than their challengers. The end result will be beneficial to potentialconsumers of SDN technology.