SDN Enabled Switches - Tech | 5G, SDN/NFV & Edge Compute


Thursday, December 27, 2018

SDN Enabled Switches

Software Defined Networking (SDN) enabled switches are abundant in the market today. In 2012, SDN enabled switches meant network switches that supported OpenFlow protocol. Today, several telcos are virtualizing their network services and OpenFlow cannot solve all of their challenges. Hence, SDN enabled switches have grown beyond the traditional OpenFlow based approach.

(Also read: SDN Whitebox switch vendors and startups in the market)

"SDN enabled" has multiple interpretations, today:
  • network function is available in software format (separated from the hardware) (or) 
  • network function is programmable via APIs (instead of Command Line Interface / CLI based configuration) (or) 
  • the control plane and data plane functions are separated in a network function 
If you are looking for network switches that support SDN protocols such as OpenFlow or interworking with SDN Controllers such as Open Daylight, here are a few options:
  1. Cisco Nexus 9000 Series (as part of Application Centric Infrastructure / ACI)
  2. Juniper Contrail Platform 
  3. Arista Software Driven Cloud Networking (Arista EOS software has support for OpenFlow)
  4. Huawei Cloud Fabric Solution 
  5. Nokia Nuage Virtualized Services Platform
  6. NEC Programmable Flow Switch 
  7. Infinera Transport SDN Solution
  8. HP Flex Fabric
Some startups that develop "SDN enabled switches" are given below - a few of them provide just software based switches which can be run on COTS hardware.
  1. Plexxi
  2. Pica8
  3. Big Switch
  4. Pluribus Networks
  5. Cumulus Networks
  6. Noviflow Switch
Pure-play SDN switches are almost non-existent today. Most SDN enabled switches also support the legacy protocols and network services. SDN enabled switches take a hybrid approach to help network service providers and data center operators, to meet their network virtualization goals

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