At last year’s Interop Las Vegas, OpenFlow was the surprise sensation of the show. In fact, Network World went so far to argue that it could have been called the OpenFlow Show. We had high expectations for this year, and we were not disappointed. OpenFlow was everywhere at the show, whether as generally available products, demos or prototypes. It received (again) the “Best of Interop Award” and it was the elephant in the room during Cisco’s keynote. At the same time, the conversation around OpenFlow has changed. If last year was around hype and speculation, this year was around products, use cases and in a few cases customer success stories. Here is our list of OpenFlow related exhibits at Interop. If we are missing anything let us know in the comments.
Arista – At the Arista booth, there was a joint demo together with Big Switch Networks to showcase Network Virtualization using OpenFlow. Several of Arista’s 7050 Switches were used to create virtual networks leveraging both the switch’s hardware capabilities as well as Hypervisor Switch based overlay networks. Arista’s EOS architecture is very well suited for Software Defined Networking and it is great to see another OpenFlow enabled switch becoming available. The network virtualization functionality was provided by the Enterprise version of the Big Switch Controller. It provides redundant controller nodes for high-availability and management is done via an industry standard CLI or Web UI. To the right Dan Talayco and Jeff Townsend from Big Switch.
Dell – Rajesh Narayanan from Dell demonstrated how a software defined network fabric allows us to compose otherwise incompatible/competing requirements for network resources. Using a common physical network fabric composed of Force10 S60 switches and a common network virtualization abstraction, the demo created tenant networks that seamlessly spanned multiple orchestration technologies (Dell AIM and Dell Openstack). It was a practical show case of how an enterprises could phase deployment of new technologies or integrated public/private networks without disruption. Dell’s demo was also using the Enterprise version of the Big Switch Controller.
HP – HP Networks demonstrated an OpenFlow controller dynamically managing quality of service for video transmissions. HP currently has the biggest lineup of OpenFlow enabled switches spanning the 3500, 5400, 6600 and 8200 series switches. As one of the earliest adopters, they also have over 60 OpenFlow deployments active around the world. Mark Hilton from HP is shown to the right.
Juniper – Juniper showed OpenFlow on their MX series of switches at the Interop OpenFlow Lab. While there are many choices for 1U Top-of-Rack type OpenFlow switches, the MX is uniquely positioned as a more powerful, modular switch that supports the protocol.
NEC – NEC not only showed their ProgrammableFlow solution that is continuing to gather customers, but also for the second year in a row took home the overall Best of Interop Award as well as the Top award in the Management, Testing and Monitoring category. Congratulations to the NEC Team!
OpenFlow Lab – The OpenFlow lab from last year returned and about 15 vendors showed OpenFlow hardware and software interoperate. Switches and controllers were provided by Arista, Broadcom, Brocade, Extreme Networks, HP, Huawei, IBM, Juniper, Intel, Lyatiss, NEC, Netgear, Spirent, Vello and Pronto. The Interop web site has more information. Our open source Floodlight controller was the de-facto reference implementation of choice and it ran against most of the hardware present. Flowvisor was also used to virtualize the underlying network for the testing. Together with the ONF’s recent plugfest, these events are great to move ensure interoperability in the OpenFlow community.
IXIA – IXIA announced and demonstrated their testing solution for OpenFlow, and it’s safe to say I was surprised how mature the solution is. It is part of their current test suite and allows both performance and correctness testing. With only a few mouse clicks it was possible to generate traffic for an OpenFlow switch and measure traffic characteristics based on specific sets of flow entries. We are looking forward to test out this equipment in the lab. Part of the demo was powered by Floodlight.
IP Infusion – IP Infusion is best known for their networking stacks that are used by a number of hardware vendors. At Interop, Peter Kao demonstrated OpenFlow support as a feature for their software. IP Infusion did not want to talk about what end customers will be using it in their products, but more availability is definitely a good thing.
Luxsoft – Luxsoft showed a demo of a testing framework that used OpenFlow to steer traffic across several different hardware switches using the Floodlight controller. It’s great to see software development companies develop a competency in this area. If you need help with OpenFlow related products, they may be able to help you. Vasiliy Suvorov is shown in the photo.
Lyatiss – Lyatiss, a start-up that spun out of INRIA made their US debut at Interop. Founder Pascale Vicat-Blanc demonstrated CloudWeaver, a SDN solution for connecting and managing cloud applications.
Vello – Vello Systems showed their Remote Data Replication Manager that programs OpenFlow enabled switches to provision the necessary bandwidth for large backup tasks. Their demo also showcased integration with OpenStack.
Spirent – We didn’t actually make it to their booth, but according to their press release they demonstrated a test solution for OpenFlow networks.