Data Center

SDN with Brocade: Going Beyond OpenFlow

by lcaywood on ‎05-22-2012 01:03 PM (1,360 Views)

A few days ago, Vyatta published a blog covering 5 Myths of SDN, the key one being that SDN and OpenFlow are completely synonymous. It also lightly touches on the fact that Software-Defined Networking being about networking, it has to cover more than Layer 2.

Today, we’ve chosen to be much more explicit:

  • SDN can drive new evolution at every level of the network, and across data, control and management planes. There will be a variety of protocols and approaches to be brought together to create software-defined networks.
  • We have developed roadmaps in all of these areas across our entire portfolio.

SDN layer cake.jpg

Part of today’s announcement also covered our upcoming delivery of OpenFlow capabilities at line-rate 100G. It should be completely clear that we view this as a first step in SDN-enabling our portfolio. We will prioritize the various aspects of SDN in different orders within different product lines, driven by the particular needs of the market segments that the respective product lines serve. To learn more about Brocade’s plans for all aspects of SDN, please take a look at this whitepaper.

One clear point of departure from the general market understanding of SDN is our inclusion of network fabrics in the discussion. This is not to say that we view fabrics as being “SDN” proper, although they could be described as “lower-case” software-defined networking. However, we do take a strong view that fabrics will be important in making SDN deployments operationally feasible. I’ve discussed this more at length in a separate post. We’ll also go into more detail about each of the other layers in future blogs.

Why are we taking this end-to-end position on SDN? Simple. We view it as the natural evolution of “lower-case sdn”—fabric architectures with any-to-any connectivity and extended control and management planes that are partially decoupled from the physical network nodes—with increased value derived from the programmability and customization available through the services and cloud management layers of the SDN stack.

NW evolution to SDN.jpg

We’ll be unveiling more SDN-related product announcements throughout the rest of this year. Follow this space!