Hardware-Defined Networking: Bridging The Gap For Enterprise SDN - InformationWeek
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3/24/2013
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Greg Ferro
Greg Ferro
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Hardware-Defined Networking: Bridging The Gap For Enterprise SDN

Midokura teams with Cumulus Networks to connect physical networks to a network overlay.

An enterprise data center has any number of servers that will remain attached to physical network ports because legacy applications are resistant to virtualization. In some cases, organizations are reluctant to replace hardware appliances such as firewalls or proxy servers with virtual equivalents. This means that a virtual network overlay must be able to connect to physical networks. Here is where hardware-defined networking helps, by connecting legacy enterprise systems to SDN infrastructure.

A new partnership between Midokura and Cumulus Networks advances the concept of hardware-defined networking by combining technologies like VXLAN Tunnel Endpoints (VTEPs), Open vSwitch Database (OVSDB), "network Linux," and white-box hardware to create low-cost networks that connect physical networks directly to overlay networks.

Midokura is one of the earliest companies to build a network controller (MidoNet) and use overlay networking for SDN. The company is growing from a strong base in Japan to the U.S. and Europe. Today, it's an active participant in the OpenDaylight and OpenStack communities, especially the "Group Policy" code that relates to developing northbound APIs for applications, along with Plexxi. By partnering with Cumulus Networks, Midokura will work to define deeper integration of its SDN controller with physical networking fabric, positioning itself for the enterprise market.

Hardware-Defined Networking

Hardware-defined networking uses a group of open standards to connect existing physical networks to the overlay network. Midokura is working with Cumulus Networks to define OVSDB data formats for the Cumulus Linux switch operating system that enables the orchestration of the hardware VTEP capabilities of the Broadcom Trident chipset. OVSDB is part of the OpenDaylight project that defines the southbound device configuration API between controller and devices and under heavy development with support from multiple vendors.

Read the full article at Network Computing.

Join Greg Ferro for the workshop Building The Physical Network for the Software-Defined Network to get insights into the technology foundation of the data center network for the next 10 years. Register now and use the code SMBLOG to get $200 off the current price of Total Access and Conference Passes.

Greg has nearly 30 years of experience as an IT infrastructure engineer and has been focused on data networking for about 20, including 12 years as Cisco CCIE. He has worked in Asia and Europe as a network engineer and architect for a wide range of large and small firms in ... View Full Bio

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