Broadcom Introduces New OpenFlow SDN Solutions

By Paula Bernier March 03, 2014

Broadcom has come out with OpenFlow Data Plane Abstraction v1.0 specification, software, and an API. The semiconductor company says this is the industry's abstraction for the Open Networking Foundation's OpenFlow 1.3.1 Switch.

This is important because OpenFlow-based SDN provides enterprises and carriers with benefits such as centralized management and control of multi-vendor networks, better automation and management of their networks; and more rapid service introduction.

OpenFlow, as noted in an ONF white paper, is the first standard interface designed specifically for SDN, providing high-performance, granular traffic control across multiple vendors’ network devices. Not-for-profit ONF was established in 2011 by industry giants Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo! to accelerate open SDN adoption. It is the steward of OpenFlow.

(To learn more about OpenFlow, attend Software Telco Congress – The NFV Event from Aug. 11-14 at The Rio – Las Vegas.)

As for OpenFlow Switch in the ONF 1.3.1, it is the specification that defines a pipeline containing multiple tables. Each table has multiple flow entries. The software and API mentioned above enable OpenFlow 1.3.1 agents and controllers to access multiple tables implemented in Broadcom switch devices.

"The openly published OF-DPA specification, software and API exposes OpenFlow compliant programming constructs over Broadcom's StrataXGS Ethernet Switch Series," said Ram Velaga, Broadcom Senior Vice President & General Manager, Network Switch. "By mapping the OpenFlow 1.3.1 pipeline to high bandwidth and high density switch silicon like the StrataXGS Trident Series, we are enabling SDN applications to achieve high performance and scale."

SDN holds huge potential for enterprises and service providers to deliver new applications and realize new efficiencies, and to do so quickly and at scale.

Mike Fratto, principal analyst with Current Analysis, says enterprises are “primed” for SDN in the campus LAN, having already leveraged automation for their operations on this front.

“[C]ampus SDN can increase the breadth of automation while ensuring the same reliability that enterprise demands,” he adds.

According to survey results recently issued by Infonetics Research, three-fourths of enterprises cited improving application performance as the top driver for using SDN. Other key drivers named by respondents to Infonetics’ December 2013 Data Center and SDN Strategies: North American Enterprise Survey, for which the firm interviewed 105 network decision makers, include improved management capability, and rapid application deployment. 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Executive Editor, TMC

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