SDN FEATURE NEWS

Brocade Unveils OpenDaylight-based SDN Controller

By Paula Bernier September 22, 2014

Adding a new chapter to its software-defined networking story, Brocade today unveiled an SDN controller based on the work of the OpenDaylight Project open source project.

In an interview last week with NFVZone, Kelly Herrell, Brocade’s vice president and general manager of software networking, explained that Brocade is to OpenDaylight as Red Hat is to Linux. Brocade, he noted, is commercializing the work of OpenDaylight with the Vyatta Controller.

OpenDaylight allows for control to a variety of physical and virtual network elements in a multivendor environment, said Herrell, adding that nobody’s building single vendor networks anymore. There’s been a lot of confusion to date around controllers and another technology known as OpenFlow, he added, but OpenFlow controls only the switch, not routers and other network elements.

Herrell drew a separate analogy to explain what an SDN controller does. Today’s network is like a doll in a static position, he said. Even if you move the doll at its joints, you are only moving it from one static position to another. But if you rig it with strings, you can turn it into a marionette and change it dynamically, he said. The controller, in this scenario, is the handle attached to the strings.

This kind of dynamic control, he added, is important because it turns the table and puts customers – meaning the network operators – in control of their features, rather than their vendors having that control. Brocade’s controller adds to that control by enabling network operators to use it to control physical and virtual equipment from multiple vendors.

The Brocade Vyatta Controller, which is slated for general available Nov. 21, will be based on the OpenDaylight Helium release. Use cases for this solution include big data, customer analytics and compliance, fault and disaster recovery, QOS and traffic management, security, research and new protocols, WAN optimization.

Brocade got its initial Vyatta technology through the acquisition of a company of the same name in late 2012. It has since expanded that product beyond the enterprise to also address telco requirements, and now added the controller.

Brocade also recently made some big hires on the management front. That included bringing aboard Tom Nadeau as a distinguished engineer. Nadeau is a leader of the OpenDaylight Project.




Edited by Maurice Nagle

Executive Editor, TMC

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