Lumina Ties BGP/MPLS Into White Box Switching

Carol Wilson

LOS ANGELES -- Open Networking Summit - Lumina Networks broke some new ground last week, with new features in its Flow Manager product that bring control of existing BGP/MPLS routers under software-defined networking along with new white box switches.

It's a capability that offers an evolution path toward SDN in a cost-effective way that also enables automated end-to-end services, provisioning and management, says Kevin Woods, vice president of product management for Lumina, in an interview. According to Lumina Networks 's announcement, "SD-Core combines the use of BGP, PCEP, Netconf, OpenFlow and P4, to deliver automated end-to-end services, provisioning and management."

These features are "offered by a lot of people but on the vendor side what is unique is we can offer those services but integrate them into the existing, in some cases, non-SDN platforms," he says. "That's not commonly done. Most people offer these new things standalone. In and of itself, that's not hard to do. The trick is you have to integrate with existing equipment. You have to discover the topology of the network, you have to pick up the addresses and so on. To make it work in the real world, you have to integrate with the existing network, that is really the magic of what this is."

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Lumina is already deploying these new features, having developed them in direct response to requests from two existing Tier 1 customers of its Lumina FlowManager product, Woods says. Lumina is integrating SDCore into those customers' orchestration environments, one of which is Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP) and the other of which is Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN)'s Blue Planet, he says.

What all this enables is centralized traffic management features common to BGP/MPLS networks via a common path policy manager function that lets users define the most efficient traffic flows, and uses pre-arranged backup paths and fast failover, as well as multiple forms of sophisticated bandwidth utilization methods for efficiency, according to Lumina. The unique capabilities include "fine-grained traffic classification at the service ingress node, traffic replication and point to multi-point (P2MP) services, including 'anycast' destinations, and L2-L4 packet field manipulation at the service egress node," according to the company's announcement.

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— Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading

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