Light Reading
The SDN startup reveals details of its platform, which eschews the OpenFlow controller model in favor of a Nicira-like overlay

Plumgrid Launches SDN Overlay Platform

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
6/25/2013
50%
50%

Startup PLUMgrid Inc. launched its software-defined networking (SDN) platform Tuesday, casting its vote with the overlay model favored by Nicira Networks Inc. rather than the controller model favored by the likes of Big Switch Networks and the OpenDaylight consortium.

Like VMware Inc. (which owns Nicira), Plumgrid is worried that the controller model won't scale. "There are still questions about OpenFlow, with its forklift upgrade," says Pere Monclus, Plumgrid's CTO. "The most stable structure is to keep the fabric simple and put all the features in the overlay."

The Plumgrid Platform consists of software running on ordinary servers. It does rely on an underlying physical network, but it doesn't matter what kind. It can be Ethernet, IP or even InfiniBand. Plumgrid software called IO Visor connects those elements into arbitrary topologies, creating an overlay network, and it can shift that connectivity around the data center as needed.

The importance of not caring about the physical-network protocol is that Plumgrid can create an overlay across multiple environments. If your data center and your public cloud don't use the same protocol, Plumgrid can still build overlay connections that bridge both sides.

The platform has gotten some attention from AT&T Inc., which has test-driven the Plumgrid platform at the AT&T Foundry (innovation lab) in Palo Alto. The carrier could use Plumgrid for public cloud services, or it could even apply the technology internally to its own data centers.

Plumgrid picked this approach two years ago, before SDN had become white hot, CEO Awais Nemat says. The focal points were automated changes to the network and automated provisioning of connectivity.

A function called the Director is in charge of all the overlay activity -- creating these virtual connections, for instance. But it doesn't have a hand in the actual processing of packets, which is one main contrast between the overlay model and the controller model.

The controller model tends to require packet flows to contact a controller. "We have moved that controller out of the way," Nemat says. Plumgrid and Nicira believe this helps the virtual network grow to a bigger scale.

Plumgrid makes its network programmable via APIs, because that's what everybody does these days. It's also lined up partners whose functionality can be connected into the network or even loaded as virtual appliances. There are 13 of these, most of them covering Layer 4 through 7 territory; examples include Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., Citrix Systems Inc., F5 Networks Inc., Ixia and Palo Alto Networks Inc.

Eventually, a Plumgrid software development kit (SDK) will let other companies create their own APIs for the Plumgrid Platform. That SDK isn't publicly available yet.

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
nuker
50%
50%
nuker,
User Rank: Light Beer
6/27/2013 | 2:07:00 PM
re: Plumgrid Launches SDN Overlay Platform
Is this for Synaptic or a new service ?
Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
Mosaik Solutions presents its 2014 maps of the wireless world in the US, including cable WiFi deployments, LTE network expansion and 600MHz auction boundaries.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
Exclusive: Microwave Maven Exalt Is Cooked
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/22/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
EMC Mulls Merger With HP or Dell – Reports
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 9/22/2014
Gigabit Nets Boost GDP, Says FTTH Council
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/23/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed