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
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
LRTV Interviews
TWC Business Looks Beyond $3B

12|10|14   |     |   (0) comments


TWC Business Services chief Phil Meeks explains how his unit has reached $3 billion in annual revenues and what its plans are for next year.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
Vodafone to Ride T-Mobile Back Into US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 12/12/2014
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive