Light Reading

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        ADD A COMMENT
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
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (3) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (0) comments


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
LRTV Documentaries
OPNFV Director Opens Up on Women in Tech

6|25|15   |   3:25   |   (0) comments


Heather Kirksey, the director of the OPNFV, gets real about the gender disparity in open source and standards and discusses how we can change both the conversation and the gender dynamics.
LRTV Custom TV
Symantec's Service Provider Security Strategy

6|24|15   |   7:06   |   (0) comments


Didi Dayton explores Symantec's emerging enterprise security strategies for service providers. Highlights include 'killing the password,' self-defense, advanced analytics and adaptive response in a service provider architecture.
Between the CEOs
Debating Network Evolution With Cisco's Cedrik Neike

6|23|15   |   12:54   |   (2) comments


Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
LRTV Documentaries
Vodafone: What's Good for Moms Is Good for Business

6|23|15   |   3:04   |   (3) comments


Megan Doberneck, the general counsel for Vodafone Americas, discusses her company's progressive maternity policy, explains why promoting women in tech is good business and offers some some good advice for any women in the industry.
LRTV Interviews
NFV: Ready for Prime Time

6|23|15   |   05:09   |   (1) comment


At BTE 2015, Vip mobile CTO Dejan Kastelic talks about how NFV is ready for the real world and how Telekom Austria is introducing centralized resources for its group operations.
LRTV Documentaries
Tykes Talk Tech

6|22|15   |   02:30   |   (9) comments


What does optical fiber look like? When will 5G arrive? What's the WiFi password at Ikea? Light Reading sat down with three 8-year-olds to answer some of the communications industry's most burning questions...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Partners With TDC for World's First Early DOCSIS 3.1 Field Test

6|22|15   |   3:06   |   (0) comments


In a move to enhance user experience, Denmark's TDC aims to become an early adopter of DOCSIS 3.1. In partnership with Huawei, TDC recently ran the world's first field tests on its coax network that reached speeds nearing 1 Gbit/s.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Staying Productive With My Office-in-a-Bag
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/25/2015
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
Redknee Snaps Up Troubled BSS Vendor
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 6/24/2015
What's in Your Office-in-a-Bag?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 6/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones