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Leading Lights 2016 Finalists: Most Innovative SDN Product Strategy (Vendor)

Mitch Wagner
5/17/2016
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This year's finalists for vendor SDN product strategy demonstrate SDN's potential for building flexibility into service provider networks. They include monitoring tools, improved access networks, redesigned central offices, VPN platforms and more.

Seven companies rose above the pack to win the title of category finalist.

The Leading Lights 2016 winners and newest class of Hall of Fame inductees will be unveiled at the Leading Lights awards dinner, which will be held the evening of Monday, May 23, at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas. For more details, see this Leading Lights 2016 awards dinner page. The following day, the Big Communications Event 2016 opens its doors for two days of networking and learning.

The finalists are:

Big Switch Networks
Big Switch Networks ' Big Monitoring Fabric deploys inline to enable pervasive security and monitoring of north-south data center traffic in the DMZ. By leveraging the controller as the central point of management, BMF Inline configures policies that create paths through line tools for service chaining, Big Switch says.

The product is designed to ensure maximum resilience against network or tool failures and to satisfy the high availability requirements of security and network administrators. When combined with the functionality supported by Big Monitoring Fabric (Out of Band Mode), network and security administrators experience pervasive visibility into their IT infrastructure, the vendor says.

BMF Inline is ideal for network architects looking to modernize and build out their monitoring with a secure alternative to hardware bypass switches, and more efficient approach to policy-based service chaining, Big Switch says.

Since April 2015, Big Monitoring Fabric (Inline Mode) has been deployed at a Fortune 50 petroleum company across 70 data centers in the first phase of deployment. It was selected as the company's inline monitoring tool for its ease of deployment and operation, modern scalability and excellent feature set, the company says.

Calix
Calix Networks Inc. (NYSE: CALX)'s Software Defined Access is an open framework for building access networks that leverage DevOps, instrumentation, analytics, flow awareness, SDN and network virtualization. According to Calix, Software Defined Access benefits are as follows:

    - It abstracts services from physical infrastructure to accommodate the evolution of fiber, copper and wireless PHY technologies in the access network with consistent methods and procedures (MOPS).
    - It distributes control, management and processing capabilities across the access network on an as-needed basis. - It delivers subscriber services based on application-level flows.
    - It integrates at every FCAPS level into SDN controllers/orchestrators and with other systems within the access network using open standard interfaces.
    - It accommodates and leverages the installed access network without compromising the efficiencies available in new builds.
    - It encompasses a software platform that can be incrementally modified and dynamically managed over a long lifecycle utilizing a DevOps methodology.
    - It provides flow-based instrumentation and analytics for service assurance, accounting and policy enforcement.

  • CEO Chat With Carl Russo, Calix
  • Calix First to Launch Software-Defined Access
  • Calix Enters NG-PON2 Race

Ciena
Ciena Corp. (NYSE: CIEN)'s Blue Planet Division is offering the industry's first commercial-grade version of the Open Network Operating System (ONOS) open-source SDN controller for service providers and mission-critical networks. Marketed as Blue Planet ONOS, this solution gives service providers the ability to take advantage of the cumulative software expertise of the open-source community, combined with levels of support and assurance required for commercial deployment. As a commercial-grade distribution of ONOS, Blue Planet ONOS is backed by Ciena's world-class service and support, as well as software development, the company says.

Blue Planet ONOS is focused on the Central Office Re-architected as a Datacenter (CORD) use case, which aims to replace the proprietary infrastructure of the traditional central office with open software and commoditized hardware building blocks to deliver datacenter economies of scale and cloud-like agility to service provider networks, Ciena says.

As an open-source SDN controller for CORD and datacenter networks, ONOS fully complements and extends Blue Planet's vendor-agnostic NFV and multi-domain service orchestration capabilities, the vendor says.

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