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SDN architectures

Alcatel-Lucent Has a Top-Secret SDN Startup!

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) isn't the only company with a software-defined networking (SDN) spin-in. Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has one, too, Light Reading has learned.

It's been in the works for about a year, says Basil Alwan, president of AlcaLu's IP division. "We have not only built but we have a really advanced architecture that customers are really raving about in the SDN space," he claims.

As for a name -- it's hard to believe it was available, but AlcaLu picked Nuage Networks, "nuage" being the French word for cloud.

Nuage is being run by Vice President Sunil Khandekar. Like Alwan, he was part of TiMetra, the AlcaLu-acquired startup that developed what is now the 7750 Service Router and all its offshoots, including the new 7950 XRS. He did product management at TiMetra and more recently was the IP division's vice president of business development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

So, why would the world need yet another SDN play, considering new ones seem to pop up every day? (Hey, look: a startup called NoviFlow came to light just Thursday.)

"Right now its Colgate with MFP; it's new ingredients with every product," Alwan agrees, showing his age a little bit.

AlcaLu's play is scale. Web-scale data centers and service providers' multitenant data centers haven't been adequately addressed in most SDN discussions, Alwan says.

Overlay networks as proposed by companies such as Nicira Networks Inc. , now owned by VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW), are "an important step, but what if you had a data center that had to serve 10,000 customers, and every customer had a complex topology? That's the real world, and that's not easy," Alwan says.

That's about all the company is saying at the moment. But Alwan also notes that AlcaLu is treating SDN as a play for the OSS layer, relating to managing different virtual environments in data centers.

For more

— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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