SDN Technology

Leading Lights 2016 Finalists: Most Innovative SDN Deployment Strategy (Network/Data Center Operator)

Flexibility, customer control and cost savings are common themes as service providers deploy SDN on their networks.

Our six finalists for most innovative SDN deployment strategy tout the benefits of simplifying consumption models for customers, ability to locate network resources where they're most needed, reduced costs and improved vendor choice and the ability of enterprise customers to take charge of their own network capacity needs.

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.

Here are our six finalists, in alphabetical order:

Cato Networks
Cato Cloud provides network security-as-a-service in two layers. The Cato Cloud Network is a global network of PoPs interconnected with Tier-1 carrier links for secure, optimized, low-latency enterprise WAN. Cato Security Services are built directly into the network. The services include firewall with application control, global VPN, URL filtering and more, managed by Cato staff.

The platform is designed to allow enterprises to consume networking and network security as a service in the same way Amazon AWS provides a way to consume compute and storage as a service.

Cato Networks is rapidly deploying its global network to major business centers with a dozen PoPs already deployed across Europe, US and Asia. The company has added eight partners since its launch in February.

Equinix Inc. (Nasdaq: EQIX)'s Interconnection Oriented Architecture is designed to allow enterprises to take advantage of multiple data centers and locations to support emerging Internet of Things workflows. IOA uses a distributed SDN control plane to unify service components.

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IOA pushes workflows to the location where it makes the most sense. For example, real-time analytics is located close to end users, while batch analytics gets done in cheap wholesale data centers.

Equinix's reach, with more than 100 data centers, allows enterprises to bring applications, data and networks closest to their users, customers and business partners, while the SDN control plane unifies those distributed components.

Equinix has joined the Open Compute Project to help develop an open source ecosystem for data centers, and is collaborating with Facebook and Mesosphere through the OCP on developing interconnection stacks using virtual containers on open source software and commodity OCP hardware.

Facebook pioneered the movement to disaggregate network hardware from software to give network operators choices in both, as an alternative to having to buy software and hardware from the same vendors. As a founder of the Open Compute Project, Facebook developed its own switch software stack, FBOSS and Wedge switch hardware, deploying them at scale within its data centers. A key strategy for Facebook is treating the networking device like a server, to make better use of the rest of Facebook's infrastructure and people, automating management, centralizing or distributing software as needed.

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sowen557 5/18/2016 | 11:10:48 AM
Facebook! Great example for rest of industry!  Keep up the movement.
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