Pica8 this week added support for the Labeled BGP protocol to its white box SDN switch operating system, providing a standardized means of connecting data centers across different domains using tunneling across WANs.
Support for this Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standard is designed to make Pica8 Inc. 's switches more attractive to regional operators, including providers of managed services, boutique cloud services, basic Internet services and FTTB, says Pica8 Vice President of Marketing Steve Garrison.
Labeled BGP is an alternative to VXLAN, a standard for creating logical networks that span different physical networks. VXLAN operates inside the data center while Labeled BGP operates over a WAN using MPLS.
Traditionally, Labeled BGP has been available on high-end Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) and Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) equipment, Garrison says. Pica8 has been available on its switches for about a year.
"We're making a bet that regional service providers will adopt MPLS and BGP before VXLAN," says Garrison. His reasoning is that MPLS and BGP are already deployed in the bigger data centers today, and MPLS allows network operators to connect data centers over the public Internet while still providing the quality of service predictability of a closed circuit.
"With MPLS, once you nail up the circuit, it doesn't change unless you control it to change," he adds. "It's more circuit-like behavior in a packet-based world."
Labeled BBP is part of Pica8's PicOS 2.6 operating system.
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