Pica8 Intros CrossFlow for Hybrid Networks

Allows users to integrate OpenFlow-based applications and business-logic policies into their existing Layer 2/Layer 3 networks.

November 11, 2014

2 Min Read

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Pica8, Inc., the leader in open systems for software defined networking (SDN), today announced CrossFlow Networking, a new capability in its PicOS bare metal switch operating system that allows users to seamlessly integrate OpenFlow-based applications and business-logic policies into their existing Layer-2 / Layer-3 networks. Traditional networks move traffic based upon Layer-2 / Layer-3 networking protocols, while an OpenFlow-based network uses a different protocol and set of rules to define network behavior based upon custom policies. While both of these approaches have their benefits, customers today are facing CapEx and operational challenges of building, provisioning, and maintaining these networks independently.

Pica8 brings these worlds together through CrossFlow. With this unique capability, customers can run Layer-2 / Layer-3 protocols and OpenFlow on the same switch at the same time. With CrossFlow, users can leverage OpenFlow for diverse, policy-driven applications to drive business logic into the network, while leveraging their network topology and Layer-2 / Layer-3 protocols like OSPF and BGP for the most efficient packet transport and performance. Some sample use cases include:

  • In a traditional data center that uses Layer-2 / Layer-3 switching and routing, monitoring and tapping can be done on the switches with rules triggered by the OpenFlow protocol.

    • In an OpenFlow data center, the edge devices need to interact with traditional switching/routing devices (using spanning tree, OSPF, BGP, and other Layer-2 / Layer-3 protocols)

      Available in PicOS 2.4, CrossFlow allows every port in the bare metal switch the ability to act as either a legacy or a CrossFlow port. A legacy port uses traditional Layer-2 / Layer- 3 switch (OVS) commands can be used, either locally via OVS commands or via an SDN controller using OpenFlow and OVSDB.

      With CrossFlow, customers can accelerate their SDN adoption and flexibility with OpenFlow, while reducing operational complexity and significantly driving down CapEx with a traditional Layer-2 / Layer-3 network topology.

      Pica8 Inc.

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