Alcatel-Lucent broadens its enterprise SDN capabilities for enterprises

OpenFlow support and OpenStack integration with Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch provide practical SDN use cases for the enterprise

Alcatel-Lucent broadens its enterprise SDN capabilities for enterprises

Alcatel-Lucent has unveiled new software defined networking (SDN) technologies for the OmniSwitch Ethernet LAN portfolio of its Enterprise division. The company says the new technology will help companies meet the increasing demands of employees and customers to use the applications they want, when and where they want to use them.

Enterprises IT departments are burdened with the adoption of newer technologies (the consumerisation of IT, BYOD, and virtualised applications, to name a few) to meet demands of their customers, and are looking for ways to provide on demand flexibility and capacity without an increase in operational overhead.

To help overcome these challenges, Alcatel-Lucent is expanding its Application Fluent Network vision to help enterprises build SDN-based solutions in an affordable manner. These additional SDN capabilities, featuring automation and provisioning, support practical use cases which solve real world issues in the enterprise, making SDN the foundation for a new and improved user experience.

OpenFlow support and OpenStack integration are available now on the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch product via a free software upgrade or at no additional charge when a new system is purchased. “These capabilities ensure that OmniSwitch solutions are open and will work seamlessly with the company’s partner ecosystem and industry SDN leaders’ solutions,” said Stephane Robineau, general manager and vice president, Enterprise Networks business, Alcatel-Lucent.

The following enterprise-scale SDN use cases offer customers practical benefits of a programmable network:

Optimising wireless (Wi-Fi) traffic flows

OpenFlow-enabled Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitches interoperating with an Aruba wireless controller can dynamically route traffic for optimal performance improving the user experience with bandwidth intensive, real-time applications on a wireless network.

Enhanced security for application traffic flows

When an unwanted application or traffic pattern is detected, an automatic security policy is immediately created and enforced at the OmniSwitch level to stop malicious network traffic. This capability leverages RESTful interfaces and application fingerprinting that are enabled by Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitches and Radware DefensePro.

Software Defined Data Centre

As storage and data networks converge, the programmable interface of SDN provides a consistent policy across these networks to improve the delivery of applications. IP and fibre channel based storage can be managed on the converged data centre network through the programmable interfaces available on Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch enabling a true software defined data centre.

The following capabilities supporting these use cases have been added to Alcatel-Lucent’s application fluent network portfolio.

OpenFlow 1.3 support complements previously released RESTful API support on OmniSwitch products, providing an additional northbound SDN interface for interoperability in an open and multi-vendor SDN-controlled environment.

Alcatel-Lucent demonstrated its commitment to the industry standards based initiatives by participating at the Open Network User Group (ONUG) plugfest held in October 2013. As a member of NEC’s SDN Application Centre partner programme, Alcatel-Lucent validated its OmniSwitch 6900 SDN interfaces integration with NEC’s ProgrammableFlow’s northbound API.

Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s focus has been on standard’s- based implementation and interoperability to provide an open infrastructure to enterprises. Another example of this is the shortest-path-bridging interoperability testing conducted at Interop 2013 Las Vegas.

OpenStack integration provides additional southbound SDN interfaces that enable open and multi-vendor virtualised SDN ecosystems.

A new module available for the OmniSwitch 6900 with a native fibre channel interface and built-in fibre channel-to-fibre channel over Ethernet (FCoE) gateway enables convergence of storage and data networking in the data centre. This capability has been validated with QLogic storage area network (SAN) fabric and NetApp storage arrays.

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