What is Software-Defined Networking (SDN)?
Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a new architectural approach to designing, building, and managing networks. It separates network services and traffic management from the underlying hardware and allows business applications to program the creation and coordination of network services through a centralised control mechanism.
What are the key benefits of SDN?
SDN aligns IT with business needs due to its software control, making it agile, flexible and cost effective.
SDN offers significant business benefits such as:
- Agility - faster rate of innovation and responsiveness. Exposing the value of rich network analytics for big data applications in your business.
- Network security - improved security, compliance and active defence.
- Automation - enhanced virtualisation, cloud orchestration and optimised network assets.
- Lower OPEX - lower operational and capital expenditure.
SDN’s impact started in Data Centres, offering greater alignment with orchestration, support for high availability, flexibility…etc. SDN for enterprise/campus networks is also now starting to take a foothold.
Why adopt an SDN architecture?
Computing has advanced rapidly over the past three decades but the way that networking is done has remained virtually unchanged. The networks themselves have become a critical component of all infrastructures in society and an important part of emerging public and private clouds. However, traditional networking approaches have become too complex, closed, and proprietary. SDN is changing how we design, build and operate networks to achieve business agility. With SDN, networks are no longer closed, proprietary, and difficult to program. They are transformed into an open and programmable component of the larger cloud infrastructure.
Where is NEC on the SDN landscape?
NEC has been at the forefront of SDN development and is recognised as the first vendor to release OpenFlow based SDN offerings. We were one of the original members of Stanford University's Clean Slate Program when it was established in January 2008. This program became the Launchpad for the development of SDN architecture and the OpenFlow protocol. NEC subsequently became the world's first vendor to market SDN products. NEC has more than 250 customers who have adopted/deployed our SDN solutions.
What is Openflow?
OpenFlow is the first standard communications interface defined between the control and forwarding layers of an SDN architecture. OpenFlow allows direct access to, and manipulation of, the forwarding plane of network devices such as switches and routers, in both physical and virtual (hypervisor-based) environments. OpenFlow-based SDN technologies enable IT to address the high-bandwidth, dynamic nature of today's applications, adapt the network to ever-changing business needs, and significantly reduce operations and management complexity. The OpenFlow standard is the first SDN standard introduced by the Open Networking Foundation.
Open Networking Foundation (ONF) is a user-driven organisation dedicated to the promotion and adoption of SDN through open standards development.
What is ProgrammableFlow?
Introduced in 2011, and installed in production networks around the world, NEC ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite was the first commercially available SDN solution to leverage the OpenFlow protocol, enabling full network virtualisation and allowing enterprises, data centres and service providers to easily deploy, control, monitor and manage secure multi-tenant network infrastructure.
NEC Australia and SDN
NEC Australia offers a complete, end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio. We also provide consultancy, managed services, and staff augmentation to meet your needs whether you are a large enterprise, government organisation, data centre operator, or cloud provider.
We draw on a wide range of technology from world-leading technology partners (HPE Aruba, Cisco, Palo Alto, Dell etc.) in-house capabilities and products, and SDN open standards partnerships. This lets us tailor the ideal solution for each customer, meeting your unique needs perfectly.
NEC Australia SDN technology partners
As a Cisco Gold Partner, NEC Australia is able to leverage on our extensive expertise to deliver a Cisco SDN solution, called Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). This policy-based automation solution supports a business-relevant application policy language and greater scalability through a distributed enforcement system, and greater network visibility. These benefits are achieved through the integration of physical and virtual environments under one policy model for networks, servers, storage, services, and security.
HP Enterprise (HPE) is a global partner and in Australia we currently hold a Platinum partnership. The global partnership includes product OEM agreement where we package HPE switches as part of the NEC SDN solution. With HPE’s acquisition of Aruba, NEC and HPE are extending SDN capability beyond the wired network. Aruba is renowned for its extensive mobility portfolio (Mobility First) and NEC is recognised for its feature rich SDN controller (PFC6800). The development collaboration will involve integrating the PFC6800 with the Aruba Mobility solution.
What is the NEC SDN Partner Space?
NEC SDN Partner Space is a community project run by NEC Corporation to create an ecosystem around the SDN OpenFlow protocol. NEC has delivered SDN-based systems to over 200 companies in Japan and around the world. The NEC SDN Partner Space is an open SDN applications ecosystem enabling appliance vendors to enter the already huge and fast growing OpenFlow enabled SDN market, redefine the rules imposed by traditional flat networks and profit from new business opportunities, backed by NEC SDN expertise.
Are there any NEC SDN customer reference documents?
A number of NEC customer case studies are available for download below.