Pluribus Networks On The Reality & Evolution Of Software-Defined Networking (SDN)

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The concept of software-defined networking (SDN) has been around for a couple of decades, yet most IT professionals still have a hard time understanding what it truly means. Originally, SDN focused on separating the control plane from the data plane in order to make network control centrally managed, more agile and programmable. However, in recent years the SDN space has been evolving with more vendors developing their own SDN technologies and solutions for enterprise customers.

One such company is Pluribus Networks, which focuses on network analytics and SDN solutions. During our latest RoadCast video tour we met with Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Pluribus, to learn more about Pluribus’ role in the SDN space. Starting from the bottom, we asked Shalita: what is software-defined networking?

Right away Shalita acknowledges that there’s still a lot of confusion around what SDN actually is. To explain the concept, he breaks it down into a couple of parts, the first one being software-hardware disaggregation. In other words, separating the software functions from the hardware so that you can purchase and run the software from one vendor on another vendor’s hardware. However, this idea of disaggregating software from hardware is not truly SDN, Shalita notes.

SDN is about changing the control plane dynamics to create a control environment that runs the network switch, says Shalita. This essentially puts the intelligence not in the switch but in the controller. The network switching is then run through the controller, according to Shalita. However, the problems that arise with this type of architecture, Shalita notes, is scale and performance.

Shalita explains that SDN is really about how you build and scale the network and drive automation, intelligence and broader capabilities into the network infrastructure.

So where does Pluribus Networks fit in?

Pluribus represents the third wave of software-defined networking. The company is moving far beyond the notion of a controller, Shalita tells us. The controller inhibits deployment and adds a significant amount of complexity, latency and scalability issues.

Pluribus has eliminated the controller and the obstacles that come with it, according to Shalita, allowing for far simpler SDN deployments. This allows organizations to get the benefits of SDN, like automation, control and intelligence, and be able to scale it across multiple data centers and locations, including brownfield environments.

Shalita also offers some examples of what SDN is not, which is helpful in understanding other networking solutions that might claim to be software-defined when they’re really not.

Watch the complete video to learn more about SDN and Pluribus’ role in this exciting space.

Analytics & Performance Management in Software Defined Networking

In a separate video, we talk with Shalita about network analytics and performance management and why they’re so critical to software-defined networking. Shalita explains that the network connects all of the data center infrastructure that delivers services to users; so things like availability, performance and user experience matter greatly because they rely heavily on the performance of the network.

With the next-generation of SDN solutions, network performance management becomes even more complex. Shalita explains how the traditional ways of network monitoring no longer work in today’s data center environments. He also talks about how today’s network analytics platforms can be used for not just operational and performance issues, but also things like security.

Watch the video to learn more about network analytics and performance management in the SDN space and visit pluribusnetworks.com.

Scott Lowe
scott@actualtechmedia.com

Follow Scott on Twitter   Scott is Co-Founder of ActualTech Media and serves as Senior Content Editor and Strategist. Scott is an enterprise IT veteran with more than twenty years experience in senior and CIO roles across multiple organizations.

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