Avaya Takes First SDN Step And Unveils Framework

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Avaya has unveiled a data centre framework as part of its first move into the crowded SDN space

Avaya has begun its move into the crowded software-defined networking (SDN) space, after it revealed a data centre orchestration and automation framework.

The framework will be based on the OpenStack platform and the company’s own Fabric Connect technology.

SDDC Framework

Avaya officials will demonstrate the company’s Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) framework at the upcoming VMworld 2013 show, which runs 25-29 August in San Francisco.

Avaya logoThe SDDC framework, unveiled 21 August, is designed to enable organisations to more easily and automatically deploy and manage the compute, storage and networking resources in their data centre environments, creating a five-step process that will reduce from months to minutes the amount of time it takes to spin out a new application, according to Avaya officials.

By utilising OpenStack, the open cloud computing platform, data centre administrators will be able to use a single graphical user interface to do everything from deploying virtual machines to assigning storage to configuring networks. Avaya’s SDDC framework includes the company’s OpenStack Horizon-based Management Platform, with orchestration capabilities for compute (Nova, the project name for OpenStack Compute, a cloud computing fabric controller), storage (Cinder and Swift, project names for block and object storage) and networking through Avaya’s Fabric Connect (Neutron, the OpenStack project name for networking-as-a-service).

Avaya’s Fabric Connect, a network provisioning technology the company rolled out in April, offers a more dynamic, scalable and flexible networking environment that is a key part of any software-defined data centre, according to company officials. The solution can connect pools of data centre resources both inside and between data centres.

Avaya also is using open APIs into the Fabric Connect architecture to enable integration and interoperability with other software-defined networking (SDN) offerings.

“Avaya continues to innovate the way that networks are designed, built and operated, leveraging the unique capabilities of our Fabric Connect technology,” Marc Randall, senior vice president and general manager of Avaya Networking, said in a statement. “This announcement demonstrates that enterprises can immediately realise the operational benefits of real-time orchestration and automation.”

Those benefits range from more simple mobility for virtual machines and a more streamlined process for deploying applications to scale-out connectivity and improved network flexibility.

SDN Move

Avaya officials said the SDDC framework is the first step in the company’s SDN strategy, and noted that its Fabric Connect is available in a growing number of Avaya networking offerings, including the Virtual Service Platform 9000, Ethernet Routing Switch 8800 and Virtual Services Platform 7000.

SDN continues to be the most talked-about technology in the networking space, promising to bring greater flexibility, scalability and programmability to networks by moving most of the network intelligence out of the underlying physical infrastructure and into software-based controllers. Established networking companies like Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks are aggressively pursuing SDN strategies, and a growing number of startups also are introducing solutions around not only the connectivity layer but also the networking applications that run on top of it.

Currently the hype around SDN is outrunning actual implementations, but IDC analysts believe it will grow into a $3.7 billion (£2.4bn) market by 2016, while Transparency Market Research said in a report 21 August that it will be $3.5 billion (£2.3bn) by 2018.

SDN, combined with the ongoing virtualisation of the server and storage components, is creating visions of software-defined data centres that are highly automated, dynamic, scalable and flexible. Most recently, Intel executives at a daylong conference last month outlined their vision of data centres that are dynamic rather than static and automated rather than manual, and where applications can automatically draw the resources they need from a pool, and return those resources to the pool once they’re done.

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Originally published on eWeek.