Software defined networking! No longer just a buzzword thrown into vendor PowerPoints without any production deployments to back it up, the virtualization of network resources and the abstraction of network intelligence out of the physical layer and into a software layer is becoming an inevitable enterprise reality. Are you ready for customers to start asking you about SDN? Our upcoming ebook, Network Virtualization and SDN: What You Need to Know for 2015, is a great resource to get you started. Here's a preview of some of the most vital information you'll get from the book: three software defined networking companies you'll have to know for 2015.
When it comes to software defined networking companies, networking hardware giant Cisco is arguably the dominant force. Thanks to the massive footprint Cisco has already established in enterprises worldwide, the vendor has a large and receptive customer base to which to sell its SDN vision. Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), Cisco's approach to software defined networking, revolves around its Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), Nexus 9000 series switches, and Application Virtual Switch for the network edge. ACI should prove attractive to customers already familiar with the high performance of Cisco gear, as well as to network engineers already familiar with the Nexus operating system.
Another leader among today's software defined networking companies is HP, which offers a Virtual Application Network (VAN) SDN controller to take charge of its FlexFabric 790 SDN-optimized switches. HP is taking an open, flexible approach to SDN. The vendor supports open source protocols like OpenFlow for SDN and OpenStack for cloud deployments. In addition, the recently launched HP SDN Marketplace demonstrates the company's commitment to helping organizations customize their networks on the software layer. The SDN Marketplace offers a mix of HP and third-party network applications for HP SDN environments.
Openness is also key to the vision espoused by the third of our software defined networking companies to watch. Juniper's Contrail controller is built to complement the vendor's MetaFabric Architecture product portfolio but promises an open architecture that can work with a diverse array of orchestration systems, physical networks, and virtualization hypervisors. This openness may be a deciding factor for customers hesitant to adopt the technologies offered by large software defined networking companies due to fear of vendor lock-in. In fact, Juniper's commitment to open source is such that the company has even open sourced the Contrail controller in its OpenContrail form.
It's an exciting time in the networking industry. The innovations of today's software defined networking companies look set to shape the way that companies and service providers connect and deliver applications and services for years to come. In fact, global organizations with substantive cloud investments, such as Google and Facebook, are already acting as living examples of the potential of SDN. After decades of stagnation while the worlds of compute and storage forge ahead, networking is finally ready to catch up to the rest of the data center. Are you?
What do you think about the SDN trend and the direction software defined companies are headed in? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.