Traditional networks and data centers are being stretched to their limits. They were never designed for today's astronomical growth in bandwidth-intensive applications—and the ever-increasing demand for speed, scalability, and resilience. Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is a powerful new network paradigm designed to address these issues. Brocade leads the way in SDN technologies to help unleash the power, intelligence, and analytics of networks with a flexible, end-to-end cloud-based solution.
OpenFlow is an emerging SDN communications protocol that provides access to the forwarding plane of a network switch or router over the network, facilitating more sophisticated traffic management and engineering, especially for virtualized environments. OpenFlow began at Stanford University as an attempt to create an open standard that researchers could use to run experimental protocols on the campus production network. Since then, OpenFlow has been implemented by several major networking vendors and deployed in mission-critical production networks globally. The OpenFlow standard is managed by the Open Networking Foundation (ONF), whose mission also includes the promotion of SDN technologies.
OpenFlow presents a paradigm shift from traditional networking. In a traditional router or switch, the data plane (the hardware) and the control plane (the software) reside on the device. OpenFlow moves part of the control plane operations to run on external servers called controllers. In practice, the OpenFlow capability is a feature added to commercial network devices, whose hardware architecture and features remain crucial to network performance. The goal of OpenFlow is to streamline innovation by enabling user organizations and third-party developers to experiment with and develop new applications at a pace that suits their needs. OpenFlow can be used to easily deploy innovative routing and switching protocols in the network for high-value applications such as VM mobility, high-security networks, and next-generation IP-based mobile networks.
Brocade is taking an innovative approach by implementing OpenFlow in Brocade Hybrid Port Mode on its high-performance routing platforms. With Hybrid Port Mode on the Brocade MLXe Series, organizations can simultaneously deploy traditional routing or switching with OpenFlow on the same port. This unique capability provides a pragmatic path to SDN by enabling network operators to integrate OpenFlow into existing networks, giving them the programmatic control offered by SDN for specific flows while the remaining traffic is routed as before. Brocade hardware support for OpenFlow enables organizations to apply these capabilities at line rate in 10 GbE, 40 GbE, and 100 GbE networks.
For more information on the emerging OpenFlow standard, visit www.opennetworking.org.
Brocade introduces a portfolio of products ready for OpenStack cloud orchestration, with the benefits of open and interoperable cloud architectures. With OpenStack, customers can now more easily implement a reliable and flexible public, private, or hybrid cloud solution.
SDN introduces new opportunities to centralize network services more rapidly, but also new forms of complexity. Brocade VCS Fabric technology provides unique automation capabilities and resilience in the physical fabric, as well as integration and hardware support for leading SDN solutions.
Software-based networking is the most effective way to deploy critical networking tasks while meeting the fundamental business requirements of a cloud.
Brocade networking solutions offer unmatched automation and are built to support scale-out infrastructure, making them ideal for cloud infrastructures that must scale outward rather than upward. Brocade, along with OpenStack, delivers the benefits of open and interoperable cloud architectures.
This paper provides an overview of SDN, its expected role in cloud-optimized networks, and how Brocade is implementing SDN vertically and across its portfolio to provide users with a truly open cloud-optimized network, built on a resilient, automated fabric foundation.