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Delivering on the Promise of SDN

It was a year ago, last April, that we brought Nuage Networks and our Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) to the market. When we started, our primary challenge, SDN or otherwise, was to address the mismatch between the operational agility of data center networks and the applications that they served. We observed that compute had become quite easily consumable due to server virtualization, but network connectivity was nowhere near as responsive and dynamic. Network instantiation remained highly manual and work order driven, with configuration done device by device in the data center network.   We also observed that cloud computing and the need to support SLA-enforceable, multiple applications for multiple tenants was imposing requirements of secure, policy driven, multi-tenanted, multi-datacenter connectivity on a data center network that had largely remained single tenanted, single data center and supporting just 4K VLANs.

So the idea that inspired Nuage Networks was first to remove network restrictions that were an unfortunate reality in the data center networks by applying the knowledge and technology of building large scale, multi-region, multi-tenanted VPN networks technology we had developed over the last decade for the large Telcos.  Next we tackled the network automation by looking at mobile networks. Mobile networks gracefully support millions of mobile devices anywhere in the world. Wherever the mobile device travels, the network follows and knows where it is, what it is, and connects it instantly to the network based on what capabilities it is allowed as per the subscriber’s SLA.  So we asked ourselves, why can’t the same boundary-less and instantaneous policy-driven connectivity be possible for virtual machines (VMs)?  We concluded that this challenge needed to be addressed in order for cloud computing to thrive.

This was the genesis of the idea that led us to develop the Nuage Networks’ Software Defined Networking (SDN) platform that completely rethought how we built, managed and operated networks.  We architected an extensible platform that delivered massive network automation and virtualization first in the Data Center where the requirement is most pronounced due to the onset of cloud computing but that over time would extend to the wide area network and beyond.

Nuage Networks VSP has been shipping for a year now. In creating this solution, we delivered on the two fundamental pillars of SDN: First the ability to abstract the capabilities of the network, and second to be able to automate that in a policy-based way so that delays and potential for errors are dramatically reduced. This is the approach that we have taken in the development of our products and solutions, and in just one year with our VSP and our 7850 Virtualized Services Gateway (VSG) we have brought the agility of datacenter networks into sync with that of virtualized compute environments, and have driven automation with a comprehensive policy framework that can address both virtualized and non-virtualized (bare metal) workloads. CIOs and network administrators have provided solid validation for the capabilities of our solution in their environments, and we have successfully completed over 30 customer trials. We have been selected by leading global companies that include large financial and healthcare institutions, cloud providers like Numergy, telecommunications providers like NTT Communications and TELUS, and cloud hosting providers like IDC Frontier Inc. and Evonet. Our philosophy has been to build open multi-vendor solutions that can support ever-growing hybrid cloud environments, and this is what we have done. Our solutions are hypervisor agnostic and hardware agnostic. We have made great progress over the last year, and in 2014, Nuage Networks plans to continue driving innovation and removing networking constraints as our customers embrace the cloud. We will continue to foster collaboration and an open approach to accelerate and improve SDN deployments that are agile, responsive, policy driven, and highly automated.

Sunil Khandekar

@sunilskhandekar

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