Cyan targets Blue Orbit multivendor ecosystem at SDN

June 12, 2013

In hopes of moving software-defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) from the standards world into the field (and promoting a few sales along the way) Cyan (NYSE: CYNI) has partnered with a variety of vendors to create the Blue Orbit SDN hardware and software ecosystem. The ecosystem will include a physical manifestation in the form of Cyan's California-based Blue Orbit Lab that will be used test and demonstrate interoperability among the SDN-related offerings of the Blue Orbit partners.

The ecosystem will not only help partners advance product development but help demonstrate that SDN products are currently available and able to solve customer problems, according to Cyan’s Nirav Modi, manager, service provider solutions. Cyan, of course, will offer its Blue Planet SDN suite to the ecosystem. Other ecosystem participants include:

  • Accedian Networks
  • Arista Networks
  • Boundary, which offers products that provide visibility into application traffic and topology
  • Canonical, which supplies the Ubuntu reference operating system for OpenStack
  • Embrane, which offers SDN-enabled firewalls, VPNs, and load balancers
  • Overture Networks
  • RYU, a part of NTT Laboratories Open Source Software Computing Group that provides OpenFlow controllers.

Modi expects other partners to join the roster in the future. In addition to demonstrating interoperability, Modi says he expects there to be some co-marketing among members of the ecosystem.

Several members of the Blue Orbit group will show what the ecosystem can do at the upcoming Interop Tokyo. At the Cyan booth, the Blue Orbit members (minus Boundary and Embrane) will offer a demonstration of the use of SDN capabilities to orchestrate the creation of data center virtual machines and virtualized network resources via standard APIs or a web portal.

In the demonstration, applications running on an enterprise server will place requests for additional cloud data center virtual machines and associated network resources using OpenStack APIs and OpenFlow. Cyan Blue Planet SDN platform will service the requests on behalf of network resources and proxy the compute and data center network demands to an OpenStack server in the cloud data center. Blue Planet will enable the turn up of additional services across the demonstration multi-vendor carrier network that will include Carrier Ethernet and optical edge devices from Overture and Accedian Networks. The data center instance of OpenStack will negotiate with compute resources and with Arista data center switches to allocate the necessary network and compute capacity.

The ecosystem is important, Modi says, because it demonstrates that SDN can be used now to solve real-world problems in a best-of-breed fashion, rather than relying on a single vendor because of interoperability concerns.

"This is a necessary undertaking if the benefits of SDN -- namely faster new service creation and greater service profitability -- are to be realized,” offered Dr. Jim Metzler, founder and vice president at Ashton, Metzler and Associates, via a Cyan press release. “Virtually all significant new technologies require vendors to work together in order to ensure multi-vendor networks can be easily deployed. Cyan's Blue Orbit is the first such effort within the SDN community."

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