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Pica8 Debuts Data Center-Optimized White Box Switches Compliant with OpenFlow and Linux Network Operating Systems

February 20, 2014

Pica8, a company focused on open systems for software defined networking (SDN), announced that the company now boasts the most complete line of white box switches optimized for a broad range of data center applications and conditions.

According to a release, with the introduction of the P-3297 open switch, Pica8 is the first provider to ship three 48 x1GbE models, four options of 10GbE and plans for 40G platforms as well as Trident 2 VXLAN support. Providing this broad range enables Pica8 switches to be seamlessly deployed into existing topologies, or facilitates customers being able to roll out OpenFlow spine and leaf topologies. In addition, the breadth of Pica8's product line helps lower the adoption barrier for SDN solutions.

"Widespread adoption of any new technology takes time, and a common hurdle is simply the breadth of available product," says Zeus Kerravala, Principal Analyst, ZK Research. "The Pica8 approach of having a Linux-based network OS with an external programming interface enabled by OpenFlow 1.3, is the broadest suite of 1G / 10G and 40G switches I have seen, offering customers enough breadth of compatible solutions to ensure they can build any network topology and not be locked into one model."

"Pica8's go-to-market strategy leveraging bare-metal white box switches mirrors the competitive nature of cloud services to deliver the highest quality service and the lowest possible costs," says Brad Casemore, Research Director, Datacenter Networks at IDC. "To do this, cloud providers are looking for new ways to deploy a new operational framework based on hardware abstraction leveraging commoditized white box hardware, which lowers costs all while working with existing capital investments. Pica8's support of OVS provides a path to the OpenStack community as well as OpenFlow programming."

Pica8 has assembled a roster of original design manufacturers (ODM) now qualified to operate PicOS 2.2, Pica8's OpenFlow-based open network OS, over their hardware. PicOS runs standards-based Layer 2 / Layer 3 protocols with OpenFlow 1.3 / Open vSwitch (OVS) 2.0 integration. Its graphical user interface ensures that programming OVS is easy.

The P-3297, designed with a large TCAM, doubles the available memory space for OpenFlow rules, thereby dramatically increasing the scale of Broadcom Trident-based hardware and ensuring that it can be used by the OpenFlow community. Pica8 offers broad tuning of the TCAM, giving users the granular control they need to optimize flows.

"The IT infrastructure depends on its core network components. The concept of white box networking equipment is evolving and developing hand in hand with network virtualization. While existing network equipment has been tried and tested, commodity networking platforms have yet to prove their merits in production environments. Also customers need backward compatibility. Major design shifts take time and require an integration of old and new. Pica8 is providing a turnkey approach that enables IT shops to experiment with both bare metal switches and new technologies such as OpenFlow without having to build it all from scratch. At the same time they are providing support at Layer 2 / Layer 3 to ensure backward compatibility with existing IT infrastructures," says Tracy Corbo, Principal Research Analyst at Enterprise Management Associates.

More Information:

www.pica8.com

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Source: Manufacturing Close - Up


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