Posts Tagged ‘Networking’

IBM Exploring Sale of Software-Defined Networking Business

February 3rd, 2014

A week after selling its server business unit to Lenovo, IBM is now exploring the sale of some of its networking assets and may be seeking as much as a $1 billion, sources familiar with the matter tell Re/code.

When Big Blue sold its x86 server unit to Lenovo in a deal worth $2.3 billion last week, included with the deal were several networking products — switches and other goods used to enable connections between servers.

Not included in the sale to Lenovo was another IBM product line focused on software-defined networking. IBM calls it Software Defined Network for Virtual Environments.

SDN is a relatively new networking technology that allows for networks within data centers to be set up and configured quickly using only software, similar to the way that virtual machines are “spun up” within servers. The benefit is that the network becomes more flexible and easier to change without the need to swap out new hardware.

IBM is said to have informally approached several companies in the networking business, including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Juniper and Fujitsu, to gauge interest. As IBM has recently spent big to expand its Watson cognitive computing unit as well as its SoftLayer cloud computing unit, the SDN unit is not seen as strategically important, according to a source familiar with the company’s thinking.

It’s unclear how interested those companies might be in buying the unit. One executive at one of the companies approached, who asked not to be named because the matter is private, said his company would at the very least “take a look in order to understand it.”

Ed Barbini, a spokesman for IBM, had no comment, citing the company’s policy of not commenting on rumors and speculation. Representatives of HP, Dell and Juniper declined to comment. A representative for Fujitsu was not immediately available.

Several SDN startups have materialized in recent years, including Big Switch Networks and Nicira (now part of VMware), with the aim of attacking established networking vendors like Cisco Systems and Juniper.

Meanwhile, those same networking vendors — Cisco and Hewlett-Packard and Dell — have all sought to push various flavors of SDN technology of their own and have helped create different standards around it.

IBM had been involved with a standards effort known as Open Daylight, which garnered support from Cisco and HP among others, but which has not received wide-scale industry backing.

One stumbling block may be the price IBM is seeking. One executive described IBM’s initial asking price of $1 billion as “pretty optimistic.”


Software defined networking (SDN) a $13bn opportunity

August 20th, 2013

Software defined networking (SDN) is seen as an essential tool to ensure future profitability in today’s mobile networks, and wireless carriers have already begun trial engagements of the technology according to ARCchart. The London-based research firm is predicting that annual spending on mobile SDN solutions will reach $13 billion by 2018.

Conventional networking technology relies on an embedded control plane within hardware components that enables switching, routing and traffic engineering functionality while the data plane simply forwards packet-based traffic. SDN removes control plane functions from individual networking hardware, and moves these to a centralized location.

The use of centralized software-based network control across multiple network elements enables a several benefits, including increased efficiency, faster time for new service deployment, and the ability to build multiple virtual networks over a common physical network fabric. SDN also enables tremendous cost savings by reducing reliance on proprietary hardware platforms used for conventional ‘hardware defined’ networking.

Amid growing requirements for mobile broadband capacity, wireless carrier are echoing demands for a network architecture that can cost-effectively scale services via software, without requiring large investments in proprietary hardware platforms. Mobile SDN promises to make these dreams a reality, with use-cases ranging from centralizing the control of radio access networks (RANs) to virtualizing the mobile core. ARCchart expects global spending on mobile SDN technology to grow at a CAGR of nearly 120% between 2013 and 2018.


Extreme Networks and TasmaNet show Software Defined Networking (SDN) in action at ICT Conference

August 5th, 2013

Extreme Networks and its partner TasmaNet will demonstrate software-defined networking (SDN) in action at the TasmaNet Tasmanian ICT Conference (TASICT) in Hobart on Monday, August 5.

Extreme Networks is a leader in high performance Ethernet switching for campus, cloud, data centre and mobile networks that leverages the intelligence of its ExtremeXOS® operating system to drive open standards networking to enhance the delivery of applications and make networks simple to manage. TasmaNet provides businesses business managed network services state-wide using one of Tasmania’s largest privately owned data communications infrastructure networks.

The joint demonstration between Extreme Networks and TasmaNet is the initial result of co-operative research, development and testing done in TasmaNet’s Extreme Networks Centre of Excellence, a TasmaNet project designed to create a laboratory environment for network education, research and development.

Work currently under way at the Centre is focused on the certification of Extreme Networks’ switching on the National Broadband Network (NBN) and the use of SDN on the NBN. Recent efforts have culminated in a trial OpenFlow network spanning six local data centres. At the Tasmanian ICT Conference, Andrew Kernebone, Systems Engineer Manager for Extreme Networks, will give a keynote address entitled ‘SDN: The future of Networking’.

According to George Siamos, Country Manager for Extreme Networks, Extreme’s live demonstration of SDN at the recent CommunicAsia event in Singapore caught the limelight from the many vendor booths extolling the virtues of SDN.

Siamos said: “Time and time again we were told that Extreme Networks is at the forefront of shifting SDN from an academic discussion or technical debate to a framework of practical applications within a network. The science fairs are over: it’s time to get to work with SDN.”

Extreme Networks focus in deploying networks that take advantage of SDN is on enabling network customisation of applications and their ease of deployment. This is achieved through tools and interoperability with third party software and systems, customised code from customers or from Extreme Networks’ productivity enhancing applications.

Extreme Networks builds industry-leading Ethernet switches with ExtremeXOS, a modular and extensible next generation operating system (OS). Extreme Networks’ network virtualization application, XNV™, allows network administrators to visualize and manage underlying changes to network topology and VM groups dynamically, without the need to reference the underlying physical elements of the network.

Network operators can manage network performance and capabilities in real-time to meet dynamic capacity demands. This network virtualisation is among the most fundamental SDN-delivered services, but is still new to many IT professionals.

Joel Harris, Managing Director of TasmaNet said: “The user experience is impressive, and one can imagine this type of control deployed within education, corporations, or as a service provider offering.”

Extreme Networks

Extreme Networks, Inc. is a leader in high-performance Ethernet switching for cloud, data centre and mobile networks. Based in Santa Clara, CA, Extreme Networks has more than 6,000 customers in more than 50 countries.


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