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SDN Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, TJ Randall, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

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Pica8 Introduces Framework for the Highly Personalized Data Center

Pica8 Inc., the leader in open networking for software defined networks (SDN), today announced the Pica8 Open Data Center Framework. The framework is designed to provide the essential building blocks toward an eventual transformation to programmable and agile data center networks, including OpenFlow 1.2 and Open vSwitch. This framework will enable cloud providers and web services companies to drive down the costs of application services provisioning in response to customer demands.

In the Open Data Center Framework, Pica8 is extending its Open Networking vision, blending the conceptual benefits of the server and conventional networking worlds. The framework is designed for cloud and data center service providers looking to fundamentally change how they operate and manage their network.

“Server best practices are now also driving initiatives for networks, in particular, simplifying the planning and execution of upgrade processes,” said Seamus Crehan, President of Crehan Research. “Pica8’s framework for a programmable network strives to lay the foundation for an improved way to upgrade network devices, paralleling what is coined a ‘rip and replace’ model on the server side.”

By leveraging the Framework for more granular application flow management, Pica8 technology enables customers to personalize and abstract the OS from the hardware, which enables service providers to utilize commoditized switches in a similar rip-and-replace fashion to swapping out a white box server.

Pica8 top-of-rack switches have been deployed in several reference architectures running OVS (Open vSwitch) with RYU, an OpenFlow 1.2 controller from NTT Laboratories. The integrated deployments provide distributed intelligence along with the orchestration needed to provision services to meet specific application needs.

To deliver a personalized data center experience, the Pica8 Open Data Center framework will continue to leverage SDN to develop components needed to manage and provision the network. OpenFlow 1.2 and OVS bring capabilities such as: GRE tunneling for overlays, traffic engineering to optimize network resources and SDN-based network taps for ensuring application flow performance. These capabilities enable network architects to better understand how to best deploy SDN solutions and leverage the idea of managing individual flows.

“For many, utilizing SDN in their data center represents the future. And the proof in the proverbial pudding will be when managers can centrally define the application flows as needed so that applications run faster and more efficiently,” said Brad Casemore, Research Director, Datacenter Networks at IDC. “Pica8 is seeking to address this challenge, looking to provide IT shops with reduced operating costs while offering network managers greater control and flexibility."

To get started today, leverage these resources for configuring software release 1.7 that is generally available on all four of Pica8’s 1 GbE and 10 GbE open switches.

About Pica8, Inc.

Since 2009, Pica8 has been fulfilling the promise of true software defined networking (SDN) by providing the world’s first open, hardware-independent switching system. Pica8 open switches transform the data center by decoupling hardware from software. This new approach provides greater flexibility and adaptability, all while driving down implementation- and management-related costs of cloud and virtualized applications. Pica8 is a global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. For more information, visit www.pica8.com.

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