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Pluribus replaces controller SDN architecture with adaptive cloud fabric

Pluribus Networks announced a Netvisor SDN upgrade with its adaptive cloud fabric that replaces controller SDN architecture. Cradlepoint upgrades its SD-WAN and 4G LTE foundation.

Pluribus Networks has introduced an update to its Netvisor SDN platform that replaces controller SDN architecture. The release -- adaptive cloud fabric virtualized architecture -- virtualizes bare-metal switches, creating a completely software-based environment, said Steven Shalita, vice president of marketing, products and strategy at Pluribus Networks, based in Palo Alto, Calif.

"We've done for network hardware what VMware did for the bare-metal server," Shalita said. "[VMware] took a server and virtualized it, so it could run multiple, separate protected applications. We've done the same thing in the [network] hardware. You can take basic open networking hardware -- an open networking compliance switch -- and treat it as a bare-metal switch. It has everything needed to run it -- the operating system and the switching -- but you can virtualize that switch into multiple personalities, multiple containers in the single box."

These virtualized switches can be clustered together in the distributed adaptive cloud fabric and operate as a single fabric, without a controller, he said. This controllerless architecture removes boundaries, allowing the fabric to function for a single data center or across multiple data centers. Each switch can also be managed independently.

East-west and north-south traffic segmentation is used to isolate and control the fabric, ensuring data security. Additional security services and policies can be inserted into the core of fabric to protect against inside threats. Policies can be created to redirect suspicious traffic to firewalls for inspection, for example. The fabric supports end-to-end visibility, and that intelligence also extends to devices that are connected to the network, Shalita said. And if the network fails, there is an available feature called configuration rollback, which brings the network back to the previous established configuration.

The Pluribus adaptive cloud fabric is inserted into the network, without requiring a change to an enterprise's operational network model or forcing physical network renovations. It brings services into the network, while still achieving the programmability and automation associated with SDN architecture. And it eliminates the need for a new controller and protocols, thereby reducing complexity and overcoming management shortfalls now associated with controller SDN architecture.

Licensing for Pluribus adaptive cloud fabric is available in both a traditional perpetual model and as subscription licensing on a per-switch basis.

Cradlepoint aims for easier 4G LTE and SD-WAN integration

Cradlepoint Inc. released version 6.3 of its NetCloud OS router software, which targets 4G LTE capabilities within software-defined WANs. Cradlepoint's NetCloud platform includes SD-WAN, software-defined perimeter security services and 4G LTE-enabled router products for mobile networks and internet of things (IoT). Other key updates in Cradlepoint's release include improved visibility and additional support for traffic steering and quality of service.

Cradlepoint, based in Boise, Idaho, has carved a niche as a 4G LTE wireless connectivity provider; the latest update lets enterprises that rely on 4G more easily incorporate wireless and SD-WAN connectivity -- as primary, hybrid or failover links.

Other update features include improved LAN client management, which gives users a set of tools they can use to detect new devices on a network and to apply SD-WAN business policies to those devices.

The second major update -- smart WAN selection, optimized for wireless connections -- involves traffic steering that acts as a built-in connection manager. This feature reads signal, latency and jitter for link connections and determines the appropriate connection to direct traffic, said Todd Krautkremer, Cradlepoint's senior vice president of strategy and corporate development.

Cradlepoint also updated the quality of service for WAN traffic, using an algorithm to automatically prioritize traffic appropriately for failovers. "It's a QoS mechanism that constantly adapts to the size of the pipe available and adjusts the performance of each individual type of traffic instead of having traffic compete in aggregate queues," Krautkremer said.

Next up for Cradlepoint: SDN, 5G wireless and IoT. Fifth-generation, or 5G, will provide the high speed and high availability needed for the next evolution of WAN -- one that could replace wired connections, Krautkremer said. Components of Cradlepoint's SD-WAN technology are already 5G-ready, and the vendor is already preparing for the next generation of wireless.

"We're solid believers that a large part of next-generation WANs will be wireless, and that's part of why we believe [Cradlepoint] is so well-positioned," said Ian Pennell, chief marketing officer and head of product. "We're making quite a substantial investment under NDA [nondisclosure agreements] with major partners in the 5G area."

Krautkremer said more details about these developments will be released in the next year.

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