Data Center Innovation of the Year: Nuage Networks Virtualized Services Platform
It's been a good debut year for Nuage Networks. Spun off as a separate venture from Alcatel-Lucent to focus on software-defined networking (SDN) technologies, Nuage unveiled its Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) earlier this year and began turning heads right away.
"We introduced Nuage Networks to the world in April, and the product began shipping into trials almost immediately," says Nuage founder and CEO Sunil Khandekar. "In its first six months, Nuage Networks has secured three wins and successfully completed over a dozen trials worldwide. Our SDN solution is being used by large tech enterprises, for whom IT is a critical asset, as well as by service providers with datacenter assets and cloud ambitions, and we continue to learn from our customer interactions each day."
Much of that interest is being driven by the overall need by service providers to fully embrace the cloud paradigm to the point of applying cloud principles that make delivery of network services more expeditious, operationally expeditious, and cost effective Ð or to "cloudify their networks", as Khandekar puts it. That includes network functions virtualization (NFV) and network automation, as well as an open SDN-based approach to data center networking that allows instantaneous and policy-based connectivity within and across all data center assets.
Nuage's VSP enables all that by removing the networking constraints that keep data center networks from being as fluid and dynamic as computing infrastructure already is now, and as responsive as cloud applications need that infrastructure to be, says Khandekar. "Through network abstraction and automation, the VSP eliminates the delay and errors that result from today's configuration-based paradigms with policy-driven auto-instantiation."
That means the benefits of network virtualization won't be restricted to islands of connectivity, he explains. "The benefits of SDN automation and role-based policy definition are extended throughout and across all data center assets, whether they are virtualized or non-virtualized. Through seamless connectivity to existing VPNs, the VSP makes cloud data center resources a natural extension of business services that service providers already offer today."
Khandekar expects to see even more demand for cloud-based service delivery in the coming year as telcos not only test the waters, but also undergo the fundamental shift in mindset necessary to fully embrace the SDN paradigm.
"A necessary shift in operational mindset is underway, one in which networks are programmable and policy-driven rather than static and configuration-driven," he says. "The SDN mindset is certainly accompanied by technologies that facilitate a more open and more agile cloud-based network infrastructure. That's a key element of what we see in the technology pipeline, in addition to the expected and continuous innovations that drive capacity, capability and reach enhancements in the physical network infrastructures that service providers deliver for network access and transport."
Meanwhile, Khandekar adds, as SDN takes hold, "compelling new models can emerge for delivery of VPN services."
Why they won
This SDN-based service platform virtualizes any data-center network infrastructure, leverages programmable business logic and a powerful policy engine, and automatically establishes connectivity between compute resources upon their creation.