Extending Open Source SDN and NFV to the Enterprise

By Christian Buerger, Technologist, SDN/NFV Marketing, Intel

This week I am attending the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Shenzhen, China, to promote Intel’s software defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) software solutions. During this year’s IDF, Intel has made several announcements and our CEO Brian Krzanich has showcased Intel’s innovation leadership across a wide range of technologies with our local partners in China. On the heel of Krzanich’s announcements, Intel Software & Services Group Senior VP Doug Fisher extended Krzanich’s message to stress the importance of open source collaboration to drive industry innovation and transformation, citing OpenStack and Hadoop as prime examples.

I participated at the signing event and press briefing for a ground-breaking announcement between Intel and Huawei’s enterprise division to jointly define a next-generation Network as a Service (NaaS) SDN software solution. Under the umbrella of Intel’s Open Network Platform (ONP) server reference platform, Intel and Huawei intend to jointly develop a SDN reference architecture stack. This stack is based on integrating Intel architecture optimized open source ingredients from projects such as Cloud OS/OpenStack, OpenDaylight (ODL), Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), and Open Virtual Switch (OVS) with virtual network appliances such as a virtual services router and virtual firewall. We are also deepening existing collaboration initiatives in various open source projects such as ODL (on Service Function Chaining and performance testing), OVS (SRIOV-based performance enhancements), and DPDK.

In addition to the broad range of open source SDN/NFV collaboration areas this agreement promotes, what makes it so exciting to me personally is the focus on the enterprise sector. Specifically, together with Huawei we are planning to develop reference solutions that target specific enterprise vertical markets such as education, financial services, and government. Together, we are extending our investments into SDN and NFV open source projects to not only accelerate advanced NaaS solutions for early adopters in the telco and cloud service provider space, but also to create broad opportunities to drive massive SDN adoption in the enterprise in 2015. As Swift Liu, President of Huawei’s Switch and Enterprise Communication Products, succinctly put it, Intel and Huawei “are marching from software-hardware collaboration to the entirely new software-defined era in the enterprise.”

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