March 3, 2014

NEC Announces Version 5.1 of ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite

IRVING, Tex., March. 3 — NEC Corporation of America (NEC), a leading provider and integrator of advanced IT and communications solutions, and a pioneer in OpenFlow-based Software-defined Networking (SDN), and NEC Corporation in Japan today announced Version 5.1 of its award-winning ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite, which introduces a new OpenFlow-based, software-defined data center interconnect solution – the Unified Network Coordinator (UNC).

NEC will demonstrating the UNC and the ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite at Booth #301 at the Open Networking Summit (ONS) in Santa Clara, CA, March 3-5.

The demand for improved data center interconnectivity addresses challenges facing today’s businesses, including:

  • Higher business continuity requirements because of news risks, increased regulation
  • Greater bandwidth demands generated by new applications, big data needs and customer responsiveness
  • Better access to geographically dispersed applications and data
  • Need to reduce the complexity of managing data centers
  • Requirement for increased visibility for better security

NEC’s new UNC tackles those issues and improves scalability of the network controller by 10 times over previous ProgrammableFlow controllers. The UNC enables construction and orchestration of virtual networks across multiple controllers within a data center as well as across interconnects between data centers. The UNC’s capability of linking virtual networks across and between data centers gives customers the ability to link to specific policies within the UNC. In turn, users gain the ability to have an end-to-end policy across multiple controllers and multiple domains.

“We’ve found that our customers are looking for a policy-based approach to managing their data centers, which is now possible with NEC’s UNC,” said Don Clark, director of business development, NEC Corporation of America. “The ProgrammableFlow version 5.1 controller allows for better resource utilization and it simplifies data center management, both of which can increase service agility and reduce operating costs. Customers can deploy the UNC to move workloads across multiple data centers and control how traffic flows across WAN links. This allows the pooling of resources, which equates to better utilization of not only networks, but also storage and servers.”

“Data center interconnect (DCI) is an area of increasing focus for IT organizations as they address the expanding regulatory requirements for exchanging, storing, processing and accessing corporation information as well as the emergence of big data as a key component of business functions,” said Nav Chander, senior analyst, IDC. “We recently surveyed senior data center and CIO executives at 200 enterprises about DCI and found they are looking for solutions such as the UNC to help them fully leverage their networks. At the top of their list of concerns are business continuity and disaster recovery. An interconnect solution will be particularly attractive because of the investment protection and the variety of technology approaches it affords.”

As an illustration of its 10x scalability, each ProgrammableFlow UNC controls up to:

  • 10 controllers or 10 sites or 10 zones in a large data center
  • 2,000 switches (compared to 200 switches per controller in previous version)
  • 30,000 Virtual Tenant Networks (VTN)
  • 100,000 VLANs
  • 10 million flows

Ideal Use Cases

Working with its enterprise and service provider customers, NEC has developed several use cases for using the ProgrammableFlow UNC. This is an ideal solution for customers who want to develop an effective disaster recovery and business continuity strategy. Using the ProgrammableFlow UNC helps reduce costs for readiness because it better leverages existing IT resources and investments. It also provides highly available computing capability.

The ProgrammableFlow UNC also provides better workload application mobility. It enables moving virtualized resources to and from dispersed geographic locations, either because of expansion or consolidation efforts. Additionally, customers can enjoy new levels of collaboration with improved responsiveness to planned or unplanned events, such as weather-related outages or emergencies.

NEC at Open Networking Summit 2014

  • NEC is demonstrating version 5.1 of its ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite at Booth #301 at Open Networking Summit, March 3-5, 2014.
  • Don Clark, director of business development at NEC Corporation of America, is presentingEnterprise Use Cases for Software-defined Networking, at 12:40 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4.
  • Kazuya Hashimoto, EVP at NEC Europe Ltd., is participating in the SDN for Cellular Networksplenary session, 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 5.


NEC’s ProgrammableFlow version 5.1 controller and NEC’s Unified Network Coordinator are expected to be made generally available for North American customers in April 2014.

About ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite

Initially launched in 2011, the ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite was the first commercially available SDN solution to leverage the OpenFlow protocol, enabling complete network virtualization, allowing customers to easily deploy, control, monitor, and manage multi-tenant network infrastructure. Now with version 5.1, customers can unify and control remote networks, all from a central location, to deliver simplified data center management, improved end-user access to applications, enhanced collaboration, and dramatically increase efficiency of IT resource utilization. Endorsed by customers, the ProgrammableFlow Networking Suite provides the first comprehensive suite that includes both physical and virtual switches as well as an SDN controller and applications. Ideally suited for corporate and service provider data centers, the ProgrammableFlow Controller PF6800 controller provides a cost-effective, high-performance, highly scalable SDN platform.


Source: NEC

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