In 2011, Cisco officials said the company will offer OpenFlow support on its Nexus switches, and the networking giant is “spinning in” a new company—Insieme—that will be started by Cisco engineers and funded by Cisco, with Cisco holding the option of buying it if it’s successful. Insieme’s job is to develop products for SDNs, which Cisco officials have said is an important evolution in networks but encompasses more than simply OpenFlow and the drive to decouple the data and control planes—the switches and routers.
HP has been a proponent of OpenFlow since the onset of its development in 2007, and announced in February that it is providing OpenFlow support on 16 of its switches, such as the HP 3500, 5400 and 8200 series switches. Officials at the time said by the end of 2012, all the switches in their FlexNetwork networking architecture will support OpenFlow. Its new Virtual Application Networks is essentially an SDN effort that virtualizes the network.
Dell officials, who have voiced their support for SDNs, are looking to leverage their acquisition of Force10 Networks in 2011 to become a larger player in the networking space. At the Interop 2012 show in May, Dell will demonstrate a number of networking technologies, including products that can interoperate with Big Switch Networks’ OpenFlow-enabled SDN controller.
Nicira in February launched its OpenFlow-enabled Network Virtualization Platform. In January, Big Switch Networks unveiled Floodlight, an open-source OpenFlow controller. Vyatta in April rolled out vPlane, a scalable forward plane appliance that can support OpenFlow and other emerging standards.