Oracle Bolsters SDN Initiative with Switches, Virtual Network Services

The software giant is introducing the new Ethernet switches at the MWC show, where it also is showing off its new Netra Modular System.


Oracle is expanding its software-defined network efforts with new Ethernet switches and virtual network services that are aimed at cloud-based enterprise data centers that need greater scalability and lower latency.

Today at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015, the software giant, which has been building out its networking virtualization capabilities over the past few years, rolled out the Oracle Ethernet Switch ES2-72 and ES2-64 Ethernet switches. Oracle said the new switches, optimized to run best with Oracle's Engineered Systems as well as other servers and storage appliances, simplify the network by collapsing the multiple layers found in traditional networks and driving down costs by reducing the amount of cabling and easing management.

Oracle also is rolling out virtual network services, software-based networking tasks around security, load balancing and routing that can all run on a single virtual instance and be configured and managed via Oracle Fabric Manager.

Oracle said the addition of the switches and virtual network services to its larger software-defined networking (SDN) strategy will enable enterprises to deploy more scalable and dynamic networking infrastructures that can more quickly adapt to the changing demands brought on by such trends as greater mobility, big data and the growing Internet of things (IoT).

"Cloud-enabled data centers are only as fast or as agile as their networking allows, which makes the convergence of software-defined networking and network services a next logical step in the evolution of the software-defined data center," Raju Penumatcha, an Oracle senior vice president said in a statement. "Oracle's new Ethernet switches and virtual network services in Oracle SDN help clear the way for enterprises to deploy key network services faster and gain high performance at the lowest cost."

SDN and network-functions virtualization (NFV) are changing the way enterprises and service providers are building their networks by enabling them to put the network control plane and tasks—which traditionally are housed in proprietary, complex and expensive gear—into software that can run atop commodity systems.

Oracle's data center hardware strategy, launched when it bought Sun Microsystems five years ago, is primarily focused on creating tightly integrated systems like the Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance. The appliance leverages the company's servers, storage and networking capabilities and optimizes them for Oracle's enterprise applications. Oracle's new Ethernet switches, when combined with the company's other hardware, brings low latency and high scalability for such applications at Oracle Real Application Clusters and high-performance computing (HPC) software.

The 10 Gigabit Ethernet and 40GbE can be used in Oracle's new Netra Modular System—which is being demonstrated at MWC—or used independently.

Oracle SDN enables organizations to connect any virtual machine to any resource, bringing up to 80 GB/s speeds to connections between servers, which speeds up application performance. A single fabric can connect up to 1,000 servers and 16,000 private virtual interconnects, according to Oracle. The new virtual network services extend the reach of Oracle SDN in the data center and enable organizations to unify InfiniBand and Ethernet fabrics that can be managed from a single interface.

The SDN technology supports both SPARC- and x86-based servers as well as the Netra Modular System which is aimed at communications service providers that are building out their NFV environments.