Alcatel-Lucent Broadens its Enterprise SDN Capabilities


  • OpenFlow support and OpenStack integration are available now on the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch product
  • Enterprise-scale SDN use cases offer customers practical benefits of a programmable network

OpenFlow support and OpenStack integration with Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch provide practical SDN use cases for the enterprise.

Paris, December 10, 2013 - Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has unveiled new software defined networking (SDN) technologies for the OmniSwitch Ethernet LAN portfolio of its Enterprise division that will help companies meet the increasing demands of employees and customers to use the applications they want, when and where they want to use them.

Enterprise IT departments are burdened with the adoption of newer technologies (the consumerization of IT, BYOD, and virtualized applications, to name a few) to meet the demands of their customers, and are looking for ways to provide on-demand flexibility and capacity without an increase in operational overhead. To help overcome these challenges, Alcatel-Lucent is expanding its Application Fluent Network vision to help enterprises build SDN-based solutions in an affordable manner. These additional SDN capabilities, featuring automation and provisioning, support practical use cases which solve real world issues in the enterprise, making SDN the foundation for a new and improved user experience.
OpenFlow support and OpenStack integration are available now on the Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch product via a free software upgrade or at no additional charge when a new system is purchased. “These capabilities ensure that OmniSwitch solutions are open and will work seamlessly with the company’s partner ecosystem and industry SDN leaders’ solutions,” said Stephane Robineau, general manager and vice president, Enterprise Networks business, Alcatel-Lucent.

The following enterprise-scale SDN use cases offer customers the practical benefits of a programmable network:

  • Optimizing wireless (Wi-Fi) traffic flows

OpenFlow-enabled Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitches interoperating with Aruba wireless controller can dynamically route traffic for optimal performance improving the user experience with bandwidth-intensive, real-time applications on a wireless network.

  • Enhanced security for application traffic flows

When an unwanted application or traffic pattern is detected, an automatic security policy is immediately created and enforced at the OmniSwitch level to stop malicious network traffic. This capability leverages RESTful interfaces and Application Fingerprinting that are enabled by Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitches and Radware DefensePro.

  • Software Defined Data Center

As storage and data networks converge, the programmable interface of SDN provides a consistent policy across these networks to improve the delivery of applications. IP and fiber channel based storage can be managed on the converged data center network through the programmable interfaces available on Alcatel-Lucent OmniSwitch enabling a true software-defined data center.

The following capabilities supporting these use cases have been added to Alcatel-Lucent’s application-fluent network portfolio.

  • OpenFlow 1.3 support complements previously released RESTful API support on OmniSwitch products, providing an additional northbound SDN interface for interoperability in an open and multi-vendor SDN-controlled environment. Alcatel-Lucent demonstrated its commitment to industry standards-based initiatives by participating at the Open Network User Group (ONUG) plugfest held in October 2013. As a member of NEC’s SDN Application Center partner program, Alcatel-Lucent validated its OmniSwitch 6900 SDN interfaces integration with NEC’s ProgrammableFlow’s northbound API. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s focus has been on standards-based implementation and interoperability to provide an open infrastructure to Enterprises. Another example of this is the Shortest-Path-Bridging interoperability testing conducted at Interop 2013 Las Vegas.
  • OpenStack integration provides additional southbound SDN interfaces that enable open and multi-vendor virtualized SDN ecosystems.
  • A new module available for the OmniSwitch 6900 with a Native Fibre Channel interface and built-in Fibre Channel-to-Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Gateway enables convergence of storage and data networking in the data center. This capability has been validated with QLogic Storage Area Network (SAN) fabric and NetApp storage arrays.

Industry Analyst
Nick Lippis, Lippis Enterprises, Inc.,
“Alcatel-Lucent’s integration of OpenFlow and OpenStack into its Application Fluent Network Portfolio promises to encompass the automation of network configuration and change management through open programmable network interfaces. Alcatel-Lucent’s commitment to open standards provides IT business leaders with choice and empowerment to build multi-vendor interoperable open networks.”

Technology Partners
Aruba Networks
Dominic Orr, president and chief executive officer, Aruba Networks, commented, “Alcatel-Lucent and Aruba Networks are extending the capabilities of SDN to the enterprise campus LAN networks to help enterprises take the benefit of dynamic traffic engineering for ever changing environments. Interoperability using open standards between the Aruba Wireless Controller and Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniSwitches validates an open wireless architecture that is fundamental to enabling a SDN-based infrastructure capable of controlling traffic on an application-by-application basis.”

Don Clark, director of business development, NEC Corporation of America noted, “Software-defined networking provides the flexibility and programmability required for today’s business goals. Alcatel-Lucent and NEC have successfully validated OpenFlow 1.3 interoperability between the OmniSwitch 6900 and NEC’s  ProgrammableFlow® PF 6800 Controller.  The successful interoperability between our two SDN offerings demonstrates the benefits of an open SDN network and scalable, high performance network fabric.”

Vikram Karvat, vice president of marketing, QLogic commented, “SDN technologies provide greater flexibility in the data center by enabling IT managers to build adaptable networks to suit changing user requirements. Together with Alcatel-Lucent’s OmniSwitch 6900 SDN switch, QLogic Fiber Channel HBAs and Converged Network Adapters can be deployed to enable a new level of converged, adaptable network infrastructure. Organizations can now automate the network fabric, leverage server virtualization to facilitate policy-driven service provisioning and facilitate greater VM mobility.”

Amir Peles, vice president of Technology for Radware said, “The combined value proposition of OmniSwitch and Radware’s DefensePro provides a wide coverage against DDoS attacks. OmniSwitch provides high capacity mitigation through wire speed inspection of application attack filters, and Radware’s DefensePro automatically detects attacks and mitigates them immediately. Furthermore, the system offers a security dashboard in real time that can generate detailed and forensic reports for further review.”