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SDN start-up ships server-switch product

SDN start-up ships server-switch product

SDN start-up Pluribus Networks said this week its server-switch and network hypervisor product line is generally available.

The Pluribus Freedom Server-Switch and Netvisor 2.0 network hypervisor are intended to bring network services, such as Layer 4-7 features, closer to applications in the data center. The server-switch resides in a server rack and, with the Netvisor software, allows users to program, virtualize and automate network services as if the network behaved as a virtualized server, company officials say.The Pluribus product line also includes a software development kit for writing new applications, in Unix-friendly languages like C and Java, for the Pluribus Freedom platform.

+MORE ON NETWORK WORLD: The SDN Incubator +

Netvisor functions as a distributed network operating system with hypervisor bare-metal virtualization capabilities of computing resources - CPU, memory, and storage - and merchant silicon switch chip. The Freedom Server-Switch includes a Solaris-based server for hosting and executing network service applications, combined with a 10/40G Ethernet merchant silicon switch and network processor.

The server-switch comes in four 1RU or 2RU configurations. They run Intel Xeon server processors and Intel Alta or Broadcom Trident 2 network processors. Switch port configurations include 44x1/10G and six 40G, or 48 1x10G and four 40G.

The network switch becomes an extension of the server, Pluribus officials say, and merchant silicon chips are controlled and virtualized like a NIC, and used as an offload/hardware acceleration engine for application flows and network functions. The network switch is managed by a control plane through multiple 10Gbps connections to perform such functions as scalable monitoring and analytics for physical and virtual flows, without requiring separate taps or external monitoring gear, Pluribus says.

In addition, Pluribus Freedom also eliminates the need for separate SANs, overlay-underlay networks, external controllers, Layer 4-7 appliances, and services and orchestration servers for DHCP, DNS, OpenStack controllers, and other specialized equipment, company officials claim.

This is different from other SDN implementations that keep switches and servers separate but overlay them with network virtualization software to better orchestrate and automate operation and configuration.

Oracle and Tibco Software are among the early users of the Pluribus Freedom products. They are priced from $25,000 to $80,000.Pluribus was founded in 2010 by former Sun engineers. It has accumulated $44 million in funding since then.

The company's CEO is Kumar Srikantan, former head of engineering for Cisco's Catalyst 6500 switch.

Jim Duffy has been covering technology for over 27 years, 22 at Network World. He also writes The Cisco Connection blog and can be reached on Twitter @Jim_Duffy.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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Tags Configuration / maintenancebroadcomEthernet Switchhardware systemsData CenterintelserverLAN & WAN

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