May 03, 2012, 7:43 AM — The potential game-changing technology that surrounds software-defined networking (SDN) will be center stage at Interop next week with high-profile product introductions, technology demos and information sessions all set to roll.
While mobility, cloud computing, security and business collaboration tools are expected to be introduced at the show in Las Vegas, which will see an estimated 13,000 attendees and 350 exhibitors, SDN will be showcased as multiple participants. Data center switch vendor Arista Networks, for example, will demonstrate how to build a software-defined cloud network using its switches and controllers from partners VMware, Big Switch and Nebula.
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IBM will demo a high-performance SDN using OpenFlow, which is a protocol and API that enables SDN. IBM will also be part of the Interop OpenFlow Lab which will include Broadcom, Brocade, Extreme, HP, NEC and others showing off the SDN technology.
Hailed by proponents as the biggest transformation of networking in decades, SDN promises to make the physical infrastructure irrelevant to the actual behavior of the traffic by enabling software programmability of flows and additional features.
Another big player to watch in the evolving SDN market is Cisco, whose hardware and software is omnipresent in enterprise, data center and service provider networks. Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior kicks off Tuesday morning's Expo with a keynote address, and while her speech is slated to discuss three macro industry trends -- mobility, cloud and video -- Cisco has been working in recent months on its programmability strategy, as it calls its response to SDN.
At the company's recent business partner conference in April, Cisco CEO John Chambers confirmed that the company is funding and plans to absorb Insieme, a startup developing a software-defined networking (SDN) system.
At the conference, Warrior told Network World, "Clearly we understand the implication of what is good about [SDN] and what are the things we need to improve," Warrior told Network World at the conference.