Extreme said it will provide OpenFlow support across its ExtremeXOS-based Ethernet switch line, while supporting multiple OpenFlow controllers including those from NEC and BigSwitch. The company said it will also introduce a plug-in for OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system, to manage network switches using the OpenStack Quantum APIs.
Lastly, Extreme will launch a new Web portal called xKIT for SDN application development.
WHERE'S THE BEEF? Five needs driving SDNs
Extreme says its ExtremeXOS operating system currently offers a variety of programmability options including APIs, SDKs and specialized applications for centralizing network intelligence, network abstraction, and third party application development.
Adding OpenFlow agents to its switches will allow third-party controllers, like those from NEC and Big Switch, as well as open source controllers, to include Extreme devices in an OpenFlow-based SDN. The OpenFlow capabilities will be available as a technology release in July 2012, and generally available in early 2013, Extreme said.
OpenStack APIs will allow Extreme switches to be involved in SDN orchestration. And the xKIT development portal will enable collaborative SDN application development between Extreme and third-parties, the company said.
Extreme said it will make several SDN applications available via xKIT, such as its VM life-cycle management and user mobility management packages, among others. xKIT will go live in the July.
Analysts say Extreme is reacting to Cisco's recent ONE programmability announcement even though Extreme already had little known programmability features embedded in its switches.
"There are two things that I see at work," says Eric Hanselman of the 451 Group. "First, the general panic that Cisco's ONE announcement has caused in other network hardware vendors. Most vendors seemed to be in a position that, if Cisco hadn't officially embraced OpenFlow/SDN, they didn't need to either and now the inverse is true.