Orange, Cisco Team Up for Software-Defined LANs

The buzz in the growing software-defined networking (SDN) space lately has been all about SD-WANs, but a new pact between Orange Business Services and Cisco Systems shows the enterprise LAN is also getting more software-defined attention.

Orange, a Paris-based telco operator, last week announced it will work with Cisco to develop SD-LAN solutions.

"The SD-LAN creates a centrally-managed wired and wireless network architecture, which is easier to integrate, operate and run, enabling businesses to work faster and smarter," the company said. "SD-LAN provides highly secure anytime, any device, anywhere access and a high-quality user experience."

Along with Cisco, vendors in the SD-LAN space include firms such as Aerohive, Aruba, LANCOM and others.

Aerohive says SD-LANs feature familiar SDN characteristics such as:

  • Application Optimized: Prioritizes and changes the behavior of the network based on the applications
  • Identity Driven: Dynamically defines what users, clients, and things can do when they access the SD-LAN
  • Adaptable Access Layer: Self-optimizing, self-healing, and self-organizing wireless access points and access switches
  • Cloud Managed: Reduced cost and complexity of network operations with centralized public or private cloud networking
  • Open APIs: Programmable interfaces that allow tight integration of network and applications infrastructures
A whitepaper by T Systems International provides a comparison of traditional, cloud-managed and software-defined LANs:
LAN Comparison
[Click on image for larger view.] LAN Comparison (source: T Systems International).

"SD-LAN is not for customers whose goal is to generate savings from the IT infrastructure," the whitepaper states. "Rather, SD-LAN is for customers that want to have granular control of their entire network, optimize their network resources and monetize the big data that can be gathered in the process."

As in a recent pact with Dell Technologies, Orange is emphasizing wireless functionality in the new partnership, along with manageability of the exploding number of devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).

In the campus Wi-Fi space, the firm said SD-LAN solutions address deployment and visibility, helping organizations manage access for users, devices and other "things."

"With IoT and the forecasted enormous number of connected devices, identifying devices and usage will be paramount," Orange said. "SD-LAN allows for segmentation based on the connected device, making it easy to segment groups, departments and the like. This enhances security, performance and device priority access management."

The company said the solutions will be developed in its Open Labs program, a mix of physical and virtual development resources used to address individual customer challenges such as network automation, analytics and security.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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