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Plexxi Offers Software-Defined Networking Starter Kits

Plexxi Inc. today announced software-defined networking (SDN) starter kits designed to provide an easy onramp to the nascent network virtualization technology, targeting three typical use cases.

To avoid the "one-size fits all" problem it ascribed to other such starter kits, Plexxi is tailoring its kits for agile datacenters, distributed cloud environments and Big Data applications.

"We're entering a new IT era dominated by data and the application so companies have no choice but to update and tailor their infrastructure to keep up with the demands of mobile, Big Data and social media," said Rich Napolitano, Plexxi's CEO. "Plexxi's three new starter kits allow companies to create an SDN infrastructure quickly and easily and choose an approach that best suits their network."

The rapidly expanding SDN industry is still shaking itself out with little in the way of agreed-upon standards, definitions or philosophies, but it basically boils down to more pogrammable networks achieved through the decoupling of control and data planes, with network "smarts" being placed in management software that controls "dumb" commmodity hardware. Research firm IDC defines it as "an innovative architectural model that is capable of delivering automated provisioning, network virtualization, and network programmability to datacenter and enterprise networks." SDN is one aspect of a larger movement to software-defined environments.

Plexxi, along with many other vendors, is trying to help enterprises adopt the new SDN technology with simple initial approaches.

The Big Data Pod Starter Kit targets early-stage deployments of up to 436 nodes, comprising hardware such as switches, transceivers and cabling along with control software to help run SDN with included Cloudera and Hortonworks integration modules.

The Agile Datacenter Starter Kit replaces the Big Data integration modules with OpenStack and vCenter integration. It targets on-premises and cloud deployments and is designed to serve as "a cost-effective means of basic datacenter compute and storage connectivity."

Along with hardware and software similar to the other kits, the Distributed Cloud Starter Kit includes a redundant, high-performance interconnect between data centers that can be located as much as 50 miles apart. "It provides 80 gigabits worth of connectivity across a single pair of fibers and is ideal for distributed cloud environments across multiple datacenters," the company said.

The Nashua, N.H.-based startup said the kits are available now in configurations starting at less than $100,000 with one year's support.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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