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Nuage Networks Addresses SDN Overlay/Underlay Visibility Problem

Nuage Networks today claimed it has addressed a major constraint to the adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) technologies: visibility between physical and virtualized networking layers.

The Virtualized Services Assurance Platform (VSAP) "addresses the need for visibility and correlation between the virtual networks for applications and workloads (the 'overlay') and the physical connectivity provided by the datacenter network infrastructure (the 'underlay')," the company announced during the ongoing Open Networking User's Group (ONUG) Spring 2015 conference at Columbia University in New York.

The company said its solution gives enterprises more freedom in their choice of open infrastructure technologies. Previously, it said, SDN deployments had to compromise on openness in order to provide full operational visibility. But with recent virtualization advancements in private and hybrid cloud scenarios and the evolution of networks -- resulting in more open underlay choices -- Nuage said a new solution was needed to address visibility constraints that interfere with isolating network faults and quickly resolving such faults.

"The Nuage Networks VSAP addresses the correlation between policy-based overlay networks while preserving an enterprise’s freedom of choice in the underlying network hardware," the company said in a statement today. "It provides timely visibility for fault isolation, service management and inventory management. To do so, the VSAP uses open protocols to discover and maintain topologies, and aggregates virtual and physical topologies to correlate services, analyze faults and facilitate remediation actions."

Nuage said its approach works with any hardware that supports common networking protocols such as OSPF, BGP, ISIS and SNMP, "unlike other approaches that are tied to specific hardware."

It didn't mention those other approaches by name, but, coincidentally, Big Switch Networks Inc. just yesterday announced its new Big Cloud Fabric 2.6 supports VMware NSX implementations, with increased visibility between the layers. "NSX overlay visibility to BCF underlay is equally important so network admins have a consistent view of [the] overlay environment," Big Switch said. "BCF's Fabric Analytics module is extended to include both VM-level and overlay network visibility."

Technology commentator Ben Kepes at Diversity Limited today blogged about the importance of overlay/underlay visibility. He noted that along with more freedom of choice, the Nuage solution -- a new modular element that can be integrated with the company's Virtualized Services Platform (VSP) -- provides another important advantage as the young SDN industry grows and evolves.

The Nuage solution "gives customers both the freedom of choice that they demand but also, and perhaps most importantly at this early stage, the ability to apply SDN to their existing assets," he said.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Nuage, an Alcatel-Lucent venture specializing in SDN, said its VSAP is now commercially available and in trials.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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