Pluribus UNUM Management Platform for SDN Adds Dell Virtual Edge Integration

Integration with virtual network functions (VNFs) hardware from Dell EMC highlights an update to the Pluribus UNUM management platform used with the company's Adaptive Cloud Fabric (ACF), which provides a controllerless approach to software-defined networking (SDN).

Pluribus introduced the ACF in 2017 to simplify enterprise transitions to full-blown software-defined-datacenters (SDDCs) by eliminating complexity associated with the controller, or centralized control pane, found in early SDN approaches.

The ACF Abstracts Physical Ports to Virtual Ports (vPorts)
[Click on image for larger view.] The ACF Abstracts Physical Ports to Virtual Ports (vPorts) (source: Pluribus Networks).

The company offers the UNUM management platform to work with the ACF, described as featuring software-defined, peer-to-peer, distributed, virtualized network architecture. ACF combines a web management portal UI -- an alternative to the command-line interface (CLI) -- with an elastic Big Data database and intelligent analytics engine. Thus it unifies automation, management and analytics into one offering that can help organizations automate the entire network lifecycle from implementation all the way through to operation and optimization while enabling intent-based network operations with reduced deployment times, Pluribus says.

Pluribus UNUM
[Click on image for larger view.] Pluribus UNUM (source: Pluribus Networks).

In announcing the new Pluribus UNUM 5.2 release, the company highlighted integration with the Dell EMC Virtual Edge Platform 4600, described as an easy-to-deploy, purpose-built open modular platform designed to host VNFs. That Dell EMC hardware can handle up to 30 days of flow data and up to 500 million stores flows, the company claimed, and includes two Virtual Netvisor ONE machines to help users wrangle large, busy fabrics.

Other new capabilities highlighted in the release announcement include:

  • All changes to the fabric now tracked and displayed via notifications dashboard for a robust audit trail of network changes.
  • New analytics dashboard to monitor security, QoS and packet broker vFlow policies.
  • Streamlined creation of vFlow policies for packet broker applications.
  • Highly simplified dashboard for Lab Automation to fully automate the creation of IP VirtualWire point-to-point connections between any two devices connected to the fabric.
  • New QuickStart functionality for fabric creation. Performance tested to provision a 10-switch fabric in under 15 minutes.

"While the Adaptive Cloud Fabric intrinsically provides comprehensive automation and telemetry, once UNUM Fabric Manager and UNUM Insight Analytics is deployed network operators are further liberated from the complexity of provisioning and operating data center networks -- whether single site or multi-site," the company said.

In a Feb. 26 blog post, the company provided more details on the v5.2.0 update and linked to a series of videos on working with UNUM.

"If you have not test-driven UNUM Fabric Manager or UNUM Insight Analytics, now might be the time, as these products are helping customers with quicker deployments and simpler configuration change management," the company's Jayesh Chokshi said. "IT teams that deploy UNUM have more time to spend on strategic projects and see a better return on investment on their data center networking modernization initiatives." More information is available in a data sheet.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.