Open Network Featured Article

Pica8, Cloudistics Step Up Open Networking

December 06, 2016




Sometimes open networking projects don't turn out the way we'd like. These projects can sometimes take up a lot of resources and not deliver the kind of impact we'd expect for all those resources demanded. A new partnership effort between Pica8 and Cloudistics, meanwhile, will deliver some help here by augmenting virtual networking operations for superconverged infrastructures.


The partnership arrangement calls for Cloudistics' line of virtual networking operations to include not only OpenFlow, but also software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities. With these two systems in place, it becomes much easier to not only initially deploy but also manage both physical and virtual networks. It also offers some extra security in the connectivity between applications, making it much less likely that unauthorized access to those applications will happen. Better security is always necessary, especially in open networking projects, so this should prove a valuable development.

Since Cloudistics' solution is able to implement the overlay network at the IP layer, or Layer 3, that allows Cloudistics to represent something of an industry first; it can offer network virtualization at some impressive line rates—10 GB/s to 100 GB/s, reports note—for switching operations. When hardware acceleration is involved, switching functions can actually clear six TB/s, which is impressive by any standard.

Throw in a unified control plane that helps integrate a full load of network functions virtualization (NFV) options from distributed firewalls to load balancers and a micro-segmentation approach for better security and the whole package becomes a clear and present benefit to open networking operations. Several portions of the system are available now—particularly the Cloudistics Platform—but further applications programming interfaces (APIs) will follow starting in January 2017.

Cloudistics' CEO, Najaf Husain, commented “With just a click, our customers can secure applications within a micro-segmented virtual network. Unlike hyperconverged solutions, our networking innovations are built into the platform and not only secure the underlying network but simplify its configuration and management.”

Open networking doesn't get far without security, and even if it's secure, the next biggest consideration to make is ease of use. It really doesn't matter how secure something is if no one can use it, so that's why ease of use follows right behind security. That can be a tough balance to strike, but it looks like Cloudistics and Pica8 will do a good job of threading the needle to provide  both useful, usable features and sufficient protection to make these worthwhile in the end.




Edited by Maurice Nagle