Monday, November 10, 2014

Pica8's CrossFlow Combines OpenFlow-based Policy with L2/L3

Pica8 introduced a new capability that lets its PicOS bare metal switch operating system integrate OpenFlow-based applications and business-logic policies into existing Layer-2 / Layer-3 networks.



The new CrossFlow Networking lets administrators run L2/L3 protocols and OpenFlow on the same switch at the same time. This lets users leverage OpenFlow for policy-driven applications to drive business logic into the network, while leveraging their network topology and protocols like OSPF and BGP for the most efficient packet transport and performance.

Pica8 said its CrossFlow Networking brings the potential to significantly accelerate SDN adoption because customers are able to run OpenFlow on the existing L2/L3 network.

“Some customers have made commitment to OpenFlow in green field deployments, but networking shops with existing infrastructure want to be able to use OpenFlow in use cases where it makes sense,” said Steve Garrison, vice president of marketing and Pica8. “For the first time, CrossFlow mode allows users to leverage both ways of thinking – Layer-2 / Layer-3 and OpenFlow – to deal with networking challenges appropriately on the same switch.”

Some sample use cases include:

  • In a traditional data center that uses Layer-2 / Layer-3 switching and routing, monitoring and tapping can be done on the switches with rules triggered by the OpenFlow protocol.
  • In an OpenFlow data center, the edge devices need to interact with traditional switching/routing devices (using spanning tree, OSPF, BGP, and other Layer-2 / Layer-3 
Available in PicOS 2.4, CrossFlow allows every port in the bare metal switch the ability to act as either a legacy or a CrossFlow port. A legacy port uses traditional Layer-2 / Layer- 3 switch (OVS) commands can be used, either locally via OVS commands or via an SDN controller using OpenFlow and OVSDB.

http://www.pica8.com/


  • Pica8 currently claims over 320 customers.
  • Pica8 is based in Palo Alto, California with development offices in Beijing.
  • In October, Pica8 announced $12.5 million in Series B funding from a group of investors led by VantagePoint Capital Partners, Cross Head and Pacific Venture Partners (PVP), bringing its total funding to date to over $20 million.

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