Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Plexxi Unveils its SDN Switch with LightRail Optical Interconnect

Plexxi, a start-up based in Cambridge, MA, introduced a Software-defined Networking (SDN) data center switch that creates network connections by implementing efficient topologies based on actual workload needs and by scaling with a proprietary "LightRail" optical interface between switches.

Plexxi is targeting cloud and virtualized data centers. The aim is "a system that directly manifests workload-optimized solutions in the real, physical network, creating a network that delivers to applications what they need, when they need it – every time, all the time."

The Plexxi solution consists of two initial products:

  • Plexxi Control is server-based software that dynamically and continuously computes connectivity for actual workload needs. It provides SDN-based affinity-driven network orchestration, management, and control software. The multi-tier SDN controller architecture uses distributed processing at the edge of the network for scale and performance and centralized knowledge for topology planning and optimization, achieving incremental performance as the network grows.
  • Plexxi Switches provide standard high-performance, low-latency 10Gb and 40Gbps Ethernet access connections, but interconnect with each other via Plexxi's high density, high capacity "LightRail" optical interface. The patent-pending LightRail interconnect system provides 400 Gbps of dynamically assignable core capacity per switch, scaling linearly with each switch, achieving, for example, 100 Tbps in a 250-switch network. The LightRail interface eliminates additional layers in a data center network.
Plexxi Switch 1 starts at $64,000 including all inter-switch optics and cabling; Plexxi Control starts at $5,000 per Switch. Monthly pricing options are available.

"Big data, mobile and XaaS are bringing on new application connectivity requirements and more intense workloads at an accelerating pace. Legacy network switching architectures cannot respond to application needs," said David Husak, CEO of Plexxi. "Networking doesn't have to be this hard or frustrating. With 97 percent of the cost and complexity invested in today's networks providing zero value, Plexxi is on a mission to replace this mess with a complete SDN system for the data center – designed from the ground up – that makes networking simple, efficient and transparent."

Plexxi is backed by Lightspeed Venture Partners, Matrix Partners and Northbridge Venture Partners.  The company has raised over $48 million in funding to date.

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