Extreme Networks this week said it will support a community-developed policy framework in its SDN controller as well as tighter integration with Microsoft's unified communications platform.
Extreme is adopting the OpenDaylight Project's group-based policy model in its OneController SDN software. Cisco contributed the group-based policy framework to OpenDaylight open source effort when it rolled it out as part of its Application Centric Infrastructure programmable fabric in November, 2013.
Group-based policy in an SDN is designed to enable users to define policies that can be applied between groups of endpoints for broader, more diverse network services beyond basic connectivity. These services are expressed as policies that allow administrators to delegate networking requirements to groups of endpoints.
Extreme says customers can use its NetSight management application to deploy group-based network policies across a multivendor infrastructure. The policy framework in OneController, which is based on OpenDaylight's "Helium" release, is currently imperative, and uses OpenFlow and the OVSDB to delegate policies southbound.
The "Lithium" release of OpenDaylight, due in the second half of this year, is expected to include a declarative group-based policy framework using Cisco's OpFlex southbound protocol.
In an imperative construct, applications, operations and infrastructure requirements are translated to network configuration through the centralized SDN controller. In a declarative framework, application policy is abstracted from the network, not network configuration; the network decides how to configure itself after receiving an application policy from the controller.
Extreme will support the Lithium release of OpenDaylight but not necessarily the declarative group-based policy model nor OpFlex, says Markus Nispel, vice president of solutions architecture and innovation.
"OpFlex will be inherited but it is not a strategic direction" for Extreme in SDNs, he says.
OneController OpenStack integration will also be inherited from OpenDaylight, Nispel says.
Another enhancement to OneController is integration with Microsoft's Skype for Business unified communications platform through OpenDaylight. Extreme customer Mount Mary University is taking advantage of this integration to automate QoS policies and gain contextual insights into the network and applications to manage deployments of Skype for Business across wired and wireless networks.
Extreme shipped SDN integration with Microsoft Skype last fall.
The Town of Enfield, Conn., uses Extreme's SDN products to implement an on-demand service portal that includes iPad mobile lab scheduling for the town's schools. The SDN-based scheduling system enables self-provisioning, automatic bandwidth allocation and prioritization of critical systems.
It allows teachers to schedule a time they will need bandwidth. The Enfield SDN then allocates 10Mbps of burstable bandwidth, with QoS based on the device SSID rather than the application.
Extreme also says it now offers an online SDN app store, a repository of paid and free apps for customers and technology partners. The company also offers an SDN developer portal that provides third-party developers information for developing, submitting and managing their applications in the Extreme SDN app store.
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