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Another start-up targeting SDNs, Cisco's dominance

Founded by ex-Ericsson execs, Canada's NoviFlow unveils 100G OpenFlow switch

They are coming out of the woodwork. Another SDN start-up has cropped up, this one north of the border in Canada.

NoviFlow this week launched a 100Gbps OpenFlow switch targeted at large data centers and Webscale companies requiring wire-speed performance for their SDNs. The company's NoviKit 100 switch was developed over more than two years in stealth mode through a collaborative effort with researchers at the Université du Québec à Montréal.

NoviFlow itself was founded by former executives from Ericsson and Apple, among other companies, who sought to give OpenFlow a "high-performance boost," according to NoviFlow PR agents.  The company's  CEO is Dominique Jodoin, who held a variety of executive sales and marketing positions in 17 years at Ericsson. Ericsson R&D is testing the company's products.

NoviFlow's announcement of the availability of its OpenFlow switch follows this week's unveiling of SDN start-up Plexxi's Affinity Networking  product line. And OpenFlow start-up Big Switch Networks officially rolled out its products, partners and customers a few weeks ago.

Other start-ups attacking the SDN space include PLUMgrid, Embrane, Midokura and Contextream. More are sure to pop up as SDNs promise to re-invent networking and offer an opportunity to eat into Cisco's dominant market share and omnipresence.

NoviKit 100 supports OpenFlow 1.1 in its NoviWare 100 operating systems software. NoviWare goes beyond the capabilities of OpenFlow 1.1 by adding additional statistics not defined in the OpenFlow standard, such as summary counters and the ability to display error logs, NoviFlow says.

The NoviKit 100 hardware is built on the NP-4 network processor platform from EZchip Technologies. NoviFlow says the EZchip hardware can be easily upgraded to subsequent verisons of OpenFlow as they are released - OpenFlow 1.3 is expected to be implemented widely next year.  

Other features of the NoviKit 100 include a 1.5U footprint that can be stand-alone or rack-mounted, with modular 1G and 10G port expansion options; CLI configuration; and XML-based configuration loading and reporting.

The NoviKit 100 is available now.

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