Ex-Cisco engineers tackle Layer 4-7 SDNs

Anuta Networks to showcase cloud platform at Cisco Live London

Another SDN startup with a Cisco pedigree has emerged. Anuta Networks, a provider of network services virtualization, came out of stealth mode this week and unveiled its plan for delivering "on-demand, anytime, anywhere" network services for cloud.

Anuta was founded and funded in 2010 by President & CEO Chandu Guntakala, CTO Srini Beereddy and Vice President of Engineering Praveen Vengalam. All three came from Cisco via its acquisition of Jahi Networks in 2004 - Jahi made network management appliances for enterprise firms that were designed to tie together various network devices and manage them as a single system.

The company is headquartered in Milpitas, CA., with R&D operations in Bangalore, India.

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Anuta is attempting to virtualize Layer 4-7 services, such as QoS, WAN acceleration, firewall security, load balancing, and monitoring, so that they can be more easily applied to applications that require these services. The challenge, up to now, has been that there are separate physical appliances for provisioning these services to applications, a task made more challenging by application workloads running as virtual machines or that are increasingly mobile.

Anuta's nCloudX platform is designed to automate the provisioning of network services in heterogeneous networks across multivendor, multi-hypervisor physical and virtual infrastructures in both private and public cloud deployments. The system models an existing network - equipment, protocols, APIs - and abstracts the physical elements from their operations.

From there, nCloudX builds a Service Catalog of available network services. Operators can then use the platform's Service Designer drag-and-drop template interface to provision services onto applications, workloads and VMs, and associated devices.

Upon a network service request, nCloudX selects resources based on operational health and policy variables and automates configuration operations across heterogeneous networks.

The nCloudX platform essentially provides software automation of the existing $40 billion installed base of hardware-controlled networks, and the new generation of SDN-enabled networks, Anuta says. As such, it's designed to reduce network services delivery time from weeks to a few hours.

It uses non-OpenFlow interfaces to abstract legacy physical and programmable networks devices, yet includes an OpenFlow Connector to interwork with OpenFlow-based SDN controllers. It has a REST API to communicate northbound with cloud management tools form VMware, Microsoft, OpenStack and CloudStack.

Anuta's strategy is similar to that of Embrane and Contextream, two other Layer 4-7 SDN startups. Embrane was also founded by ex-Cisco officials.

Anuta will demonstrate nCloudX at next week's Cisco Live London.

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