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SDNet enables 'softly' defined networks

01 Apr 2014

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Xilinx SDNet

Xilinx introduced the solution for "softly" defined networks.

Xilinx Inc. introduced the solution for "softly" defined networks, expanding programmability and intelligence from the control to the data plane. The software defined specification environment for networking (SDNet) enables the design of the programmable data plane functions, with functional specifications automatically compiled into Xilinx's All Programmable FPGAs and SoCs.

In contrast to traditional SDN architectures, which employ fixed data plane hardware with a narrow southbound API connection to the control plane, softly defined networks are based upon a programmable data plane with content-intelligence and a rich southbound API control plane connection. This enables multiple disruptive capabilities including support of wire speed services that are independent of protocol complexity; provisioning of per-flow, flexible services; and support for revolutionary in-service "hitless" upgrades while operating at 100 per cent line rate.

These capabilities enable carriers and MSOs to provision unique, differentiated services without any interruption to the existing service or the need for hardware requalification or truck roll. This provides service providers higher revenue potential with unprecedented CapEx, OpEx and time to market savings. Network equipment providers realise similar benefits from the feature rich, flexible softly defined network platform, which allows for extensive differentiation through the deployment of content-aware data plane hardware that is programmed with the SDNet environment.

"The first phase of SDN enables data centre and WAN operators to customise and improve their network in software. In the next phase, we can expect a drive beyond fixed-function hardware data planes. Adding high-level programmability and more sophisticated functionality to the data plane, accessed via standard software APIs, means that networking resources will be managed more intelligently and efficiently, increasing the rate of innovation," said Nick McKeown, professor of computer science at Stanford University.

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