Pluribus Networks announces next generation of its Adaptive Cloud Fabric extends support for the Edge

Pluribus Networks is also announcing an expanded partner ecosystem, which includes several categories of technology partners.

Today software-defined networking provider Pluribus Networks is announcing the 5.0 version of their Netvisor ONE OS. The focus in this release is extending their Adaptive Cloud Fabric further to support emerging Edge computing and distributed cloud architectures, with greater scalability, enhanced automation, and improved network slicing functionality. Pluribus also formally announced the expansion of their partner ecosystem to extend support for these distributed environments.

“Our 5.0 OS release is really about our expanded version into Edge compute environments, where our Adaptive Cloud Fabric really helps to increase agility and reduce operational costs,” said Mike Capuano, Pluribus Networks’ Chief Marketing Officer.

Pluribus emerged in 2010 as a well-funded startup in the open networking space. The Netvisor One OS is the base of their technology stack, featuring rich layer 2/3/VXLAN switching. The Adaptive Cloud Fabric is their next-generation architecture, which was released in 2017 and is built on the OS. It implements a fully distributed, peer-to-peer control plane that interoperates with other switches using standard L2/L3 protocols. What Capuano described as a very deep telemetry which encompasses every port, network and connection runs on top of that. The cherry on top is their UNUM management platform, with an elastic big data database and an integrated analytics engine.

“Our expanded vision here deepens presence in the distributed cloud – Edge computing environments,” Capuano said. “The Edge environment is rapidly accelerating, driven by what we see as four critical buckets – latency, bandwidth, autonomy and privacy. 5G is an accelerant, but not itself in the critical path.”

The Edge was not core to Pluribus Networks’ focus in its earlier days, but it has become so now.

“Where we see it going is an environment of emerging Edge colo providers pushing out closer to the users,” Capuano said. “We believe there will be a lot of edges on a cloud consumption model. The challenge for data centre operators is an explosion of sites, and we believe SDN is what is needed to automate it all. For service providers who are putting as many network functions as they can in the software to make their networks more agile, this will greatly enhance their ability to cope with that explosion of Edge sites, and really simplify their network operations.” The controller-less environment provides full automation and resiliency with no controller-to-switch latency penalty even when deployed across distributed data centers.

“We are seeing strong and accelerating Tier One momentum, with over 200 enterprise and service provider customers,” Capuano added. “Our messaging here is that while we are a white box system, we are hardened and deployed in some serious mission critical environments.”

With the 5.0 release, Netvisor ONE OS and the Adaptive Cloud Fabric have been enhanced to support distributed cloud edge compute sites, with the key one being the enhancement of their already strong network slicing capabilities. The number of containerized FRR vRouter instances per switch for North-South traffic has been doubled, and now supports up to 2,000 virtual routing and forwarding [VRF] instances per network slice for East-West traffic. Automation has been further enhanced with VXLAN automated tunnel provisioning.

In addition to the 5.0 upgrade, Pluribus Networks is formally announcing a partner ecosystem that it says is well-optimized for the Edge, with vendor partners with unique Edge computing capabilities. They start with Dell EMC, who Capuano termed Pluribus Networks’ biggest channel partner.

“We load our OS ono their white box switch,” he said. Edgecore Networks is another key hardware partner, along with D-Link and Vapor IO. Orchestration and application partners include Red Hat, VMware, and MobiledgeX

“The ecosystem is fundamentally a technology partnership program where we can integrate, although the extent of integration varies by the vendor and the use case,” Capuano said. “Vapor IO, for example, has a partnership with Crown Castle, who has a LOT of tower sites, and we are deployed in them in mini-data centres. In that case, there is not a lot of integration. With Red Hat, where we integrate with OpenShift and OpenStack, there is.”

Pluribus Networks started out selling direct, but soon transitioned to a hybrid model that has become more channel-led over time. Today, about 90 per cent of their business goes through some kind of channel partner.

The Netvisor ONE Release 5.0 will be available in Q1 2019.