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Broadcom unveils OpenFlow switch implementation

4/03/2014 by


The combination of open source software and commodity hardware holds the potential for unprecedented efficiency and operational agility but, despite the success of Web-scale giants like Google and Facebook in implementing this paradigm, it has yet to prove itself in the enterprise.There remain significant barriers to adoption, notably the immaturity of the underlying technologies and the surrounding ecosystem.

Identifying the opportunity in the challenge, the industry has banded together in an effort to bridge the gap, and steady progress is now being made under the banners of the Open Compute Project, the OpenStack Foundation andthe Open Networking Foundation (ONF). The latter group is the probably least buzzed-about of the three, but is an equally important player in the push for the software-defined data center.

The ONF is the driving force behind OpenFlow, a programmable network protocol that decouples the control plane from the physical infrastructure on which it runs to simplify management. The technology has been brought several steps closer to production this morning with the release of Broadcom’s OpenFlow Data Plane Abstraction, or OF-DPA v1.0 for short.

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