Avaya Looks to OpenStack Horizon for the Software Defined Data Center

Avaya details its roadmap and framework for the Software Defined Data Center.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Aug 21, 2013
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The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) promises to enable an agile infrastructure that's orchestratable through automated policies. Avaya is now formally defining its approach to SDDC, which will make use of the open source OpenStack cloud platform.

Avaya has been talking about its approach to Software Defined Networking (SDN) for some time, including in a recent video interview Mark Randall, general manager of Avaya Networking, gave to Enterprise Networking Planet.

Randy Cross, director of product management at Avaya Networking, explained to Enterprise Networking Planet that today's news focuses on Avaya's solution for the data center and on the vendor's Software Defined Data Center framework.

"The new part is the development work that we are doing with OpenStack to integrate Fabric Connect technology into the Neutron module, as well as the delivery of an Avaya Horizon-based management system to coordinate resources across compute, storage and networking," Cross said.

Cross explained that Avaya Fabric Connect plays a role as the virtual backplane for the Software Defined Data Center, interconnecting various resource pools and creating the end-to-end service chain, with much greater flexibility and scale than traditional Ethernet-based networks.

OpenStack is a three-year-old, multi-stakeholder effort to build an open source cloud platform. The Neutron module, formerly known as Quantum, provides a networking abstraction layer for cloud services.

The new framework also builds on Avaya's existing VENA (Virtual Enterprise Network Architecture) approach, which has been in the market for over two years.

"Avaya VENA consists of a number of tools that enable our customers to build simplified network architectures, including switch clustering, resilient stacking, etc.," Cross said. "Avaya Fabric Connect is essentially the lead technology within this suite of tools."

Cross added that the new SDDC announcement builds on the VENA strategy by adding the orchestration and automation pieces to Avaya's Fabric.

OpenStack

For the OpenStack bits, Avaya is not leveraging an OpenStack implementation from a third party, but rather is directly interfacing with the open source code.

"That's the beauty of leveraging an open platform such as OpenStack. We can build some or all of it ourselves, and can also contribute our code to the community so that third parties can integrate the Avaya bits into their solutions," Cross said. "It's win/win."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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