PLUMgrid Ignition Turns the Key for SDN Testing

Software Defined Network (SDN) design and deployment can sometimes become a disruptive activity for those tasked with maintaining the stable operation of a production network.

One of the ways that SDN vendor PLUMgrid is helping networking professionals get over that hurdle is with its Ignition offering, which enables users to test-drive the Plumgrid Open Networking Suite for OpenStack.

PLUMgrid Ignition is available in three different editions. There is a Sandbox that enables users to test PLUMgrid ONS on PLUMgrid’s hosted virtual environment. There is also an edition that enables deployment in a bare metal environment. Finally, there is an onsite testing option that lets users try out the technology within their own labs and data centers.

PLUMgrid first emerged from stealth in June of 2013 with $10.7 million in funding for its overlay approach to SDN. In June of 2014, PLUMgrid announced its Open Networking Suite platform, which was updated to version 2.0 in November of 2014.

Since the November PLUMgrid ONS 2.0, there have been multiple incremental updates up to version 2.0.5. Among the features that have been added are expanded operating system coverage with new support for the Red Hat RDO OpenStack distribution, as well as support for Mirantis 5.1.

Wendy Cartee, VP of Marketing at PLUMgrid, explained that within PLUMgrid Ignition, there are also modelling capabilities to help an organization to recreate their own networking needs in the virtual environment.

From a deployment perspective, Cartee said that Ignition has a full OpenStack experience, starting with the OpenStack Horizon dashboard to setup of virtual instances. She explained that the PLUMgrid ONS tool integrates with OpenStack, enabling users to create a network that includes routing and switching services. Monitoring and troubleshooting is also part of the experience.

“Customers can now access a fully enabled OpenStack environment running PLUMgrid ONS from anywhere in the world,” Cartee said.

From an upstream perspective, currently OpenStack is between releases, with the Juno release debuting in October 2014 and the Kilo release set to debut on April 30. Cartee said that PLUMgrid has a full roadmap planned for supporting Kilo, though she declined to provide specific details on what new features might land in a future release of PLUMgrid ONS.

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

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