Summary:

An Alcatel-Lucent venture, Nuage Networks, brings out an overlay product for software-defined networking in Layers 2-4 and promises virtual private networks for the enterprise later.

Lindsay Newell, head of portfolio marketing for Alcatel-Lucent's networks group
photo: Nuage Networks

Nuage Networks, a startup inside French network vendor Alcatel-Lucent, has come out with an overlay product for software-defined networking (SDN) inside and outside the data center and a plan for SDN-enabled wide-area networks for the enterprise. Carrying out that vision would show that the SDN concept can spread far beyond the data center.

Nuage’s Virtualized Services Platform, which executives hinted at in January, incorporates a controller, virtual routing and switching, and a virtualized services directory. It operates in layers two through four of the network stack, building tunnels between virtual machines running in the same server rack or even in different racks at different data centers as easily and quickly as one cell phone can connect to another one, said Lindsay Newell, head of portfolio marketing for Alcatel-Lucent’s networks group. It works with cloud-management software from OpenStack, CloudStack and VMware.

Trials of the Nuage software begin this month. Trial customers include telecommunications service providers SFR and Telus, as well as the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Nuage (French for “cloud”) will make the product commercially available within three months or so, Newell said.

As soon as next year, he said, Nuage will follow up with software for establishing software-defined virtual private networks. It should be able to connect multiple enterprise network locations, including private or public data centers, through a virtual, programmable wide-area network, avoiding the need for expensive and time-consuming manual provisioning.

That’s later. For now, Nuage will have to prove that its overlay product can deliver on its promises and do more than what it calls first-generation SDN offerings from Big Switch, Nicira and others.

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