Ixia is announcing support for OpenFlow SDN in Ixia’s ControlTower architecture. Our best-in-breed Visibility Architecture now extends data center visibility by taking advantage of a plethora of qualified OpenFlow hardware.

ControlTower is our innovative platform for distributed visibility launched nearly two years ago. This solution manages a cluster of our Net Tool Optimizers (NTOs) as if you were managing a single logical NTO. At the time of its launch, we leveraged Software Defined Networking (SDN) concepts to achieve powerful distributed monitoring for data centers and campus networks. The drag and drop GUI, advanced packet processing, and patented filter compiler allow multiple users to manage and optimize traffic across the cluster without interfering with each other. We had great response from customers to the ControlTower concept; they loved how we took very complex routing and rules calculation problems and boiled them down to an easy-to-use, single-pane-of-glass GUI (or API) even when spanning across multiple NTOs.

Our announcement takes ControlTower one giant leap further by allowing qualified OpenFlow switches to become members of a ControlTower cluster, incorporating them under one powerful and simple management console, extending powerful network visibility capabilities throughout the data center. You don’t need to be an OpenFlow expert, just hook up your OpenFlow switches and we take care of the complicated management. You get all the benefits of our straightforward GUI and advanced features for the entire cluster.

We heard from many customers that scalable, cost-effective network visibility is critical to operating a secure and high performance data center. They need analytics tools that access any segment of the network quickly and easily. Monitored traffic must be filtered and optimized to ensure tools are used efficiently. Customers need to focus on optimizing application performance and heading off security issues in every part of their data center, not managing switch ACL’s, CLI’s, forwarding rulesets, interconnects, etc.

Ixia responded by enhancing ControlTower to recognize OpenFlow devices, allowing customers to scale our powerful visibility features across hundreds of OpenFlow ports. Today, ControlTower is qualified to work with HP, Dell, and Arista OpenFlow switches—and we will expand the list further in the future.

This addition to the ControlTower platform is exciting for several reasons:

Customers who have seen this new feature set have been very excited. ControlTower’s OpenFlow capabilities will help them reach all the corners of their data center, and provide a new flexibility to deploy network resources how they wish with all benefits of an end-to-end Network Visibility Architecture.

Additional Resources:

NTO ControlTower

Network Visibility Architecture

Thanks to Ixia for the article.