Technology giants team up on new SDN project

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Technology giants team up on new SDN project

Launch OpenDaylight.

Cisco Systems, IBM and Citrix have joined forces with other tech companies in a consortium to kickstart the corporate market for software-defined networking (SDN), aimed at making network management easier and cheaper.

Other members of the development platform, called OpenDaylight, include Juniper Networks, VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, Intel and Brocade, as well as privately held Big Switch Networks and Arista Networks.

Each member will contribute technology such as code to the project in an effort to share the costs of basic research and development, and enable products from different vendors to work together. However, vendors will still be able to customise their offerings to differentiate themselves from rivals.

The SDN market is still considered nascent, but is expected to grow to US$3.7 billion by 2016 from an estimated US$360 million this year, according to research firm IDC.

The first code from OpenDaylight is expected to be released in the third quarter of this year.

SDN products let businesses reduce the amount of networking gear in data centers by replacing much of their function with software that is centralized in one or more servers.

The technology has been in the spotlight ever since VMware bought SDN startup Nicira in August last year for US$1.26 billion.

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