Out in Japan today at Interop Tokyo, Cyan took several steps forward in their plan to take on the SDN world. The vendor has long had a software-centric approach to the network world, and has been building off of that toward a true multi-vendor SDN platform with its Blue Planet offering.
SDN has been on everybody’s lips of late, but actual implementations in the wild have been largely in idealized, tightly controlled cases. Beyond the data center, real networks are more complicated with legacy gear from many vendors and all that goes with it. Moving to an SDN-enabled production network means a lot of stuff has to talk to a lot of other stuff, and Cyan is hoping to supply the neutral fabric that does that while Cisco and the other giants try to finesse the transition without risking their existing revenue.
The first thing Cyan did was to demonstrate a multi-vendor SDN application that crosses all the way from the enterprise, through the WAN, and into the data center. Along with Accedian, Arista, Overture, RYU, and Canonical, they showed how network operators might give their customers the ability to automatically provision everything they need.
And the second thing they did was to kick off an SDN ecosystem called Blue Orbit. The idea is to promote interoperability of gear in an SDN context, and enable others to help expand the range of capable gear. An ecosystem is a necessary thing here of course, but it needs that critical mass of membership. At launch they’re starting off with eight members, and claim multiple deployment commitments by customers already.