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SolarWinds adds SDN monitoring to network management tools

In networking news, SolarWinds updates its network management software; a report predicts SDN's future; and Barefoot Networks updates its P4-programmable switch.

SolarWinds updated its network management portfolio, as well as its Orion Platform. The update is designed to address the increasing adoption of software-defined networking (SDN) technology -- in particular, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, or ACI. SolarWinds' Network Performance Monitor offers SDN monitoring for logical components of customers' infrastructures, including Application Policy Infrastructure Controllers, tenants, application profiles, endpoint groups and physical entities.

The service's anomaly detection capabilities were updated, and they offer expanded alerts for unexpected behavior in the infrastructure, configuration baselines to help prevent configuration drift and updated PerfStack dashboards for cross-stack troubleshooting. With added support for Infoblox, administrators have extended visibility into network operations, with the ability to monitor Infoblox Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol and domain name system services in a centralized dashboard.

The SDN monitoring and network management updates include the following:

  • Network Performance Monitor 12.4 offers support for Cisco ACI to help users monitor their Cisco SDN deployment.
  • Network Configuration Manager 7.9 offers the ability to define and apply multi-device baselines or config snippets to any network node. The update is designed to enhance the ability to identify configuration drift and adhere to corporate configuration standards.
  • NetFlow Traffic Analyzer 4.5 expands alerting to notify users if application traffic suddenly increases or decreases and indicate if a device stops sending flow data.

The Orion Platform offers management capabilities across on-premises, hosted and public cloud environments. The platform's update includes Security Assertion Markup Language authentication support, enabling single sign-on to the Orion Web Console.

SDN market poised for significant growth

The global SDN market is expected to grow approximately $61 billion by 2023, with an annual growth rate of 39% between 2017 and 2023, according to a report from Market Research Future. SDN's flexible management and control of complex networks and efficient data traffic management are key reasons for the market's growth, the report found.

According to the report, vendors such as Cisco and IBM are employing SDN to meet increasing demand from industry verticals, like financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, telecommunications and government, among others. Verticals within manufacturing are expected to grow at the fastest rate by 2023 because of rapid SDN adoption.

Regionally, North America has the largest market share of the global SDN market. Europe and Asia-Pacific follow behind. North America is also expected to be the largest revenue generator, and it has a well-established infrastructure that allows easier implementation of advanced technologies. Heavy investments in the R&D sector from major vendors in the region should also help the market grow.

Barefoot Networks updates Ethernet switch 

Barefoot Networks has announced Tofino 2, the second generation of its P4-programmable Tofino Ethernet switch application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) family. The first Tofino ASIC looked to prove a P4-programmable switch chip could match the power, performance and cost of legacy fixed-function devices and allow end users to define any network behavior they want in their network. 

Now, Barefoot Networks says Tofino 2 can process packets at 12.8 Tbps in 7 nm process technology, which is double the speed of its first-generation switch chip. The new switch chip can meet the needs of hyperscale data centers, cloud, enterprise and service provider networks, the company said. Tofino 2 can be deployed as a standard top-of-rack switch, a service provider router or a feature-rich switch appliance.

The Barefoot P4 Studio is a suite of software development tools enabling customers to author their own features in P4 for Tofino.

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