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SDN starts to get real: interoperability gauntlet thrown

Cyan itself operates at two main levels. It sells a range of platforms - its Z-Series - in the packet-optical domain, but the magic happens with its SDN software - Blue Planet - which it characterises as an open SDN orchestration platform.

Blue Planet fosters an 'ecosystem' of SDN apps and a set of element adapter apps designed to work together to control both the Cyan and third-party network devices.

This, after all, is the SDN promise - being able to install standard components (both the software and underlying hardware) and have them interwork with those from other vendors.

So the new reality is that the value of your own offering is dependent on its ability to interwork with everyone else's and so enable service providers to build that 'best-of-breed' environment. This, of course, is in stark contrast to what's gone on before.

Blue Orbit is the latest announcement and this is about putting extra substance into the Blue Planet 'ecosystem' story by providing interoperability testing so that SPs feel comfortable about all their SDN components working together.

At launch the Blue Orbit participants were Accedian Networks, Arista Networks, Boundary, Canonical, Cyan, Embrane, Overture and RYU (part of NTT). None of the large incumbent equipment vendors have yet joined up (that we've heard so far).

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