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June 25, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 2:30pm

Top 5 companies driving the software defined networking market

Which companies are unlocking the value in SDN?

By Amy-Jo Crowley

1. Cisco


Photo source: Catwalker, Shutterstock

Cisco, the biggest provider of networking equipment, predicts it will be the leader in software-defined networking (SDN) by early 2015, according to CEO John Chambers.

The networking firm, which last week said it would buy network orchestration specialist Tail-f Systems for $175m, is focused on offering more flexibility in a way that doesn’t threaten its hardware sales

Mike Fratto, principal analyst of enterprise network systems at Current Analyst, told CBR Cisco’s enterprise SDN strategy has mainly coalesced around Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

He said: "ACI’s biggest benefit is the abstracted policy based process where nodes and applications are abstracted from physical instantiations.

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"The abstracted policy model is similar to abstracted methods in open source projects like Open DayLight and OpenStack’s Congress. ACI has other advantages over competitors (and disadvantages!), but it’s the policy model that is game changing for Cisco."

About 1,000 customers are now using its SDN products, such as the Nexus 9000, which are controlled by application policy infrastructure controllers (APICs).

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