Pica8 Launches PicaPilot™ Switch Orchestration Software, Crushing Enterprise Network Deployment and Management Complexity

PICOS® NOS Users Can Now Manage Enterprise-Wide White Box Switching Infrastructure as if it was a Single Logical Switch

Pica8, a leading provider of advanced, open networking software, today announced PicaPilot™, the first-ever networking software solution capable of automatically connecting almost any number of multivendor 1G to 100G white box Ethernet switches and running them as if they were a single logical switch with a single IP address. With PicaPilot, Pica8’s PICOS® network operating system – already the leading open networking solution for enterprise branch offices – can now be deployed across an entire enterprise: in remote offices, corporate campuses and data centers alike, replacing legacy switch stacks and chassis switches with a modern white box leaf-spine architecture – only minus all the deployment complexity associated with either three-tier, traditional leaf-spine, or non-Pica8 white box solutions.

By compressing dozens of white box switches into a single logical device for configuration and management, PicaPilot typically slashes overall network operational complexity by 10-50X while actually improving overall performance and reliability in the process. For example, in lieu of Spanning Tree Protocol, PicaPilot uses MLAG (Multi-Chassis Link Aggregation) to maximize bandwidth utilization and act as PicaPilot’s primary high-availability/reliability mechanism. In addition, PicaPilot automatically redirects traffic in the event of a spine switch or link failure, significantly reducing the possibility of any network downtime.

In stark contrast to legacy enterprise networking architectures where today’s switch stacks and chassis switches have hard limits on scalability, PICOS running with PicaPilot provides network operators with virtually unlimited network flexibility and expansion capability, allowing them to quickly respond to the unrelenting demands of new applications, mobile users, and an ever-growing assortment of cloud services stressing networks today.

On installation, PicaPilot provides network administrators with a number of automated zero-touch pre-configuration workflows that cover most of the common deployment use cases for branch and campus networks, such as wiring closet and chassis switch replacements.  In the latter case, for example, leaf switches function as the equivalent of line cards and spines as the equivalent of cluster management/controller cards. If needed, deployment rollback capabilities are also built into the application.

PicaPilot also fully leverages Pica8’s industry-leading dual control-plane capability, CrossFlow™.  CrossFlow provides enterprise network managers with real-time granular, automated management and security policy enforcement of every active L2/L3 switch port in their network through the use of a second, OpenFlow-based OVS control plane in every switch.

“In their data centers, enterprises continue to struggle with East-West traffic in legacy three-tier network architectures while mega-scale datacenters have moved on to two-tier leaf-spine designs for greater resiliency and lower costs,” said John Burke, CIO and principal analyst at Nemertes Research. “PicaPilot makes it easy for enterprises to upgrade to leaf-spine architecture across all of their locations with automated provisioning over dozens of switches.”

“Our customers want to improve network performance while reducing operational costs with white box switching and open network operating systems, but larger companies with many branches or corporate offices need simplified management,” said Alexander Jeffries, CEO at Stordis. “PicaPilot now gives our enterprise customers the same simplified, automated switching capabilities as the biggest datacenters.”

“The biggest complaint we hear from almost every one of our enterprise customers today is that the complexity and rigidity of their existing legacy networks has got to end,” said Jeff Paine, vice president of marketing at Pica8. “As the first company to ship an open, Linux-based NOS on white box switches over six years ago, we felt it was incumbent upon us to be the one to find a way to crack the final barrier facing our industry – entrenched complexity – which PicaPilot has done by extracting all the complexity from leaf-spine and reducing it to a single layer from a management perspective. There is literally nothing simpler or easier to use in the market.”

All versions of PicaPilot for PICOS-enabled switches are priced at under $1,000 for a perpetual license and are available now for deployment on any Pica8-supported switch. For more information, contact Pica8 at sales@pica8.com.