Pica8’s Breakthrough Networking Technology
Pica8’s breakthrough networking technology that blends the intelligence and programmability of what used to be called “SDN” directly onto the same ports running traditional L2/L3 traffic simplifies network operations almost beyond words. So much so that our standard zero-touch provisioning and perpetual software licenses just become icing on an ease-of-use cake.
With PICOS, customers use familiar CLIs to easily program any network to support a wide variety of solutions, including enterprise upgrades, hybrid clouds, disaster recovery, real-time network analytics, and content delivery.
And then deploy the configured network with their favorite “Zero Touch Provisioning” software. No learning curve here — or new programming languages to wrestle with.
Turn on L2/L3 networking, “old-style” OpenFlow, or the new Pica8 cocktail that uses both – it’s completely up to you. And whichever path you choose, you’ll have seriously upgraded your network while saving well over 50% of your operational and capital costs.
Modern White Box Economics Reaches the Entire Enterprise
Recently, white-box networking has escaped the event horizon of its birth in the data center and has now expanded into wholly new market segments, specifically into mainline enterprises, their campuses and their remote branch offices
Pica8’s mature PICOS Network Operating System (NOS) technologies—now sporting higher specs, bulletproof reliability and global support—have successfully penetrated a number of enterprise verticals. IT executives are seeking generational technical advances over their legacy vendors’ products as well as the ownership cost advantages offered by PICOS on white box switching platforms.
PICOS has overcome the limitations that legacy L2/L3 network software, equipment, architecture and support have historically placed on enterprise networks.
With PICOS, enterprise companies are now rediscovering their ability to differentiate in their own markets based on new technology that also slashes their networking equipment and operational costs.
In the solution brief below, we describe Pica8’s approach to providing easy-to-use low-cost enterprise networking—starting at the data center and then running through large enterprise HQs, regional locations, and small remote/branch offices.
Secure, Always-on Access Networks Keep Your Business in Business
Today’s IT applications are the lifeblood of business around the globe. When they’re hacked or unavailable for any reason, revenue stops cold. IT apps literally serve and support every aspect of operations; from marketing products and services, to sales, production, delivery, inventory, collections, payments, accounting and communications with customers.
When they’re up and running, companies produce revenue and profits as customers shop or order what they want, check out and consume services, or leave with their newly acquired goods. Retail staff sells and prepares or delivers customers’ orders, re-stocks, cleans up and is ready for more. Unless a company’s IT applications are available business simply stops.
When a major U.S. mobile carrier elected to refresh its legacy access network infrastructure for 1000’s of the company’s retail stores in 2017, it decided to look not only at their existing switching/routing vendors for a possible upgrade path but also to see just how far open standards-based disaggregated white-box networking solutions had progressed and what advantages they might bring to the carrier’s retail business. In the end, it wasn’t much of a contest.
Pica8® was the beneficiary of the carrier’s comprehensive decision makingdecision-making process with most of the selection criteria strongly tipping in favor of the modern disaggregated hardware/software model.
Monitoring and Analytics
Granular PICOS Policy Control Even Mitigates Attacks
Enterprises and service providers alike both need the ability to collect, monitor and analyze the data flowing through their networks and into their server farms.
The leading use case for monitoring and analytics is the speedy detection and remediation of traffic that threatens applications and/or end devices themselves to secure networks and hosts from the attack. General network performance monitoring, quality of user experience measurement, error detection, network flooding by malfunctioning streaming devices, performance optimization and data consumption billing round out popular real time monitoring uses.
With Pica8, every PICOS-enable switch can also function as a software-activated network probe. Mirrored packets of interest can be directly forwarded from the switches to a plethora of monitoring tools, typically servers instrumented with threat-specific software. Other security use-case examples include intrusion detection and e-mail- and media-borne virus detection.
PICOS–powered switches not only control costs by eliminating the need for expensive external probe hardware but, thanks to Pica8’s CrossFlow, PICOS switches can uniquely be updated in real time while remaining in operation.
Control Your CDN of the Future Today
TCP/IP-based broadcast content can originate from many sources, including centralized media server complexes; regional content storage caches; studios; live performances; and sports, news and events .
Additionally, media content delivery networks (CDNs) have to provide real-time performance; ad insertion; alternate audio and caption insertion; caching; emergency announcement override; and tight delivery security to prevent unauthorized content receipt or theft by interception.
The introduction of classic SDN intent-based networking came at just the right time as it enables all of these features that are necessary to meet the demands of today’s all-digital broadcast and cable TV networks.
Application-based real-time video stream scheduling and management software can now control both media servers and switching networks via a centralized OpenFlow control plane running on Pica8 switches talking to a variety of SDN controllers. This capability hands broadcast and cable TV operators unprecedented, labor-efficient flexibility along with content delivery, including providing them an easy migration path to 4K HD video and beyond.