Pica8’s Breakthrough Networking Technologies
Pica8’s breakthrough networking technologies are revolutionizing both ease of use and business return for today’s largest enterprise networks. While the value of white box networking in leaf-spine data center architectures is now well established, delivering that value in a form that’s consumable by the rest of the enterprise — campus and branch-office deployments – required Pica8 to develop both a deep L2/L3 enterprise feature set as well as create two new industry-firsts – CrossFlow™ and PicaPilot™.
When combined with our PICOS® NOS, these two capabilities have made Pica8’s disaggregated white box networks the new gold standard for switch stack and chassis switch upgrades and replacements. First, we massively simplified the deployment and management of modern leaf-spine designs by extracting all the complexity from the basic architecture and flattening it to a single layer with our PicaPilot switch orchestration application. No network expansion restrictions, better reliability and performance are also part of the package. We’re basically showing legacy enterprise switch stacks and chassis switches the door.
What’s more, Pica8 gives you something no other networking vendor of any kind can, which is the ability to run both L2/L3 and “classic” SDN OpenFlow control planes on every switch port in a network at the same time via CrossFlow™. With CrossFlow™, for example, enterprises can – for the first time – apply granular policy and security updates to any/all ports in their networks, or redirect suspicious flows to analytics or security appliances – all in real time without any interruptions to the networks. (And, yes, all of this is completely compatible with legacy networking infrastructure.)
In short, with PICOS®, enterprise customers can crush their ease of use problems, build in virtually unlimited expansion capability, and improve the reliability, performance and security capabilities of their networks all at the same time. And, in doing so, they’ve also stepped away from any form of vendor-lock and have fully future–proofed their network investment. The fact that these solutions also come with the full economic benefits of the disaggregated white box model is simply a bonus.
Simplified White Box Networks Designed for the Entire Enterprise
Thanks to Pica8, disaggregated white-box networking has finally escaped the event horizon of its birth in the data center and has now pushed into every corner of the enterprise – from campus to remote offices — courtesy of a revolutionary – and massively simplified — leaf-spine white box architecture that is only available from us.
Pica8’s mature PICOS® Network Operating System (NOS) —now sporting a full enterprise feature set and backed by global, round-the-clock support—has recently been augmented by PicaPilot™, the world’s first fully automated white box switch orchestration software that allows seamless upgrades for aging enterprise switch stacks and chassis switches. Now 50 white box access- and aggregation-layer switches look like a completely flat network with a single IP address. It really is that simple.
For IT professionals seeking generational technical advances over their legacy vendors’ products, as well as the ownership cost advantages baked into the disaggregated white box economic model, the search is over.
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.