Avaya Expands SDN Offering with Ethernet Switches

Avaya Inc. is filling out its two-month-old software-defined networking (SDN) architecture with new Ethernet switches.

The company announced its Avaya SDN FX architecture announced in February. The company said it was designed to spread the advantages of SDN technologies throughout an entire network, from core to edge, utilizing an approach dubbed "connect anything, anywhere."

Avaya, known for collaboration and communication technologies, has a different take on the meaning of the network edge.

"The 'edge,' in this case, is not to be understood as the typical network edge (device) but as the place where the network meets the application, that is, a hypervisor supporting multiple application virtual machines (VMs) or Docker containers, an edge voice application device (also known as a phone) or devices purpose-built as SDN edge devices," said company exec Andrew Rufener in a February blog post.

To help complete this end-to-end approach, Avaya yesterday introduced a line of new ERS 5900 stackable Ethernet switches optimized for the company's Fabric Connect, an "automated core" that provides a virtual control layer via one network-wide, fabric-based communications protocol.

"The Avaya ERS 5900 series of premium, stackable Ethernet switches takes another significant step toward full network automation by further extending Avaya Fabric Connect capabilities to the network edge," the company said in a statement. "The ERS 5900 series enables enterprises to smoothly migrate to next-generation architectures that unify the wired and wireless network while preparing organizations to adopt new Internet of Things (IoT) strategies."

Avaya said the switches:

  • Support MACsec for enhanced security.
  • Support Power over Ethernet Plus (POE+) for 802.11 ac deployments.
  • Are extensible to support 60W of Power over Ethernet (uPOE) for emerging IoT deployments such as smart lighting, medical systems and high-end video surveillance.
  • Are extensible to support the emerging 2.5GE and 5GE standard for 802.11ac Wave 2 deployments.

"Some of the most compelling use cases for SDN will likely be at the edge of the network," the company quoted Zeus Kerravala, principal at ZK Research, as saying. "With Avaya's introduction of the ERS 5900, they continue their momentum started with SDN Fx of driving practical use cases where the user lives."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.