Corsa Introduces Virtualized Hardware Solution with Ease of Access

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  August 10, 2016

Corsa Technology has come out with a new product called the DP2000 that marks the introduction of virtualized hardware. You read that right folks, hardware virtualization, in a product designed for use in metro networks.

“The DP2000 series is the first switching and routing platform to offer open programmable networking on a platform where you can dynamically slice a single physical switch into virtualized line-rate switching and routing instances that can support 100G of throughput,” said Corsa CEO Bruce Gregory.

This product is an improvement upon Corsa’s past products because of the ease it offers in bringing up services due both to enhanced performance and exposing that performance to customers in a way they can access it, Gregory explained in an interview last week.

When Corsa first launched more than two years ago, Gregory explained, it promoted itself as an OpenFlow switch provider. Some customers are comfortable accessing the Corsa solutions using OpenFlow, he added, but might prefer it is be easier for them to do so, or might want higher levels of abstraction.

Now Corsa delivers open software-defined programmability at multiple abstraction levels including at the network application layer, where application and user-defined services live; at the functional abstraction layer, via Corsa REST APIs for MD-SAL, ONOS Flow Objectives, and ONOS Flow; at the low-level instruction layer, for which the company now provides OpenFlow Corsa REST APIs; and, for those who really like to get down in the weeds, at the hardware layer, where P4 allows users to define the data plane functionality they want. The solution also supports the open source SDN ecosystem through Atrium, Faucet, Quagga, SDN-IP, and RYU.

Carolyn Raab, Corsa’s vice president of product management, adds that customers can use open source, which is what everybody is driving toward, but that not everybody has the expertise to use or support it, so some want a vendor-supplied alternative. In this case that alternative comes in the form of Corsa REST APIs, which provide users with an easy way to interface with Corsa hardware.

The DP2000, for which Corsa declined to provide pricing information, also features per flow traffic engineering and advanced traffic management, multi-terabit throughput with switch stacking, and real-time network insights with per flow traffic monitoring statistics.

Among the first users of the DP2000, which becomes generally available in July, is the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Sciences Network, which is leveraging the solution for a WAN BGP application on its seven-node intercontinental backbone.

Corsa also is working with a commercial partner on data center interconnect. That involves integrating its hardware with the partner’s software to address multiple kinds of layer 2 and 3 applications.

And in the near future we’ll be hearing more about Corsa and a partner are employing DP2000 to quickly spin up and down new routing and switching instances for limited-time-use applications. This enables users to plumb their physical networks once, and then leave those resources alone.

“Recabling when you have remote PoPs or your equipment is in colos is a nightmare as we all know,” says Raab, adding that this application of the DP2000 can help companies avoid that kind of thing.

Edited by Alicia Young