Pluribus Networks makes a move to the edge with its network fabric

Pluribus Networks is taking its talent from the data center out to the edge with the latest version of its Netvisor ONE operating system paired with its Adaptive Cloud Fabric.

Version 5.0 of Netvisor ONE OS, which was announced on Wednesday, was designed to provide improved scalability, automation and network-slicing functionality in order to support emerging edge compute use cases and distributed cloud architectures.

In tandem with the latest version of Netvisor ONE, Pluribus also announced a new partner ecosystem that includes previous hardware partners Dell EMC and Edgecore along with Red Hat, MobiledgeX and Vapor IO.

"We focus on data center modernization. In particular, we've seen a lot of success with multi-site data centers," said Pluribus Chief Marketing Officer Mike Capuano, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "So, two, three, four, or more data centers. We're able to stretch our fabric across all that and make them look like one entity that simplifies operations.

"Where we're headed with this announcement is we are stretching our fabric out to the edge for edge computing or what we call distributed cloud. That increases agility and reduces operational costs for folks who are deploying edge computing."

Capuano said there are many types of edges to address for enterprises and carriers, and not all of them revolved around wireless and 5G. The legacy, centralized architectures can't meet the demands of the new edge environments. In particular, the new applications and services are hamstrung across four buckets: high latency, bandwidth, autonomy and privacy, according to Capuano. A decentralized architecture is able to overcome those issues to serve multiple edges in conjunction with the centralized cloud.

Netvisor One and the Adaptive Cloud Fabric include VLXLAN automated tunnel provisioning and management with telemetry across the entire network fabric. They also enable enhanced network slicing by doubling the number of containerized FRR virtual router instances per switch to further scale the slicing across the management, control and data plane.

Pluribus has also doubled the number of containerized FRR virtual router instances per switch for North/South traffic. It now supports up to 2,000 virtual routing and forwarding instances per network slice for East/West traffic.

"I think that a lot of white box products have been targeted at the data center," said Lee Doyle, principal analyst at Doyle Research, in an interview with FierceTelecom. "Mobile edge computing does have different requirements and Pluribus is positioning its product as having unique capabilities in terms of slicing, routing and VXLAN that are required at the edge both for enterprise and telecom customers. I think the edge is a different ball game. There is no established leader there because the market is nascent."

The newest version of Netvisor ONE has been in the works for about a year with the last nine months spent on coding, according to Pluribus Chief Marketing Officer Mike Capuano.

With its software inside of its hardware partners' solutions, Pluribus counts 200 customers worldwide, which includes 25 Tier 1 carriers. Pluribus differentiates itself from competitors such as Big Switch Networks, Kaloom and Cumulus by its controller-less software-defined network approach.

RELATED: Kaloom bows programmable data center fabric to increase automation

The Pluribus software runs on open networking switches and can reduce capital costs by 30% to 60% over traditional vendors, according to the company.

New partner ecosystem

On the open source front, Pluribus was a founding member of the Linux Foundation's LF Edge open community that was announced last month, and it takes part in Vapor IO's Kinetic Edge Alliance. Capuano said Pluribus was kicking off its own partner ecosystem for distributed cloud today "because we need other partners to help pull the rest of the pieces together."

"They've (Pluribus) got the hardware guys, Dell EMC and Edgecore, to partner with them, which is standard, but building a more software ecosystem with Red Hat and MobiledgeX is interesting," Doyle said.