IBM and NEC Team Up to Enable Industry Innovators Tervela and Selerity to Transform their Networks with OpenFlow

Stanford University, Software Defined Networking pioneer, deploys IBM and NEC in OpenFlow campus network

Select a topic or year

ARMONK, NY and IRVING, TX - 24 Jan 2012: Leading innovators are adopting OpenFlow-based networking to transform their networks using a new solution provided by IBM (NYSE: IBM) and NEC Corporation of America (NEC). These leading organizations are deploying the IBM and NEC standards-based OpenFlow solution to power dynamic networks, manage massive amounts of information and deliver new services.

Examples of OpenFlow innovators using this complete, high performance commercial solution include Stanford University, Tervela and Selerity Corp. Stanford, the originators of the OpenFlow protocol, will deploy IBM and NEC’s solution in a parallel network to test OpenFlow’s applicability to the university’s production environment. Tervela, provider of a market-leading, distributed data fabric, has validated that this solution delivers a breakthrough in dynamic networking to ensure predictable performance of Big Data for complex and demanding business environments, such as global trading, risk analysis and e-commerce. Selerity, provider of ultra-low latency event data, will employ IBM and NEC’s OpenFlow solution to accelerate real-time decision-making for global financial markets.

Initially created by researchers and universities, OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking (SDN) are gaining traction in today’s enterprise data centers for Big Data, cloud and workload optimized systems. OpenFlow holds great promise for smarter computing by enabling organizations to more easily modify, control and manage today’s dynamic physical and virtual networks. IBM was first to market with an OpenFlow-enabled 10/40GbE top of rack switch and NEC was first to market with its ProgrammableFlow OpenFlow-based network controller. NEC demonstrated this OpenFlow solution first at Interop Las Vegas 2011, where NEC was awarded Best of Show for Infrastructure.

“IBM’s investment in OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking reflects the market reality that the data center network is vital to business, driving new ways for users to control the functionality of networks to meet application requirements more simply, flexibly and intelligently,” said IBM Fellow and CTO of IBM System Networking Renato Recio. “OpenFlow is a disruptive networking technology that offers a new level of interoperability and user control and which can ultimately transform the very economics of data centers. NEC and IBM have demonstrated leadership as early adopters of OpenFlow, as well as being first to market with a complete, high performance solution that addresses customer needs for a smarter network.”

“In today's data center and cloud environments, new business demands and innovations in compute infrastructure have increased the strains on data center networks,” said Director of Business Development, IT Platform Group, NEC Corporation of America Don Clark. “The NEC and IBM first-to-market high performance OpenFlow solution meets these challenges by providing a radically simplified and open infrastructure for data center and cloud networks, allowing customers to streamline the management of data center networks through greater levels of automation while driving down operational costs and time to deliver business services.”  

IBM and NEC OpenFlow/SDN Innovator Deployments

"OpenFlow enables the evolution to a smarter network that can deliver and protect business-critical data with the predictable performance required for demanding applications such as global trading and e-commerce,” said Director of Software Engineering Michael Matatia, Tervela. “OpenFlow promises Tervela’s customers a competitive edge by ensuring that the network adapts dynamically to business needs by, for example, automatically segregating network traffic based on real-time statistics. The IBM/NEC solution enables our customers to use OpenFlow’s programmable intelligence using high-performance network components that also simplifies the complexities of managing mission-critical networks.”  

“Selerity delivers machine-readable event data immediately as news is breaking, requiring the fastest possible network performance,” said Chief Technology Officer Andrew Brook, Selerity. “OpenFlow gives us the flexibility of an application with the performance of a switch. The combination of NEC OpenFlow controller and IBM RackSwitch can distribute data across our global low-latency network in an innovative way that can be as much as 1,000 times faster than a conventional server-based application.”

Delivering a campus network that can support advanced services is the core challenge for Stanford University’s Network Backbone. Stanford University's Network Services organization will be deploying NEC’s ProgrammableFlow Switch and Controller and IBM’s RackSwitch to be used in the deployment of an OpenFlow network parallel to the production network. This network will allow the university to test OpenFlow functionality and applicability to the Stanford environment.

About OpenFlow

OpenFlow is standardized by the Open Networking Foundation, founded by six companies that own and operate some of the largest networks in the world — Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Verizon and Yahoo! — as well as almost 50 member companies, such as IBM and NEC, as well as universities and research institutions.  

According to Open Networking Foundation Executive Director Dan Pitt, “Enterprises around the world are showing high interest in using OpenFlow to decrease cost and complexity and accelerate innovation, while increasing security, stability, and availability of cloud and other network-enabled services. By fundamentally rethinking the way we approach networking, OpenFlow industry innovators, led by the members of the Open Networking Foundation, are propelling networking into the realms of computing and virtualization, enabling the development and delivery of new architectures, standards, software, applications, and services that bring real value to users.”  

About the Solution

OpenFlow was designed to work with existing networks without the need for specialized hardware, thus protecting users’ investments. IBM and NEC’s high-performance 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) OpenFlow solution enables the network administrator to easily configure and manage virtual networks that control traffic on a “per-flow” basis, creating or deleting multiple independent virtual networks and related policies without having to deal with the complexities of the underlying physical network and protocols. The two companies’ solution integrates IBM’s award-winning Open Flow-enabled RackSwitch G8264 10/40GbE top-of-rack switch with NEC’s award-winning ProgrammableFlow Controller, NEC’s PF5240 1/10 Gigabit Ethernet Switch, and NEC’s PF5820 10/40 Gigabit Ethernet Switch.   

Additional Resources

·        ESG Tech Brief: IBM and NEC Bring SDN/OpenFlow to Enterprise Data Center Networks

·        IDC White Paper: Designing and Building a Datacenter Network; an Alternative Approach with OpenFlow

·        IBM White Paper: OpenFlow: The Next Generation in Networking Interoperability

·        OpenFlow-enabled IBM RackSwitch G8264

·        NEC ProgrammableFlow

About IBM

For more information about IBM, visit For more information about IBM System Networking, visit

About NEC Corporation of America

Headquartered in Irving, Texas, NEC Corporation of America is a leading provider of innovative IT, network, communications and biometrics products and solutions for service carriers, Fortune 1000 and SMB businesses across multiple vertical industries, including Healthcare, Government, Education and Hospitality. NEC Corporation of America delivers one of the industry's broadest portfolios of technology solutions and professional services, including unified communications, wireless, voice and data, managed services, server and storage infrastructure, optical network systems, microwave radio communications and biometric security. NEC Corporation of America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NEC Corporation, a global technology leader with operations in 30 countries and more than $37.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please visit

Related XML feeds
Topics XML feeds
IBM Analytics
News about IBM solutions that turn information into actionable insights.
Information Management, Lotus, Tivoli, Rational, WebSphere, Open standards, open source