Quilt Announces OpenFlow Switch Authorized Quilt Providers

Five vendors identified to partner with research and education community on OpenFlow-based solutions and initiatives

Seattle, October 24, 2012 – The Quilt, the national coalition of advanced regional research and education (R&E) networks, announces that five equipment providers have been selected as OpenFlow Switch Authorized Quilt Providers (AQP’s): Brocade; HP via reseller partner Matrix Integration; IBM; NEC Corporation of America; and Pica8.

One of the missions of the R&E community is to engage with its many partners, including industry, to design, develop and support experimental, leading-edge technologies in order to drive advancements in academic networking and research. To help support this mission of the community it serves, The Quilt released its National Request for Proposal (RFP) for OpenFlow-Enabled Network Switches in May with the objectives of:

  • defining a preferred set of configurations for OpenFlow-enabled equipment for the research and education community
  • providing a sensible set of switch options for regional and campus networks to purchase OpenFlow-enabled equipment
  • promoting and enabling software-defined networking capabilities to scale to more regional and campus networks by leveraging the R&E community’s collective experience and interest in software-defined networking
  • identifying and partnering with equipment providers who are creating a new development platform around the ideas of OpenFlow

Jen Leasure, president and CEO of The Quilt, stated, “OpenFlow and more generally software-defined networking offer important new sets of choices for Quilt members and their Authorized Buyers to consider, as they seek to more efficiently and flexibly deliver advanced network services and applications to diverse and growing constituencies within their states and regions. By qualifying the AQP’s we are announcing today, The Quilt seeks to make it easier for our members to identify and, if in the interests of their stakeholders, to adopt OpenFlow technologies optimized for R&E environments.”

Each of the AQP’s met the current set of preferred features and configurations as outlined in the RFP. Each demonstrated a willingness to partner with the R&E community to create a new development platform around the ideas of OpenFlow and also provides a unique set of capabilities to contribute to a suite of switch options for regional and campus networks. A willingness to perform third-party interoperability testing with other OpenFlow-enabled switches was also a key selection criterion.

Effective immediately the AQP’s are authorized to sell to Quilt member networks and their Authorized Quilt Buyers under a Quilt Pricing Agreement initially valid for 12 months with option for renewal if mutually agreeable to The Quilt and the AQP.

About The Quilt

The Quilt is the national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education, representing 31 networks across the country. Participants in The Quilt provide advanced network services and applications to over 200 universities and thousands of other educational institutions. For more information, visit www.thequilt.net.