For those of you who attended EXPO, our quarterly pitch competition that returns on September 12 (#shamelessplug), you may remember a Canadian company by the name of NoviFlow. The Software Defined Networking company is the latest to join Plug and Play’s investment portfolio (did you know we invest in 60 startups per year?). You might be thinking “what the hell is Software Defined Networking”? Good question. For the past hour I have been banging my head against a stack of “SDN for dummies” articles so that I could put together this gross oversimplification for you.
Software Defined Networking, or SDN, is a radical shift in computer networking. A computer network is like a freeway and the packets of information are like cars. The info arrives at a switch which, like a GPS system, directs the info towards it’s destination. The problem is, the route never changes, regardless of the type of information, and this can slow down traffic. More sophisticated systems can tell what kind of info is incoming and send it down a quicker or better path. Maybe they direct specific types of priority information towards a “carpool lane” for faster delivery. Unfortunately, these systems are very expensive to build. In either case, the paths are built into the hardware.
Enter SDN, the air traffic control station for information packets. Imagine that same freeway, but with a person who controls what types of cars can drive in what lanes. You want the blue cars to get to the city first? Create a blue car only lane on the fly. Trucks are clogging the middle lanes? Restrict them to a single lane and divert other cars around them. SDN is the software that engineers can use to identify types of information and direct it down the best path.
Back to techie speak now. NoviFlow uses Open Systems, Network Virtualization and fully programmable Network Logic to create a network system with a flexible platform design that improves customer-specific network customization. It’s a novel approach in a rapidly shifting technology sector that we believe enough in to put our money where our mouths are and invest. It will be interesting to see where this whole things goes.
For more information, feel free to contact Marc LeClerc, NoviFlow’s VP of Strategy and Marketing at marc.leclerc (at) noviflow (dot) com.
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