Alcatel-Lucent has compiled a set of blueprints and templates for customers to build automated application-aware networks as a step towards software-defined networks.

The network equipment maker said Wednesday that new certifications from Citrix Systems have enabled it to come up with the designs for a number of scenarios.

“The reason we did this is we got a lot of requests form our customers saying ‘I want to do something like Hadoop or virtual desktop, but I’d like to know how to set up your network so I get the best out of it,’” said Cliff Grossner, Ottawa-based senior director of network solutions for Alcatel.

The designs use Alcatel’s mesh network equipment, Citirx NetScaler for application delivery control, Citrix Branch Repeater for WAN optimization and XenServer in the data centre for creating virtualized machines, and XenApp and XenDesktop for desktop virtualization.

The suggested Hadoop network design for analyzing big data sets includes NetApp storage arrays.


Grossner suggested that getting Citrix certification was vital for Alcatel to proceed with what it calls an ‘Application Fluent Network’ that can automatically adjust to virtual workloads.

 With elements of the Alcatel switches and routes verified for Citrix applications, Grossner said, Alcatel can now give customers a blueprint and templates for creating a network that can provide quality of service and security for certain applications on the network.

Alcatel’s VM Manager control panel, which monitors virtualized workloads and lets administrators provision network policy, is also Citrix-aware, he said.

Grossner said Alcatel’s next-generation network vision is based on his company’s recent partnerships with virtualization, server and storage makers for customers who want best of breed solutions. They include EMC, Ionix and HP OpenView for management and orchestration; NetApp and EMC for storage;  and VMware, Citrix, KVM and Microsoft for virtualization.

Alcatel will expand on its software defined networking strategy shortly, Grossner added.