As the enthusiasm for software defined networking from vendors accelerates, IT leaders are still wondering how they can best make use of it.
Meru Wireless has announced an option: An upcoming application that helps networks manage traffic spawned by Microsoft’s Lync unified communications suite.
Meru Collaborator is an OpenFlow application that runs on software network controllers and connects to a Lync server API for controlling flows on wired or Wi-Fi networks. Meru’s 802.11ac access points are interoperable with Lync Server, but the app works across any OpenFlow enabled network.
Leveraging the advantage of an SDN network, the central controller makes automating network devices easy.
“What this application enables is a unified wired and wireless policy enforcement for the communication of a Lync session,” Dennis Huang, Meru’s director of product marketing, said in an interview.
“You can have a client on the wireless network and maybe a client on the wired network initiating a Lync videochat, for example, and with our app you can enforce policies across both networks.”
“Without the application you can still configure policies for Lync as a data type,” he said, but switches would have to be set up individually. By contrast the app has a check box to prioritize Lync traffic across the network.
While the solution was tested with an OpenDaylight-based controller, Huang said, it should work with any standards-based SDN controller.
Collaborator is in early trials now and expected to be generally available in the fourth quarter. It will initially be free, but Meru is looking at how it can be monetized.
Apps like this are part of the promise of SDN, which is why industry analyst Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research thinks it makes sense. “The important thing is the industry is looking for use cases for SDN, and voice optimization for Lync is a good one,” he said in an interview.
Meru Collaborator provides the ability to detect quality of service (QoS) issues on the network, says the company, and can deliver resolution options as well as prioritize traffic.