SDN switch vendor Pica8 has unveiled a reference architecture intended to help cloud providers develop their programmable networks using Pica8 products.

The architecture includes a physical switch, integrated with a hypervisor virtual switch and an SDN controller adhering to the OpenFlow 1.2 standard to communicate between the three components. The system combines the Open vSwitch (OVS) 1.7.1 virtual switch with OpenFlow 1.2 implemented in Pica8's PicOS operating system.

OVS also features integration with OpenStack, the open source cloud operating system project. And the OpenFlow 1.2 support in PicOS also allows it to integrate with the Ryu 1.4 OpenFlow controller, designed by NTT Laboratories for cloud service provider SDN applications.

Pica8 has been offering hardware-independent switching for OpenFlow SDNs since 2009. The company is based in Palo Alto with R&D facilities in Beijing. Its hardware is based on merchant silicon and sourced from Quanta Computer of Taiwan.

The new reference architecture is the first of more to come from Pica8 as it tests and validates various configurations with customers and partners to aid in the development of cloud applications, the company says.